Chicago birth and death records transferred to Clerk's Bureau of Vital Records

August 18, 2009
Press Release
Vital Records

Clerk David Orr announced today that the Vital Records Office of the Chicago Department of Public Health will stop operations and transfer responsibilities to the Cook County Clerk's Bureau of Vital Records, effective Aug. 15.

"This change is just good government," Orr said. "It will eliminate overlapping duties between the city and the county. Plus, consolidation will streamline record-keeping and cut confusion for new Chicago parents trying to get a birth certificate"

Under the old system, Chicago parents had to apply to the City for their newborn's birth certificate, and to a separate County office for older children's birth certificates.

All new birth and death records in the City of Chicago will be filed with the Clerk's office beginning Aug. 15. The transfer will bring a significant increase in the number of funeral directors reporting deaths to the Clerk's office. The number of hospitals reporting births will jump from 11 to 36. The process for applying for a marriage license will not change.

The Cook County Clerk's office processed over 750,000 documents including birth, death and marriage records in 2008. Annual customer transactions will increase by roughly 72,000 documents after the consolidation.

During the transition, there will be a short period from Aug. 17 through Sept. 8 when the Clerk's office will not be issuing birth certificates to parents of babies born in Chicago. Chicago parents are advised to wait until Sept. 9 to request a birth certificate.

Also, the Clerk's downtown location will not accept death filings until September 9. Funeral directors are encouraged to use the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) or visit one of the Clerk's five suburban locations in Bridgeview, Markham, Rolling Meadows, Maywood and Skokie, which will all accept filings starting August 17.

"It makes no sense to have two-shop stopping when you can have one-stop shopping and get the same goods," stated CDPH Commissioner Terry Mason, M.D. "The County has a respected Vital Records operation in place that is swift, accurate and convenient. I am confident that people will like the change."

For Spanish and English Brochures with timely information for Chicago Birth Parents, click on the pdf link below.