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Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the US State Department if you have any questions about  obtaining vital records from outside the US

Getting Married in Kentucky: What Do You Need to Know?

Marriage licenses are issued in the county clerk's office in each county.  If you have any questions, please contact the county clerk's office in your area. Both bride and groom must appear together to get a license. Licenses are valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and the license fee is non-refundable. The license must be used within the state of Kentucky.    

Age requirements  
You must be 18 to be married in Kentucky without parental consent.  Applicants 16 and 17 years old must have parental consent and the license must be issued in the county of residence of the underage applicant. If both applicants are under age, the license must be issued in the bride's county of residence. No one younger than 16 may be issued a license unless the bride is pregnant and a district court judge must issue a court order directing the clerk to issue the license. 

No waiting period or blood test is required prior to issuance of a marriage license. The bride and groom complete an application, providing information needed from both including:  

Name and address
Date of birth and age
Place of birth (if in Kentucky, give county; if another state, give state) 
Father's name 
Mother's first and maiden name
Current status of bride and groom (single, divorced, annulled, widowed)  
Number of previous marriages of bride and groom  
Occupations of bride and groom  
Race of bride and groom  
Whether bride and groom are related (first and second cousins are not permitted to marry in Kentucky)  
Date of marriage

How to Request an Autopsy Report
Kentucky autopsy reports can be obtained by sending a written request to the coroner in the county where the death occurred. Please contact the local county government office or the funeral home that cared for the decedent to obtain the name and address of the county coroner. You can also call (502) 564-4545 to obtain the name and address.

How to Request a Certified Copy of a Report of Birth, Death or Marriage Abroad


Consular Report of Birth Abroad
is a document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a birth abroad of a child acquiring US citizenship at birth through one or both parents. This record, also known as an FS-240, along with the certification of birth, DS-1350, are acceptable as proof of birth and US citizenship for all legal purposes.

Report of the Death of an American Citizen is a document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a death abroad of an American citizen. The document is based upon the local death certificate.

Certificate of Witness to Marriage is a document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a marriage abroad in which at least one party is an American citizen. A consular officer must have attended the ceremony. This accommodation was discontinued in 1987.

How to Apply for a Certified Copy of One of These Reports
Submit a signed, written request including all pertinent facts of the occasion along with requester's return address and telephone number. Only the subject, parent or legal guardian may request a birth record. If the request is for an FS-240, the original FS-240 or a notarized affidavit attesting to its disposition must be included with the request. If a birth record is to be amended or corrected, appropriate certified documents supporting the request must be included.

Where to Write
U.S. Department of State
Passport Correspondence Office
1111 Nineteenth St., NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20524
Telephone: 202-485-8300

Prices are subject to change. Please call to verify beforehand. 
$40 for one copy FS-240.
$20 for first copy and $10 for each additional copy for DS-1350, report of death, certificate of witness to marriage and certificate of no record.

Turnaround Time
Unlike passport agencies which receive all of the documentation needed from the applicant, most consular vital records must be retrieved from off-site repositories, including the National Archives. Since the time required to retrieve these records varies significantly based upon the type of record and date of occurrence, it is impossible to give a definite turnaround time. However, most cases can be completed within four to eight weeks.

Expedite Service
Overnight delivery can save about 10 days processing time, but there is no way to reduce the retrieval time. Overnight return via Federal Express is available for an additional $10 or the requester may provide a pre-paid airbill for a carrier of choice.

Additional Information
The Passport Correspondence Office can be reached at (202) 485-8300. A clerk or caseworker will be pleased to assist you.

How to Request Reports of Death for People Serving in the Armed Forces
Reports of death of person serving in the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard) or civilian employees of the Department of Defense are not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. In these cases, requests for copies of records should be sent to the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100.

How to Report the Death and Obtain Death Records of U.S. Citizens Who Die in Foreign Countries
The death of a U.S. citizen in a foreign country may be reported to the nearest U.S. consulate office. If reported, and a copy of the local death certificate and evidence of U.S. citizenship are presented, the consul prepares the official Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad (Form OF-180). A copy of the report of death is then filed permanently in the U.S. Department of State (see exception below)

  • To obtain a copy of a report filed in 1963 or after, write to Passport Services, Correspondence Branch, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705.  The fee for a copy is $20 for the first copy, $10 for each additional copy. (Fee may be subject to change, please call before you mail your request.)
  • Reports of Death filed before 1963 are maintained by the National Archives and records Service, Diplomatic Records Branch, Washington, DC  20408.  Requests for such records should be sent directly to that office.
  • Reports of death of person serving in the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard0 or civilian employees of the Department of Defense are not maintained by the U.S. Department of State. In these cases, requests for copies of records should be sent to the National Personnel Records Center (military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

How to Report a Birth of a U.S. Citizen Born Abroad
The birth of a child abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s) should be reported as soon as possible to the nearest American consular office for the purpose of establishing an official record of the child's claim to U.S. citizenship at birth. The official record is in the form of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America. This document, referred to as the Consular Report of Birth or FS-240, is considered a basic United States citizenship document. An original FS-240 is furnished to the parent(s) at the time the registration is approved.

Reporting the Birth

A Consular Report of Birth can be prepared only at an American consular office overseas while the child is younger than 18.

Usually, in order to establish the child's citizenship under the appropriate provisions of U.S. law, the following documents must be submitted: (1) an official record of the child's foreign birth; (2) evidence of the parent(s)' U.S. citizenship (e.g., a certified birth certificate, current U.S. passport, or certificate of naturalization or citizenship); (3) evidence of the parents' marriage, if applicable; and (4) affidavits of parent(s)' residence and physical presence in the United States.

In certain cases it may be necessary to submit additional documents, including affidavits of paternity and support, divorce decrees from prior marriages or medical reports of blood compatibility. All evidentiary documents should be certified as true copies of the originals by the registrar of the office wherein each document was issued.

A service fee of $40 is prescribed under the provisions of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 22.1, item 9, for a consular report of birth.

Note: Consular reports of birth are not available for persons born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Panama Canal Zone before October 1, 1979, the Philippines before July 4, 1946, American Samoa, Guam, Swains Island, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or the former U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands. Birth certificates for those areas, except the Panama Canal Zone, must be obtained from their respective offices of vital statistics. Panama Canal Zone birth certificates should be requested through the Vital Records Services Section of Passport Services (see address below.) The fees are the same as those for DS-1350.

Documents Available

Consular Report of Birth (FS-240)
On November 1, 1990, the Department of State ceased issuing multiple copies of the Consular Report of Birth (FS-240). As of that date, a new format for the FS-240 went into effect. All previously issued FS-240s are acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship (Public Law 97-241 - Aug. 24, 1982). To obtain a replacement for a lost or mutilated document, please submit a written request including the original FS-240 or a notarized affidavit concerning the loss of the FS-240 and a $40 fee, payable to the Department of State, to the address below. The affidavit must contain the name, date and place of birth of the subject, a statement regarding the whereabouts of the original FS-240, and be signed by the subject, parent, or legal representative.

Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350)
If the birth was recorded in the form of a Consular Report of Birth, a Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) can be issued in multiple copies. The DS-1350 contains the same information as that on the new format consular report of birth and is acceptable for all legal purposes. The DS-1350 is not issued overseas and can be obtained only by writing to the address below.

Amending/Correcting the Consular Report of Birth
To amend or correct a consular report of birth, a written request must be accompanied by certified copies of all documents appropriate for effecting the change (e.g., foreign birth certificate, marriage certificate, court ordered adoption or name change, birth certificates of the adopting or legitimating parents, affidavits, etc.). The original FS-240 or replacement FS-240, or a notarized affidavit concerning its whereabouts, also must be included.

Obtaining Copies of the  FS-240, DS-1350, and Panama Canal Zone Birth Certificates

Note: Please call to verify the cost before sending in.
The DS-1350 or a replacement FS-240 can be obtained by writing to:

Vital Records Section
Passport Services
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington, D.C. 20522-1705
Telephone: 202-485-8300

A written request should include: (1) full name of child at birth (plus any adoptive names); (2) date and place of birth; (3) names of parents; (4) serial number, if known, of the FS-240 (on those issued after November 1, 1990) if known; (5) any available passport information; (6) signature of requester; and (7) notarized affidavit for a replacement FS-240 (if applicable). For Panama Canal Zone (PCZ) birth certificates, just include items (1) through (3).

The fee for an FS-240 is $40. The fees for DS-1350 and PCZ certificates are $20 for the first copy, $10 each additional copy. (Price subject to change, please call to verify prices before you send in request). Make check or bank draft drawn on a bank in the United States, or money order payable to the Department of State. The department will assume no responsibility for cash lost in the mail. Documents will be provided to the person who is the subject of the report of birth, the subject's parents, the subject's legal guardian, authorized government agency or a person who submits written authorization from the subject of the report of birth.

Certificate of Citizenship Issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
A person who acquired citizenship of the United States through birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) or who acquired U.S. citizenship by derivative naturalization, may apply for a Certificate of Citizenship under the provisions of Section 341 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Application for this document may be made in the United States to the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Upon approval, a certificate of citizenship will be issued in the name of the subject, but only if that person is in the United States. Obtaining this certificate involves presentation of basically the same documentation required to obtain a consular report of birth. Under law, the consular report of birth and the certificate of citizenship are equally acceptable as proof of citizenship.

How to Request Birth Records of Alien Children Adopted by U.S. Citizen
Birth certifications for alien children adopted by U.S. citizens and lawfully admitted to the United States may be obtained from the Immigration and Naturalization Service if the birth information is on file. You can find the address and phone number in your telephone directory. To obtain the birth data, it is necessary to provide the Immigration Office with proof of adoption or legitimation.

Requesting Information or Have Questions Concerning Children Before Their Adoption
If you are requesting any information or have questions on an adopted child prior to the adoption, please contact Community Based Services, Family and Child Stability Branch, Frankfort, KY at (502) 564-2147. 

Requesting Birth Records of U.S. Citizens Born in the Panama Canal Zone
Beginning December 1, 1999, vital records formerly issued by the Panama Canal Commission are being issued by the Department of State.

Please direct your inquiry to:
Correspondence Branch
Passport Services
1111 19th Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, D. C. 20522-1705
Telephone: 202-485-8300

Please include the following in your request:
Purpose of request
Name at birth, death, marriage
Date of birth, death, marriage
City and country of birth, death, marriage
Signature of subject or guardian

For birth records, also include:
Father's name
Date and place (city or state and country) of birth
Mother's name
Date and place (city or state and country) of birth
Any U. S. passport information

Please indicate the number of documents desired. Please call for current fees. Check or money order must be signed, dated and made payable to Department of State. Remittance must be payable in U. S. dollars through a U.S. bank. Non-U.S. money is not acceptable. Please do not send cash.

What Records Are Maintained by Foreign Countries
Most, but not all, foreign countries record births and deaths and most foreign countries will provide certificates of births and deaths occurring within their boundaries.

Persons who need a copy of a foreign birth or death record should contact the embassy or the nearest consulate in the U.S. of the country in which the death occurred. Address and telephone numbers for these offices are listed in the US  Department of State Publication 7846, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States, which is available in many local libraries. 

If the embassy or consulate is unable to provide assistance, US citizens may obtain assistance by writing to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, US Department of State, Washington, DC  20520-4818.  Aliens residing in the US may be able to obtain assistance through the embassy or consulate of their country of nationality.

Records of Birth and Death Occurring on Vessels or Aircraft on the High Seas
When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft or on a vessel, the record is usually filed at the next port of call.

If the vessel or aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port, requests for copies of the records may be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705.

If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to the registration authority in the city where the vessel or aircraft docked or landed in the United States.

If the vessel was of U.S. registry, contact the local authorities at the port of entry and/or search the vessel logs at the U.S. Coast Guard facility at the vessel's final port of call for that voyage.


Last Updated 7/15/2014