What Are Birth Records in Alaska?
Alaska birth records are official documents providing details of births that occurred in the state. These vital records are provided by the Health Analytics and Vital Records Unit of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. An Alaskan birth record contains the following details:
- Full name of the child
- Child’s gender
- Date and time of birth
- Place of birth
- Type of birth
- Parents’ full names
- Mother’s maiden name
- Mother’s marital status
- Birth registration number
A birth record is an essential document because it establishes the identity and citizenship of the registrant. It is needed for a number of legal and administrative purposes. The Alaska Bureau of Vital Records only provides birth records for events that occurred in the state. Therefore, an Alaskan birth certificate confirms that the registrant was born in the state and is, therefore, a citizen of the United States. This is useful for processing a Social Security Number, obtaining a passport, and enjoying other benefits of citizenship.
A certified birth certificate is also required when establishing a familial relationship in court. It may be required to settle estate disputes and establish parentage. This vital record may also be needed to claim insurance benefits.
State and federal agencies also need birth records for a number of reasons. Alaska requires these records to track its population growth and the age distribution of the populace. Such data are essential when allocating state resources and enacting public health policies. Researchers also use birth records for genealogical and medical studies.
How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in Alaska
Alaska makes no provision for searching birth records online. Alaskan birth records are confidential for 100 years after they were prepared. Therefore, the public does not have access to the details in these records for the first century. Century-old Alaska birth records that become publicly accessible are maintained by the Alaska State Archives. Use the Archives’ Research Inquiry Form to request these records. Complete and submit the webform to request these archived records or call the Archives at (907) 465-2270. Alternatively, request for archived birth records in person by visiting the Alaska State Archives at:
395 Whittier Street
Juneau, AK 99801
This office is open to the public between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Those requesting recent Alaska birth records online must be eligible to receive such records. The Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records Unit authorizes a third-party provider to process online requests for certified copies of birth records.
Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
- The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.
While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.
How to Get Birth Records in Alaska
Besides online requests, the Alaskan Bureau of Vital Records accepts requests for birth records submitted:
- In person
- By mail
- Via email
- By fax
Eligible persons can request certified copies of birth certificates in person at the Juneau and Anchorage offices of the Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records. The Juneau Office is the main location and its address is:
5441 Commercial Boulevard
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: (907) 465-3391
This Juneau Office accepts walk-in requests for birth records from Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The Anchorage Office is located:
3901 Old Seward Highway
Anchorage, AK 99503
This office is open to the public and accepts birth record requests from Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services encourages residents to submit their requests by other means rather than visit. However, both the Juneau and Anchorage offices of the Vital Records unit accept in-person requests. The Anchorage Office requires that requesters make appointments by calling ahead or sending appointment emails to email@example.com. For walk-in requests, the Vital Records Offices require those visiting to bring along printed and completed forms. Those without access to printers should arrive at least 5 minutes before their appointments to complete the required forms.
To submit a mail request for an Alaskan birth record, send the completed form, payment, and all required documents to the mailing address of the Juneau Office. Mail the request to:
Health Analytics and Vital Records
P.O. Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99811-0675
Mail a completed Alaska Birth Certificate Request Form and a photocopy of one of these acceptable government-issued IDs:
- ID issued by Alaska state government
- Driver’s license
- Military ID
- School ID
- Tribal/BIA card with photo
Call the Juneau Office, before sending your request, if you do not have any of these IDs.
To submit a request for certified copies of a birth record by email, send a scanned copy of the ID and the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a fax request, fax the scanned documents to (907) 465-3618. Call 10 minutes after sending a fax request to confirm that it has been received.
Note that the Alaska Vital Records Office can request additional information and documents after submitting a request for a birth record. The requester should reply and provide the requested records within 180 days or their application would expire. After this period, they would need to submit a new request for the records needed.
Where Can I Find Birth Records in Alaska?
All birth records in Alaska are prepared and provided by the Health Analytics and Vital Records Unit of the state’s Department of Health and Social Services. Those requiring access to these records must visit or contact the Office. Only birth records provided by the Vital Records Office are considered legal and accurate in Alaska.
How to Get Birth Records from Hospitals in Alaska
Hospitals do not provide birth records in Alaska. While they prepare hospital records for all births, these are forwarded to the state’s Health Analytics and Vital Records Section to prepare certified birth certificates. These reports of births cannot be used to legally establish identities and are not considered equivalent to birth certificates.
Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Record in Alaska?
No. Alaska is a closed records state with regards to vital records. It holds all birth records confidential for 100 years before making them publicly available. During this period, the only individuals that can access and request a birth record are:
- The registrant or child listed on the certificate
- Parents listed on the certificate
- Legal guardian
Alaska requires a child requesting their own birth certificate to be at least 14 years old. The child must also provide a current school ID to confirm their identity. A legal guardian requesting certified copies of a birth record must provide certified guardianship papers establishing their status.
The Alaskan Vital Records Unit may also grant access to a third party as long as they have a notarized letter of consent provided by the registrant/child or the legal guardian specifically authorizing the release of their birth record. Attorneys of a registrant can also request for their client’s birth record but they must provide supporting documentation and a letter on a letterhead stating their claim, relationship to the registrant, and why they need the requested record. The same requirements are expected of government agencies requesting Alaska birth records.
How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in Alaska?
The Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records Unit charges $30 for the first certified copy of a birth certificate. Each additional copy of the same birth certificate ordered at the same time costs $25. Alaska also charges $30 for a birth certificate correction such as the inclusion of a legally changed name.
In addition to certified copies of birth records, Alaska Vital Records also provides apostille and heirloom copies. The first apostille copy of an Alaska birth certificate costs $12 while each additional copy costs $2. The cost for the first heirloom birth certificate is $55. Each additional heirloom copy costs $50.
The state’s Vital Records Unit also lets requesters ask for expedited service. To guarantee processing their request within 2 business days, a requester must pay an additional $11 fee. Note that expedited processing is not the same as expedited delivery. The Alaska Vital Records Unit sends processed requests and certified birth certificates by regular mail by default. This does not cost extra and the agency does not provide tracking numbers for orders processed in this way.
Requesters can ask for expedited delivery via Priority Mail, Express Mail, and FedEx. The Vital Records Unit charges $9 for expedited Priority Mail delivery that includes package tracking but does not require recipient’s signature. The cost of Priority Mail delivery that includes tracking and signature is $12.
The FedEx option is for requesters looking to have their certified certificates delivered to home and office addresses rather than post office boxes. FedEx delivery within Alaska costs $25 while delivery outside the state costs $30. Both options include tracking and signature.
Request fee as well as optional expedited and shipping fees must be paid when submitting a request. These fees are non-refundable. For walk-in requests, the Alaska Vital Records Unit accepts cash, check, money order, and credit cards. Cash is not accepted for mail requests. Rather, requesters must pay with checks or money orders. Note that the Vital Records Unit charges $30 for a returned check. Alternatively, they may provide their credit card information in the payment section of the request form. Only credit card payment is accepted for fax requests. Call the office for an acceptable payment method if opting for an email request.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in Alaska?
The fastest way to get a birth certificate in Alaska is to request for it in person at the Anchorage or Juneau office of the state’s Vital Records Unit. Most walk-in requests can be completed in the same day while requesters wait. However, some requests may take 48 business hours to complete. Furthermore, the Anchorage Office does not have all birth records prepared in the state.
The speed of processing an online request depends on the third-party provider. The Vital Records Unit processes mailed requests within 4 weeks of receipt. Faxed requests take 2 - 3 weeks to process. However, these can be expedited for faster processing times. After processing, requesters must then wait for their birth certificates to be delivered. Delivery speed varies widely depending on the shipping method and speed selected as well as the destination. Unless they opt for expedited shipping, requesters should expect their birth certificates to be delivered about a week after the processing periods.
How to Expunge Your Birth Records in Alaska
Expungement is a legal provision for removing or destroying all or a specific section of an individual’s records. It mostly applies to criminal records and is commonly used to erase juvenile criminal records. Expungement does not apply to birth records and Alaska makes no provision for the removal of information on certified birth certificates. The only way an Alaska birth record can be modified is via correction. If a detail on the certificate is incorrect, the registrant may apply for its change after fully demonstrating that a mistake was made. Birth record corrections most often relate to misspelled names and name changes.
How to Seal Your Birth Records in Alaska
There is no reason to seal a birth record in Alaska as the state keeps all birth records confidential for the first 100 years. During this period, no one but the registrant and their parents/legal guardian/legal representatives can access their birth record. For all intents and purposes, the records are sealed. Similarly, original birth certificates of adoptees are sealed along with other adoption records. New birth certificates issued to adoptees after their adoption processes are completed are also made confidential in Alaska and not accessible by the general public.
How to Unseal Your Birth Records in Alaska
Regular birth records in Alaska cannot be unsealed during the 100-year period in which the state makes all birth records confidential. Original birth certificates of adoptees in Alaska are sealed and only available to the registrants when they turn 18. When they become adults, adoptees may petition Alaska courts to unseal their adoption records. If granted their requests, they may then take the court orders provided to the Health Analytics and Vital Records Unit of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to obtain non-certified copies of their original birth certificates.