Vital Records & Family Searches

Posted on March 14, 2022Comments Off on Vital Records & Family Searches

Performing family searches in Deschutes County can help discover more about your family tree and stories about past family members. Many people consider their ancestry important and use different resources to dig up information that can help in the search. 

Common resources that can provide information in a family search include family scrapbooks and stories about relatives from newspapers archives. If you are still in connection with older family members, interviewing them is another easy way to discover family stories. Vital records are also essential in family searches. They can provide more information about the individual of interest and immediate family members. From vital records, you can create your family tree and document the timeline of life events of family members.

Vital Records is Deschutes are easy to find if they are open records. A custodian or government office is in charge of keeping these records and can provide them if they are not confidential by law. The following vital records can assist you in a family search:

Birth Records

Birth records contain the birth certificate and any other documents that can show proof of birth. Birth records in Deschutes County are only issued if an individual was born within the county. It can serve as a means to identify an individual. 

The Freedom of Information Act laws in Oregon State identified birth records as not entirely open to the public. You have to fall under the eligibility requirements to successfully obtain a birth certificate. However, this will not apply if a birth certificate is 100 years past the date of birth stated in the document. Therefore, the restriction on Deschutes County birth records lasts for 100 years before becoming a public record. 

Oregon state considers the following persons eligible to obtain an individual’s birth certificate without any restriction or confidentiality:

  • The parent of the individual and any other parent listed on the document.  
  • The spouse (step-parent) to a parent named on the certificate. This applies if the child is not yet 18 years old.
  • Listed spouse of the individual.
  • The maternal or paternal grandparent of the individual (if their child is named on the record).
  • An adult brother or sister of the individual. 
  • The adult child of the individual.
  • A legal representative of the individual who has a document showing proof of this.
  • A government agency that requires the certificate for documentation or related purposes.
  • A legal guardian that possesses paperwork to this effect.
  • Anyone that does not fall under the above categories can become eligible by getting a notarized permission note from an eligible individual.

Deschutes County Health Services provides birth certificates of infants not older than six months of age. You have to be eligible to request either at the health center or through the mail. Requests for certified copies of the document cost $25 each. Start by getting the birth record application form and filling the query spaces with the details required. You can use a mailing service to send the form or bring it by yourself to the center’s location:

2577 North East 

Courtney Drive 

Bend, OR 97701

(541) 322-7498

[email protected] 

Accompany the form with a copy of a valid ID card and the required fees. The process takes approximately three working days to receive the record. You should also indicate the method of delivery you prefer (either via mail or you wish to pick it up).

Birth records of minors older than six months and adults are available at the State Vital Records Office. You can submit your order at the self-service kiosks between 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, and you can receive it the same day. However, this service is available to only immediate family members of the individual. Applicants must present a valid ID card or an acceptable substitute. The office is located at:

800 NorthEast Oregon Street 

Suite 205 

Portland, OR 97232-2187

Likewise, your order can also be sent through the mail via the Oregon Health Authority website.

Death Records

Death records are important in family searches because you can know the timeline of the death of a family member and where they died. It is advisable to obtain the long-form death certificate because it contains more information including the reason for death and important demographic information. 

Similar to birth records, death records in Oregon have some restrictions that make them inaccessible to most people. Generally, Complete access to a death certificate only applies if the date of death records is more than 50 years. Persons eligible to order a birth certificate can also order a death certificate with unrestricted access. Companies that pay death benefits and the representative of a funeral home can also gain unrestricted access to the certificate.

In Deschutes County, you can complete the death record order form and take it to Deschutes County Health Services or send it through the mail if the death occurred in the county within six months or less. A certified copy costs $25. You must bring along or send a copy of a valid ID card. Send all the requirements to: 

 2577 North East 

Courtney Drive 

Bend, OR 97701

If the death event is more than six months, visit or mail the State Vital Records Office to obtain the death certificate. Requests made in the self-service kiosks at the office are handled within an hour if the record is available. A record search costs $28, while additional copies cost $25 each. Visit the office location at: 

800 NorthEast Oregon Street 

Suite 205 

Portland, OR 97232-2187

Alternatively, send the form downloaded from the Oregon Health Authority site or the County Vital Records office via mail. The process, including the delivery, may take a maximum of 5 weeks. However, you can apply for a rush mail which takes three to five days.

Another easy way to get a death certificate in Deschutes County is by contacting the funeral home that handled the remains of the deceased to request on your behalf. 

Marriage Records

Marriage records are proof of the legal marital relationship between spouses. You can use them in your family searches to find out who a relative is married to, the marriage date, and witnesses of the event. The Deschutes County clerk has the resources and authority to provide marriage records. 

Complete the request form and submit it to the clerk of the county at:

Deschutes Services Building

1300 North West Wall Street 

Suite 202

Bend, OR 97703

Phone: (541) 388-6549

Fax: (541) 383-4424

Email: [email protected]

You can also submit it using mail at: 

Mailing Address

Deschutes County Clerk

PO Box 6005

Bend, OR 97708-6005

You can also search the marriage index online on the county site. You will need the names of the spouses named on the record and some marriage license information to search. 

Divorce Records

The Deschutes County Circuit Court handles divorce proceedings and keeps the court records. If the record is not confidential by law or court order, you can obtain case file copies, audio copies, and transcripts from the office of the court record custodian. 

To obtain the copies of case files of a divorce record, you can visit the Records File Room or send a mail conveying case file information to:

Deschutes County Circuit Court

First Floor, File Viewing Window (#4)

1100 North West Bond Street

Bend, OR 97703

For Mail Request:

Deschutes County Circuit Court 

Attn: File Room Department

1100 North West Bond Street

Bend, OR 97703

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