New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Vital Records

In 1919, Vital Records and Health Statistics was created to register births and deaths that occurred in New Mexico. Prior to this time, birth and death records were collected by a variety of institutions which were not health-related, including counties and churches. For the most part these statistics are not currently available from us.

Today, Vital Records receives its data from hospitals, midwives, funeral directors, physicians, the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), tribal authorities and other sources. New Mexico data is shared with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in order to assess the health of the United States.

Certificate Request Forms

Birth & Death in English

Image Image

Nacimiento y Defunción en Español

Image Image

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a vital record?

A vital record is a document issued by the government that provides proof of a major life event - birth, death, marriage, and divorce. As an American, you have a right to have these certificates both for yourself and for certain members of your immediate family.

When did we start collecting vital records?

In 1919 a State board of Health was created, and the first unit created was that of Vital Records and Health Statistics, which would govern the reporting of births and deaths. The unit has been in continuous operation since that time.

What kind of health information do we get from vital records?

A full time program to deter and detect fraud. Document fraud is estimated to cost the state of New Mexico approximately $813 million dollars each year, and birth certificate fraud is a key element in many welfare, food stamp and other benefit schemes.

Recognizing this problem, the legislature made birth and death certificate fraud a felony.

What services do we provide?

What are the secondary uses of birth/death certificates?

While the initial driving force for birth and death certificates was to collect health data, the dual component—legal uses—has grown in number and importance, and become better known to the general public than the statistical uses. Providing certificates for citizens to:

In an average year, VRHS registers about 27,000-30,000 births and 10,000-14,000 deaths, issues approximately 60,000-70,000 birth certificates, 80,000 death certificates, files 600 adoptions, registers and files 7,500 affidavits of paternity, and revises 4,000 records to add fathers, change names, etc.

Where can I get a copy of a marriage license or divorce decree?

Copies of marriage licenses and divorce decrees are available from the county clerk of the county where the marriage license was issued or the divorce decree was filed. For further information about these services, please contact the appropriate office of the county involved.

Where can I get a certified birth/death certificate copy from another state?

The NCHS provides a Vital Records Reference by State where you can click on the state where the birth, death, marriage or divorce occurred and obtain instructions on how to proceed.

Where can I obtain marriage licenses & divorce decrees?

Copies of marriage licenses are available from the county clerk of the county where the marriage license was issued. Copies of divorce decrees are available from the district court where the court order was filed. For further information about these services, please contact the appropriate county clerk or district court.