In the state of Washington, divorce records are all maintained at the Department of Health. So, this is where you must approach if you want a copy of the record. This service is not free; payment must also be made to the Department of Health.
If you, or the person whose record you want, have been divorced after January 1st 1968, then you can be sure that it is the Department of Health in Washington that would have maintained a record of the divorce. But if the divorce is from earlier than 1968, then the record is probably being maintained by the State Archives Regional Branch. In this case, you have to approach the Archives office in Washington. This service is payable too.
In both cases, the fee that is charged is never standardized. How much will be charged from you will depend on various factors such as how old the record is, how much information you have provided, and the accuracy of such information. Thus, if you have provided accurate information, and if you have provided a lot of it, then you can expect to pay less for the service.
There are various ways to apply for the record. You can reach the office in person and hand over the application. You can send it over by mail or call the office up. You can also fax your application. Or you may visit the state website to search and find the record by the docket number. There are a few private websites too that can help you.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of trying to access the divorce record online. The fact is, it can take a lot of time to receive the information you need if you are trying to get it offline. Sometimes, it may take as long as 6 weeks. Plus, you will also need to pay the office towards the shipping & handling costs. But, if you are trying to get it online, you can get the information you need instantly. Just visit the website, search and you have access to the data. However, over the Internet, all you get is just the information – you do not get a certified copy of the record. For many people, it is essential to get the officially certified copy of the record.
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To obtain a Washington divorce record, follow these instructions:
First, download the Mail In Request form from the Dept. of Health website.
Complete the divorce portion of the form with the names of the husband and wife, place and date of divorce, and your contact information.
Send the completed form to the below address. Include a check or money order for $20 payable to DOH to cover the search fee.
Send your completed application form to:
Washington Department of Health
PO Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98507-9709
About Washington Divorce Records
Divorce records are considered a vital record in the state of Washington. All vital records are kept on file with the Department of Health Vital Records Office. Divorce records since January 1968 can be found here.
Requesting Older Records
Any person wishing to obtain an older divorce record prior to 1968 can place a request through the local health department in the county the divorce was filed.
Online Availability of Washington Divorce Records
The Washington Vital Records does not accept or process online requests for vital records. However, the office has partnered with VitalCheck to process online requests. Requests for a certified copy of a divorce can be ordered online through VitalCheck for an additional fee. Credit cards are accepted.