The state first made it a requirement for the counties to submit their vital statistics in 1908, but Limestone County public records typically go back to around when the county was founded which was in 1818. But since it was not mandatory, the body of information between these years can be sporadic and incomplete.
When looking for Limestone public records, you should be aware that most certified copies will come at a cost and there are restrictions on both birth and death records so you can't just go ordering any record you fee like. Once you know what you are permitted to request, you just have to fill out the order form and bring it to the health department office in Athens. They offer counter-service for standard business hours during the week. As long as there are no problems, you usually get while-you-wait results.
For anyone not near Athens, you can mail the forms in or send them to the state Vital Records office in Montgomery. Both have complete access to all Limestone County public records. When mailing, send your fee as a money order made out to the State Board of Health. If your desired records are not found, your search fees will not be returned to you, whether you go in person or apply by mail.
Limestone County Birth Records
Limestone County birth records will be limited to yourself, or members of your immediate family for 125 years after the birth occurs. Until that privacy restriction is lifted, you will only be allowed to order a birth certificate for yourself, your child, parents, sibling or spouse. After that, they are open to the public. You can do your research through the State Archives and most public libraries can get copies of microfilm reels if you need them. Until then, each certified copy costs $15 from the health department and you will have to show ID when you order.
Limestone County Death Records
Depending on what you're looking for, it may or may not be much easier to get copies of a Limestone County death record compared to the birth records. In this case, the privacy limits only extend to 25 years past the date of death so many more records are currently in the public domain. These can be found also at the State Archives. But for any records where the death is within 25 years, you have to be an immediate family member and the cost is $15 per record retrieved.
Limestone County Marriage Records
These are records you can get without any restrictions on date or relationship. Limestone County marriage records are completely public. You can get copies at either the health department like the other records, or at the Probate courthouse in Athens. The state collection started officially in 1936 but the Probate courts were recording marriage long before that.
Limestone County Criminal Records
Alabama holds all criminal records for the state, so you can't go to the county for any Limestone County criminal records. These are strictly confidential and you can only make a request for your own background history. Fingerprints are to be included on the application to ensure your identity. Applications can go to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, located in Montgomery.