Washington maintains open vital records, which means you can access Washington birth records from any time period without restriction based on your relationship to the person on the record.
The Department of Health holds the state collection of vital records starting from July 1907 until the present. You can order a certified copy of a Washington birth record from them, either by mail or through in-person at the office counter.
If you are looking for a record more recent than 1921, you can also make your request at your local health department office. The state Health Department website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/LHJMap/LHJMap.htm) has a map and list of local offices for your convenience. You can also get pre-1907 records at Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and King counties, also by contacting their local health office.
When applying straight to the main Vital Records office for a Washington birth record, you will need to complete the proper forms and pay the search fee. There are separate forms to use if you are applying by mail or at the office.
The address for the office is the Center for Health Statistics, Department of Health, 101 Israel Road SE in Tumwater. The form to use is on their website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/CHS/422-046.pdf) but you can also pick up a copy when you get there. The desk is open regular business hours through the week, and you can usually get your records while you wait. The current fee is $20 USD, and you can pay by check, money order or credit card. If paying by check or money order, make them payable to the Washington Department of Health.
For a mailed application for a Washington birth record, the mailing address is the Center for Health Statistics, Department of Health, PO Box 9709, Olympia WA, 98507-9709 USA. Their forms are also on their website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/CHS/422-044.pdf) and the fees are the same, except you can't pay by credit card when ordering through the mail. A mailed application will take about a month to get back to you.
Both forms will require the same basic identifying information about the birth record you are looking for. Make sure you fill out the birth section as the form is used for death records and marriage certificates as well. You need the person's full name, date of birth, city or county where they were born, and their parent's full names (use the mother's maiden name if known).
Because the records are easily available to the public, there are several online sources for searches and indexes. The Washington Digital Archives (http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/) has excellent indexes for Washington birth records that date between 1907 and 1960. You can search by name, and will get a full transcript of the information. With the right graphics plug-in, you can even view scanned images of the original documents.
Many counties have their own records from earlier than 1907, but you will need to contact their local county auditor's offices (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehsphl/chs/CHS_Aud.pdf) to inquire about access and availability.
If you would like to request a Washington birth certificate by mail, then take the following steps:
Download and complete a Washington Birth Certificaterequest form.
You can also pick up a copy of the application through your local health department.
Mail your completed request and a check or money order for $20 to the Center for Health Statistics. If you want expedited service, be sure to include the extra fee for your preferred delivery method.
If you have additional questions regarding accessing Washington birth records, then you can contact the office below:
Washington Department of Health
Center for Health Statistics
Department of Health
P.O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98507-9709
Ordering A Washington Birth Certificate
If you need Washington birth records, then there are multiple ways to request them depending on the age of the record that you need. All Washington birth records dating from 1907 to current day can be ordered through the Center for Health Statistics. Records from 1921 to present day can often be ordered through your local health department. Older records may be accessible through the local health department or the county auditor.
Available Methods For Ordering Your Own Record
When ordering your own Washington birth record, it is suggested that you go through the Center for Health Statistics. The Center allows you to place an order by mail, phone, internet, and in person.
Limitations to Access for Washington Birth Certificates
Any individual can order Washington birth records with a completed application and the appropriate payment. However, make sure that the application is completed in full before you mail it in.