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NC Vital Records: Fees and Payment

North Carolina law requires payment before a certificate search or a service can be provided. Fees are not refundable after a search or service has been provided. Certificates are sent first class mail unless otherwise requested and additional fees are applied. When ordering through N.C. Vital Records, our fee schedule is as shown below.

Payment Processing and Order Delivery

As indicated in the fee schedule table, there is a $24 search (and one copy) fee that is non-refundable, even if a record is not found, so we must process payments before completing the order. Due to order volume and system migrations from paper to electronic, there will usually be a time gap between your payment being processed and orders being completed and delivered to you, especially if there are issues to be researched and addressed with orders (e.g., amendments to certificates). If a record is not found during the search, then we will be in touch. Payments above the $24 search fee can be refunded when a record is not found and an order is cancelled. See our current processing times for different certificate and order types.

Fee Schedule

Search or Service Fee Fee Notes
Standard Certificate Search Fee (includes one copy of the certificate, if a record is found) $24 See other search or service types below, such as Birth Certificates after Adoptions. Search fees and expedite fees are non-refundable even if a record is not located. If no record is found, you will be sent a letter.
VitalChek Processing Fee $12.70 (processing fee if you order through VitalChek) VitalChek is the only authorized vendor through which constituents may submit a remote order for a state-issued, certified birth certificate. VitalChek charges a processing fee, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA. VitalChek also accepts personal checks.
Additional copies of same certificate $15 each  
Additional searches (each three year period or portion thereof) $24  
Amending birth or death certificates or fetal death reports $15  
Birth Certificates after Adoption $15 for the preparation of the new certificate + $24 for the first copy of the requested certificate + $15 for each additional copy.  
Court-Ordered Name Changes $15 for the name change + $24 for the first copy of the requested certificate + $15 for each additional copy.  
Expedited processing fee $15; Expedited mail service has been temporarily suspended as of 1/10/2022. If your expedited order was postmarked prior to the suspension, it will be processed as an expedited order. Expedited walk-in service is available by appointment only. Alternatively, you may order a birth, death or marriage certificate from your Register of Deeds. Expedite fees are non-refundable even if a record is not located.
Legitimations $15 for the legitimation request + $24 for the first copy of the requested certificate + $15 for each additional copy.  
Paternities No charge for a standard paternity request.  

There is no charge for regular shipping. Overnight shipping costs vary.


Methods of Payment

Fees may be paid by one of the following methods:

  • For Mailed-In Orders
    • Money order
    • Certified check
    • Business check
    • We DO NOT accept cash via the mail.
    • We DO NOT accept personal checks via the mail.
    • Make all certified checks, business checks, and money orders payable to "NC Vital Records".
  • For Online or Phone Orders
    • Personal check, credit or debit card through VitalChek.
  • For In-Person Orders
    • Cash is accepted only for in-person services. Please do not send cash in the mail.  
    • Regular walk-in (in-person) service is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19; however, some walk-in (in-person) certificate services have resumed by appointment only. Scheduling details are available on the full Contacts page.
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to "NC Vital Records".

Last Modified: August 9, 2022