It may be one of the smallest states in the United States but it was part of the original group of 13 colonies that first settled from Europe which makes it very notable. If you have ancestry in Delaware, you'll find you can research back much farther than most other states by hundreds of years.
Officially, the state only started collecting birth records in 1913 but you can sometimes find older records back to 1710 if you research outside the state collections.
There are three Vital Statistics offices in Delaware, specifically in Newark, Dover and Georgetown. The Dover office is the main one though all three will provide you with Delaware birth records searches. If you are applying by mail, send your application to the Dover office. Their address is Jesse S. Cooper Bldg, 417 Federal Street, Dover DE, 19901 USA. The addresses for the other offices (for in-person requests) are listed on the application form.
The Delaware Health and Social Services website (http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ss/files/birth.pdf) has the form you will need to fill out when applying. Provide them with the name, birth date, place of birth and parents names in order to get the most accurate results back.
With the application form, you need to pay $25 USD per record requested. You won't get any refunds if they are unable to locate the birth certificate you need either. Checks or money orders must be made out to the Office of Vital Statistics. They don't take credit cards.
You will only be able to make a request for birth certificates more recent than 72 years ago unless you are an immediate relative (child, parent, spouse) of the person on the record. When you submit your application, you'll need to provide proof if you are after a Delaware birth record still under this restriction.
But those that are now in the public domain are free to research, and you can also find microfilm copies of them at the Delaware Public Archives if you don't actually need a state certified copy. The archives are also filled with other types of records worth searching through if you are unable to locate a true birth registration. They have archived newspapers, court records, church records, and a number of city directories among others. You can visit the archive at 121 Duke of York Street in Dover. They will do requested searches but only through known indexes, and they will quote you a cost for it.
The information you can expect when you get your Delaware birth record will vary based on the time it was created and the the particular town's customs. They do tend to be sparse either way though. Early records may only indicate the name of the child, their race and their parents names. Even the birth date may only be an estimation or a range. Later records (after 1881 generally) will include the sex and proper date and place of birth as well.
To obtain a copy of your Delaware birth certificate, you should take the following steps:
Fill out the Delaware Birth Certificate application and print out the completed form.
Gather any proof needed to establish your eligibility to access the birth records. A copy of your state-issued photo ID should accompany all requests.
Mail in the application or take it in person to one of the three processing centers. You will also need to include a check or money order in the amount of $25 to cover fees.
If you require additional assistance or information on Delaware birth records, you can contact the Department at:
Delaware Office of Vital Statistics
Jesse S. Cooper Bldg.
417 Federal St.
Dover, Delaware 19901
How To Request Copies of Delaware Birth Records
If you are interested in obtaining Delaware birth records, then there are several methods that you can use to access them. Records can be requested online, by mail, by telephone, or in person at one of the three state locations.
Placing a Request for Birth Records
Delaware birth records can be requested by mail, phone, internet, and in person. You will need to complete the application and include the appropriate fee. Online requests are processed by an independent company and may be subject to additional charges.
Restrictions to Obtaining Birth Records
To be able to access Delaware birth records, you must be either the person listed in the record, parent or legal guardian, their spouse, or be able to prove a legal reason to access the record.