Arkansas was the 25th state to join the United States of America back in 1836 and they then seceded in 1861 as they joined the Confederate forces in the Civil War. There is a great deal of interesting history in Arkansas, and you may find yourself looking for ancestors from this southern state.
For the state of Arkansas, privacy laws let birth records fall into the public domain only after 100 years have passed. And since the state didn't start collecting birth record information until 1914, there isn't going to be many records freely available except for limited records from 1881 until 1914 in a few counties. Very old records are usually only for areas around Little Rock and Fort Smith.
So you can only access Arkansas birth records if you are a direct relative of the person on the certificate. There doesn't seem to be any restriction on the level of relation, so it is not necessarily limited to immediate family within a generation or two. When you fill out the application form, you will have to indicate what the relationship is.
If you happen to be in Little Rock, you can make your application in person at 4815 West Markham Street and you can get your records printed out while you wait. They request that applications made for genealogy purposes be done via mail. In that case, the full mailing address is the Arkansas Department of Health, Vital Records Section Slot #44, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock AZ 72205 USA.
Along with your completed application, you must include a copy of your own photo identification and the proper fee. The cost for an Arkansas birth record is currently $12 but check the form for any changes or updates to that. Checks should be made out to the Arkansas Department of Health. If no records are found, the fee is not refunded.
The form requires all relevant information on the person you are getting the birth certificate for, such as their name, date and place of birth and parent's names. Add the name of the hospital if you know that as well. The wait time for a mailed-in application can be up to 6 weeks.
Depending on the county and date of the birth, the Arkansas birth record you get can include the name, sex and race of the child as well as where they were born and their parents names and ages. The doctor's name and the father's occupation are also frequently found on birth records as is the current residence of the family at the time of the birth.
The Vital Records department hasn't created any online searchable resources for their birth records, so you will have little choice but to use the mail-in application route.
To obtain a copy of your Arkansas birth certificate, you will need to:
Download the Arkansas Birth Certificate form and complete it. You will need the full name of the person at birth, date and location of birth, and both parents' names, along with your reason for requesting the certificate and the appropriate fee.
Certificates can also be ordered by phone and online. Additional fees may apply for these services.
Mail the completed application along with a check or money order covering the $12 fee to the Arkansas Department of Health.
For more information on Arkansas birth records, you can contact the Department at:
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
How to Request Arkansas Birth Records
For persons who need Arkansas birth records, they can be requested from the Arkansas Department of Health. Arkansas birth records from 1914 and later are available, along with some previous records from Little Rock and Fort Smith.
How to Order Certificates
Arkansas birth records less than 100 years old are not considered public record and can only be accessed by certain individuals. Requests can be made in person at the Department of Health or by mail by downloading and completing the request form.
Restrictions to Accessing Birth Records
Because Arkansas birth records are not part of the public record, they can only be accessed by persons authorized to have that information. In order to access Arkansas birth records, you must be the person listed on the record, their representative, or be able to demonstrate a legal right to the record.