Office of Vital Records

Certificate Type


Death Certificate


Birth Certificates (Long Form)


Each additional copy of birth or death


To better protect the health of our community, the Vital Records office has implemented changes in response to COVID-19:

  • We are accepting applications for birth and death certificates at our offices at 814 Jefferson Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

  • In order to maintain social distancing, only a limited number of customers will be allowed inside the building at one time. Others may be asked to wait outside until space is available.

Birth certificates are also available for purchase online from an independent company, An additional processing fee is included by Vital Chek for this service. Vital Chek accepts all major credit cards, including  American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. 

Click on the relevant application above, print, fill it out and send it to: 

Office of Vital Records
Room 101
814 Jefferson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38105

  • Cremation Permits can be picked up between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. A Vital Records representative will call the funeral home and advise when permits are available for pick up. 

  • Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAoP) is handled by appointment only at our 814 Jefferson location. Please call 901-222-9693 to schedule. 
The Shelby County Office of Vital Records processes and maintains certified copies of certificates of birth and certificates of deaths that occurred in Shelby County, Tennessee. Certified copies of the original records are available to the person named on the record and to certain family members or legal representative.
  • Birth certificates can be issued for births dated after 1924 and death certificates can be issued for deaths occurring after 1955. 
  • A valid government issued form of identification is required at time of issuance.

Birth Certificates

The Long Form Birth Certificate is the only certificate offered by the Shelby County Health Department and Tennessee State Department of Vital Records. The certified long form birth certificate is an actual copy of the original birth record that the hospital or attending doctor completed. It will include the parents' information. 

Note to Parents: Certificates of Birth for newborn children may not be available to issue for approximately 45 days after this office receives the original certificate from the hospital or birthing facility. Expedite fees do not apply to the registration of the birth record, only the issuance of a certificate that is already registered. **If parents have travel plans which will require a passport for newborn children, travel plans should be made based on this timeline.

Death Certificates

Shelby County Office of Vital Records issues certified copies of death certificates for deaths that occurred in Shelby County.   Death certificates issued in Shelby County prior to 1955 can be obtained from the County Clerk’s Office (150 Washington Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103).

Who can request a decedent’s certified death certificate:

  • Spouse
  • Children 
  • Parents/Guardian
  • Other next of kin - Next of kin generally identifies a person's closest living relative. Under Tennessee law of descent and distribution, the term "next of kin" means the person's most nearly related to the decedent by blood. 
  • Respective authorized representative (attorney representing one of the above, agency or case manager)
  • Informant named on the death certificate

**Others may be authorized to obtain certified copies if they demonstrate that the records are needed for the determination or protection of their personal or property rights.