For anyone doing genealogical research, finding Alaska birth records for your ancestors may be a challenge. Requesting birth certificates from the Bureau of Vital Statistics is only permitted if you are looking to acquire your own birth certificate or for parents looking to get copies of the certificates of their children.
In order to make these requests, you can either mail in an application or visit one of the Bureau's offices in Juneau, Anchorage or Fairbanks. When making an in-person request, the document can be generated while you wait. When ordering through the mail, it can take up to 3 weeks. The mailing address is the Bureau of Vital Statistics, PO Box 110675 Juneau AK, 99801-0675 USA.
The application to get an Alaska birth record is fairly simple, and just requires your name, date of birth, place of birth, parent's names and the purpose for requesting the certificate. You will have to identify yourself with a copy of a government-issued photo ID (such as a state driver's license). Also on the form is the current costs for each certificate. They are currently $25 USD each, with rush service available for an additional fee.
You can download the application form from the Vital Statistics webpage at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs/birth/birth_form.pdf and all the current fees and instructions are there.
All Alaska birth records are confidential for 100 years, and then are available to the public. Since they have only been collecting birth record information since 1913, that explains the current restrictions on who may access copies. After 2013, older records will start to become available in the public domain.
But official birth certificates aren't the only kind of Alaska birth record you can access. Church records can be a great source of information, particularly in the early years of the state when government records weren't kept. In particular, the Russian Orthodox church was the largest group in Alaska. They have a great store of vital records for the years between 1816 and 1936, currently on microfilm and held at the National Archives. Other churches, such as the Moravian, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches have their own records. They are available at the Bureau of Vital Records, but just as restricted as the birth certificates. Contacting the churches directly may bring better results.
You can also search through old newspaper archives for other Alaska birth records, such as printed birth announcements. The Alaska State Historical Library has a newspaper archive project underway where you can search through old microfilm copies of newspapers. You can get indexes to check on old papers from 1866 until 1998 from your local library. This is a good place to start if you cannot get a proper birth certificate. If you have living relatives in Alaska, you can always get in touch and see what kind of documents or access to documents they may have. Just make sure to introduce yourself thoroughly if you aren't close to that branch of your family.
Unfortunately, the strict privacy rules for this state makes most genealogical research nearly impossible. But with a little perseverance and creativity, you should be able to locate most other kinds of Alaska birth records besides the official birth certificates.
To access a copy of your Alaska birth certificate, follow these steps:
Complete the downloadable form for your Alaska Birth Certificate and print.
Obtain a copy of our government-issued photo ID. Copies should be enlarged and clear enough that all information is legible. Sign your name under the photo ID. The full first, middle, and last name listed on the birth certificate must be included with the request.
Mail a check or money order for $20 and the completed request form to the Vital Records office. Credit card orders can also be faxed, though you should call within one business day to confirm that your request was received.
You can contact the office for more information by visiting, calling, or writing:
Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99801-0675
Where To Find Alaska Birth Records
If you would like a copy of Alaska birth records, then they can be obtained online or by visiting the Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau offices. You can only obtain Alaska birth records for yourself and your children.
Alaska birth records can be requested in person at one of the Vital Records offices or by fax. You will need to print out and complete a request form. Please note that all Alaska birth record requests must be accompanied by a copy of a government-issued photo ID. Requests can be made online, but are subject to an additional fee.
Restrictions to Accessing Birth Records
According to Alaska state law, only the person listed on the birth certificate or their parents can access Alaska birth records. All requests must all be accompanied by a government-issued photo ID and the signed request form or they will not be processed.