Some counties in Illinois may have their own birth records from as far back as 1843, but the state as a whole did not start to keep track of birth registrations until 1916. Which is nearly 100 years after Illinois became an official state.
The only people who can get true certified copies of an Illinois birth record are the parents of the person on the certificate, or the person themselves. Illinois does allow for genealogical research and will provide uncertified copies to others who are requesting them, with the following conditions.
For Illinois birth records, there is a 75 year privacy period for any individual who is still living. If you have proof of death, you can request a birth record for anyone between 1916 and the present day, but you will have to include copies of the death registration in with your application.
The application can be downloaded from the Department of Public Health website (http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/vital/pdf/birthfrm.pdf), to be filled in. You can either drop off the complete application (including the proper fees) in person or mail it. The address is the same either way: Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, 925 East Ridgely Ave, Springfield IL, 62702-2737 USA.
You can also make your request at the individual county offices where the birth took place, though you won't necessarily get better or faster service doing that. This is the only option though if you are looking for records pre-1916. The state website has a good listing of all the county office contact information (http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/countylisting.htm).
The form will require you to know the name on the record, date of birth, place of birth and parents names to the best of your knowledge. If you are getting a certified copy (for yourself or your own children only) you can request either a photocopy of the original document or a computer generated copy.
The fees for an Illinois birth record are currently $15 USD, and can be sent as a check or money order made out to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Once the office has your forms, it generally takes 3 or 4 days for them to get your records back in the mail to you. For an added fee, you can add expedited shipping for a rush order. The application form lists off the additional costs for this.
Most Illinois birth records after 1916 will have the name and sex of the child, the place of birth as well as good information on the parents. Their names, their own birth places and the father's occupation are often included. Also the number of children in the family. Older records found at county offices can be sparser and may even lack the names of the parents in some cases.
When searching for older records, you can also try the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System (known as IRAD), which is part of the state archives. You can search their indexes online (http://www.ilsos.gov/GenealogyMWeb/iradsrch.html) though you'll have to work through 7 different university depositories.
To order an Illinois birth certificate, follow these steps:
Fully complete the downloadable Illinois Birth Certificate form.
Make a legible copy of your valid photo ID.
Obtain a check or money order covering the $15 fee and any additional fees for expedited processing. Return these funds, along with the ID and completed application, to the Department of Public Health.
You can contact the Department of Public Health below if you need additional information regarding accessing Illinois birth records:
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737
How You Can Get an Illinois Birth Record
Illinois birth records are not part of the public record, and therefore, they can only be accessed by certain persons. You will need an Illinois birth record as a form of identification for passports, jobs, school, and more.
How Illinois Birth Records are Made Available
If you are eligible to receive Illinois birth records, then there are multiple ways that you can request them. They can be ordered online, by mail, by fax, and in person. Keep in mind that there may be additional charges for certain ordering methods.
Illinois Birth Records Are Not Public
Because Illinois birth records are considered confidential and not part of the public record, their access is limited. To be able to access a record, you must be the person listed on the record and at least 18 years of age, the parent listed on the record, or the legal guardian or representative of the person on the record. Proof of identity is required.