Both from the standpoint of cost and efficiency, the Montana researcher will usually find the County Courthouse Records to be the best source for all variety of genealogy records. Information about the county courthouses should be found on each of the MTGenWeb Project County Sites. There are times, however, when you might not know the county in which an ancestor resided. In that event, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Vital Records Division is a good place to start. Be sure to include a S.A.S.E with your request!

Records available in the Vital Records Division:
Births and deaths began to be registered with the state in 1907. By about 1920, most counties were complying with the requirement. Marriages and Divorces from 1943

Costs to Obtain a Document:
The minimum charge for any record is $10.00. This includes up to a five-year search. Other charges would apply at that rate, i.e.: If you were to ask for a Death Record for John Doe who died "sometime between 1940 and 1960", the charge for said search would be $40.00 and would include the cost of the record, if found.

To obtain a Birth Certificate, send in the following information:
Date of Request
Name of Person
Date of Birth
Mother's Maiden Name
Father's Name
Name of Requestor
Relationship to Party, or Reason for Request
Signature of Requestor

To obtain a Death Certificate, send in the following information:
Date of Request
Name of Deceased
Date of Death
Relationship or Reason for Request
Signature of Requestor

Mailing Address:
DPHHS/Vital Records,
P. O. Box 4210
111 North Sanders
Helena, MT 59604-4210

The 30-Year Law.
In 1995, a "30-Year Law" was enacted in Montana concerning birth and death records. In a telephone conversation with the Montana Vital Records Office June, 1996, I was informed that their interpretation of the law is as follows: Copies of death and birth records that are less than thirty years old can be obtained only by the Mother, Father, Spouse or Child of the individual for whom the record is requested. Records more than thirty years old are open and may be released to a non-direct relative, and perhaps a genealogist.

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