Vital Records and the Power of Technology
It used to be that finding vital records, things like birth certificates, Social Security information, employment records, criminal records and the like, required a time consuming and inconvenient trip to the local county courthouse or similar building. Times have certainly changed in that regard, and today many vital records are available at the touch of a button or the click of a mouse. Those who are authorized to see such records can often find what they are looking for in only a matter of minutes, not the days or weeks it used to take.
Of course before you can find all that information at your fingertips, you will need to know what is available in your location, and where to find that information. Vital records are available at a number of public agencies, as well as from a growing number of private organizations who specialize in collecting and disseminating such information.
For instance, vital records such as birth certificates are often retained by the health department in various states, and that is a logical place to start. Likewise, information on driver licensing and driving records can often be found at the department of motor vehicles for the various states. Starting with the home page of the state government is often a good place to start the search for vital records.
When the vital records in question are military records, the military branches themselves would be a good place to start the search. The military has many records on all branches, stretching back for decades. Veterans and others often tap these important resources in order to plan reunions, catch up with old colleagues or just experience times gone by.
When searching for vital records it is important to gather as much information in advance as possible. Knowing important information like place of birth, date of birth, maiden name, Social Security number, dates of military service or college attendance and the like will usually make the search for vital records go a lot more smoothly. Having this information readily at hand will also ensure the agency on the other end of the computer screen that you are entitled to look at the information you seek.
Some agencies are more restrictive with their information than others of course. While some vital records are truly public documents, fully available to anyone who wants to see them, others are more restricted, and only those with a legitimate need to know are entitled to see those vital records.
In order to access the vital records of others, outside assistance is often required. Fortunately, that assistance is readily available in the form of a number of excellent companies whose sole function is to search vital records on behalf of their clients. These companies can be valuable tools in ferreting out the most valuable vital records from the myriad of state, local and federal agencies that are responsible for their retention. Those in search of vital records for themselves, family members, job applicants or others would do well to see what these companies have to offer.