NC Vital Records: General Issuance Processing Dates

Important Note Regarding Processing Times

Before placing your order, we recommend you determine if the estimated timeframes below would meet your needs. If not, you may want to consider ordering a certificate from the Register of Deeds in the county where the event occurred.

The dates below apply only to regular birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificate requests. They do NOT apply to special registrations / amendments, such as adoptions, court-ordered name changes, legitimations, paternity changes, changes to death certificates, etc. Special registration requests (amendments) require additional steps compared to regular requests that don't involve any changes. Processing times for amendments are not included in the table and vary for numerous reasons.

Certificate Status Inquiries: General Issuance Certificate Status Inquiry Request Form - Use this form for questions about a specific general issuance (regular) certificate request. Do not use the certificate status inquiry form for special registrations / amendments, such as adoptions, court-ordered name changes, legitimations, paternity changes, changes to death certificates.


Estimated Time from the Date Request Keyed into the System to the Date Requested Service is Shipped

Service VitalChek Regular (Non-Expedited) Expedited *
Birth Certificates - 1971 to present 4 Months 7 Months 6 Months
Birth Certificates - 1913 to 1970 4 Months 13 Months 6 Months
Death Certificates - 1930 to present 4 Months 13 Months 6 Months
Marriage Certificates - 1962 to present 4 Months 13 Months 6 Months
Divorce Certificates - 1958 to present 4 Months 13 Months 6 Months

* 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.


Current General Issuance Processing Dates (Last Updated 05/16/22)

Service VitalChek Regular (Non-Expedited) Expedited
Birth Certificates - 1971 to present 01/18/2022 09/23/2021 10/05/2021
Birth Certificates - 1913 to 1970 12/21/2021 01/05/2021 10/13/2021
Death Certificates - 1930 to present 12/15/2021 12/21/2020 10/13/2021
Marriage Certificates - 1962 to present 12/15/2021 12/31/2020 10/13/2021
Divorce Certificates - 1958 to present 12/22/2021 01/07/2021 10/13/2021

* VitalChek is a third-party processing service. Since 1987, VitalChek has provided services to order official copies or replacements of government-issued birth, death, marriage and divorce records. VitalChek is an official service provider for hundreds of government agencies throughout the United States.


 Background Concerning General Issuance Processing Times

Due to COVID-19 related closures, staffing shortages, and the exciting launch of our Birth and Death Registration System, North Carolina Database Application for Vital Events (NCDAVE), North Carolina Office of Vital Records (NCOVR) has experienced and continues to experience significant delays. NCDAVE is a major step towards the modernization of the NCOVR.

In the meantime, NCOVR is working as diligently as possible to fulfill NCOVR requests. We expect that the implementation of the new system and increase in staffing will lead to shorter processing times. We apologize for any delays during this transition. We understand the frustrations that delays may cause and are working to get back to normal as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.


Last Modified: May 16, 2022