Vital Records (Marriage, Birth & Death)
THE BERRIEN COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE
Administration Ctr., 701 Main St., St. Joseph, MI 49085
Phone number: (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8233
Email Address: email@example.com
No Public Access
The following services will be by 'emergency appointment' only due to there being no public access in the county buildings until further notice:
*Emergency marriage license applications are by appointment only by calling (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8233. They will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Emergency notarization by appointment only by calling (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8385.
***We recommend that you wear a mask and bring your own pen please.
Description of Services still available at this time:
The Berrien County Clerk’s Office
South County Building, 1205 N. Front St., Niles MI 49120
Vital Records Division/Courts Closure Plan Due To COVID-19 Response as of 10-26-2020
Phone number: (269) 983-7111 Ext. 6288
Emergency Appointments only in Niles – Vital Records Division:
The following services are available by appointment only at the South County Building, 1205 N. Front Street, Niles, due to limited public access in the county buildings. We recommend that you wear a mask and bring your own pen. Please be on time for appointments as our time slots are full. Children are not allowed in the building at this time due to the State Covid-19 guidelines. The Niles office closes from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch.
Services offered at the Niles South County Clerk’s Office by appointment:
Description of Services also available at this time:
|A drop box is also available outside the Administration Building door to drop off “mail services” (listed above) requests or filings.|
VITAL RECORDS CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE
In order to protect the security of identity and ensure record integrity, the State of Michigan Public Health Code (MCL 333.2895) prohibits public disclosure of the confidential information contained in Vital Records.
In accordance with the law, we may not disclose any information or permit public inspection of the records on file in this office.
This law includes Death Certificates, which are not considered public records in the sense that they are open to public inspection. Only the Death Index is available which lists the name, date of death and record number. If more detailed information is needed such as a cause of death, we must have a written application and the prescribed fee. (MCL333.2882)
In order to obtain information contained in a Vital Record, you must:
|Note: Vital Records are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). (MCL 333.2888(1))|
Berrien County only issues certified copies of vital records. Certified copies cost $13 for the first copy and $4 for each additional copy of the same certificate and include the cost of the search.
Ordering through VitalChek
The Berrien County Clerk now offers online orders for Birth, Death and Marriage records using your credit card through an approved and secure Internet ordering service called VitalChek Network Inc. VitalChek offers the convenience of ordering vital records for your family from the privacy of your home or office, on an expedited basis, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. You can place your order at VitalChek and receive instructions on how to process your order.
VitalChek charges a $12.95 processing fee in addition to the Berrien County Clerk’s fees.
Ordering by Phone
Starting on June 28, 2017, VitalChek will be offering a new “in house” call center program in addition to the online service, where you can now call and place your vital records order over the phone. VitalChek charges a $12.95 service fee in addition to the Berrien County Clerk’s fees, for this new phone service.
- The number to call is: 888-243-0055
- Fax number is: 888-398-3905
Birth Record Request
Birth Records are sealed by law for 100 years and may only be requested by people whose names appear on the certificate (Mother, Father, Child) without a court order.
Death Record Request
Death certificates are not considered public records in the sense they are open to public inspection by the public. A death certificate, however, may be requested by any member of the public provided the requestor submits a written request (or orders online) and pays the applicable fee. (MCL 333.2882)
Marriage License Copy Request
Marriage Licenses are also public information and Berrien County’s indexes date back as far as 1831.
Vital Records Forms
- Birth Certificate Copy Request Form (PDF)
- Death Certificate Request Form (PDF)
- Marriage License Copy Request (PDF)
- Marriage License Application
- State of Michigan Vital Records
The Berrien County Clerk’s Office also houses a wide array of other records ranging from Board of Commissioner minutes to military discharges. If you have questions about obtaining copies of any other documents housed within the Clerk’s Office, please Contact Us and a member of our staff will be in touch as soon as possible.