New Mexico Vital Records
This entry was originally written by Karen Stein Daniel, CG and Margaret Windham for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
New Mexico’s vital records are divided between a statewide index for births and deaths and county clerks’ offices where marriage records are filed. Statewide recording began in 1920, although some earlier records may be found, including those found as part of real estate transactions in some counties. Additionally, there are some delayed certificates of birth from 1866 to 1895 and some death certificates beginning in 1889.
Access to the statewide index of births and deaths is available through the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico Vital Records, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM 87502, or in person at 1105 S. Saint Francis Dr. in Santa Fe www.health.state.nm.us. The non-refundable fee for a birth certificate search and copy is $10, and $5 for a death certificate search and copy. Birth and death records are restricted and issued only to immediate family members or others demonstrating “a tangible legal interest.” Birth records are closed for 100 years, and death records for fifty years.
The New Mexico Death Index Project (1899–1940), an online resource available to researchers at www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/nm/nmdi.htm is a volunteer effort to locate names in preparation for ordering death certificates from the New Mexico Department of Health. The index contains first and last names, middle initials (and corrected information), date and county of death, and age. Additionally, the Genealogical Society of Utah has microfilmed certificates of death (1889–1945), with deaths for Native Americans listed separately. These are available through the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.
Requests for marriage records should go to the county clerk in the county where the license was issued. Some marriage records are also located at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives (see New Mexico Archives, Libraries, and Societies); detailed lists for the various counties may be accessed through the “Online Archive of New Mexico” at http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm. This online archive also includes some coroner, inquest, and justice of the peace records for the various counties.
Divorces are filed through the district court serving the county in which the divorce was granted. Records before 1912 are located in court dockets at the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
FamilySearch.org has a variety of collections available for free online:
- New Mexico, Births and Christenings, 1726-1918
- New Mexico, Marriages, 1751-1918
- New Mexico, County Marriages, 1885-1954
- New Mexico, Deaths and Burials, 1788-1798, 1838-1955
- Nex Mexico, Deaths, 1889-1945
- New Mexico, County Death Records, 1907-1952
- New Mexico Birth, Marriage, and Death Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing New Mexico birth, marriage, and death records (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Includes links to FamilySearch vital record databases.
- New Mexico Marriages Search Engine - free New Mexico marriages search engine that has indexed marriages posted across the web.
- New Mexico Obituary and Death Notice Archive - free New Mexico obituary archive that has transcribed obits from across the state.
- New Mexico Library of Files - free New Mexico obituary and data files archive from across the state.