Office of Vital Records

Vital records are documentation of life events kept by governmental authorities. The Shelby County Health Department Office of Vital Records provides certified copies of records of births and deaths that occurred in any county in Tennessee. Birth certificates can be issued for births dated after 1930 and death certificates for deaths occurring within the past 50 years. Records of births and deaths dated before those years must be obtained from the Tennessee Department of Health Office of Vital Records. For more information, call 615-685-4700.

Costs of vital records are as follows:

Certificate Type


Death Certificate


Birth Certificates (Long Form)


Each additional copy of birth or death


Accepted forms of payment include cash and most credit and debit cards, but not American Express. Personal checks are not accepted. 

Birth certificates are also available for purchase online from an independent company, An additional processing fee is included by Vital Chek for this service. Vital Chek accepts all major credit cards, including  American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. 

Click on the relevant application above, print, fill it out and send it to: 

Office of Vital Records
 Room 100
 814 Jefferson Avenue
 Memphis, TN 38105

  • The Shelby County Office of Vital Records processes and maintains certified copies of certificates of birth and certificates of deaths that occurred in Shelby County, Tennessee. Certified copies of the original records are available to the person named on the record and to certain family members or legal representative.
  • Birth certificates can be issued for births dated after 1924 and death certificates can be issued for deaths occurring after 1955. 
  • A valid government issued form of identification is required at time of issuance.
  1. Birth Certificates
  2. Death Certificates
  3. Cremation Permits
  4. Voluntary Paternity
  5. Applications

The Long Form Birth Certificate is the only certificate offered by the Shelby County Health Department and Tennessee State Department of Vital Records. The certified long form birth certificate is an actual copy of the original birth record that the hospital or attending doctor completed. It will include the parents' information. 

Note to Parents: Certificates of Birth for newborn children may not be available to issue for approximately 45 days after this office receives the original certificate from the hospital or birthing facility. Expedite fees do not apply to the registration of the birth record, only the issuance of a certificate that is already registered. **If parents have travel plans which will require a passport for newborn children, travel plans should be made based on this timeline.