Vital Records (Marriage, Birth & Death)
Niles Office Closed on the Following Dates
The Niles Berrien County Clerk's office will be closed on October 11th & 28th, 2021.
If you have an emergency in regard to vital records, you may go to the Berrien County Administration Center Clerk's Office at 701 Main Street in St. Joseph, or call (269) 983-7111 ext. 8223 for assistance.
If you need help with a Personal Protection Order or other court matters, you will need to call the County Clerk's Office at the Berrien County Courthouse (811 Port St., St. Joseph) at (269) 983-7111 ext. 8227 for assistance.
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.