In the State of Maine, when the birth of a child occurs, the birth certificate is filed in the municipal clerk’s office in the town where the birth happened, as well as in the municipal clerk’s office of the town of residence where the mother was living at the time of the child’s birth. For example, if a child was born at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, and the mother was living in the Town of Surry at the time of the child’s birth, a copy of the birth certificate would be filed with the City of Ellsworth and with the Town of Surry. Certified copies of the birth record can be purchased from either town office.
In addition, duplicate copies of all birth records are filed with the State of Maine Office of Vital Records, a division of the Department of Human Services. Their offices are located in Augusta, Maine.
Q&A for New Vital Records Law
Please Note: Records from 1892 and earlier were not required to be recorded with the Clerk. Those records were mostly kept in Family Bibles, Church Registries, Family Journals, etc. Records from 1892 - 1933 are limited due to the Fire in downtown Ellsworth, which destroyed a lot of the records. Although we can search for records, there is a large possibility we will not find records/or complete records from that period. We would be glad to check the information with the Public Library, however would like to have those requests in email form first, before any money is submitted. Requests for records from 1933-present are best fulfilled by using the form and instructions available online.
As of July 12, 2010, a new law preventing fraudulent use of vital records went into effect. Vital records include birth certificates, fetal death and death certificates, marriage certificates, and domestic partner registrations. Maine’s new law requires a person requesting a copy of records less than 100 years old to provide documentation establishing their direct and legitimate interest in the records.
Individuals who may access vital records less than 100 years old include:
- The person named on the record;
- The person’s spouse or registered domestic partner;
- The parent(s) named on the record;
- Descendants of the person named on the record;
- Registrant’s legal custodian, guardian, or conservator or respective authorized representative (includes attorney, physician, or funeral director); and
- Genealogists who have a Maine CDC issued researcher identification card.
Proof of identity must be presented to the municipal and city clerks or state Vital Records Office staff. A brief application for securing a copy of the vital record must be filled out and presented, along with positive identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government issued picture identification that clearly shows that the person requesting the record is who they say they are. If one of these is not available, the requestor will need to show two items from the following: utility bills, bank statements car registration, copy of income tax return, personal check with address, a previously issued vital record, letter from government agency requesting vital record, Department of Corrections ID card, Social Security card, DD214, hospital birth worksheet, license/rental agreement, pay stub or W-2, voter registration card, or a disability card from SSA. Identification requirements apply whether the records are requested in person or by mail.
To order a certified, legal copy of a birth certificate, if the birth occurred in Ellsworth, or if the mother of the child was living in Ellsworth at the time, please write us a letter including the following information:
- Full name of the child, including first, middle and last name
- Date of birth
- Child's Mother's first, middle and maiden names
- Child's Father's first, middle and last names
- Your relationship to the child named on the birth certificate
- Name and mailing address where we should send the certificates
- Number of certified copies you are ordering
- Please include a self addressed stamped #10 (business size) envelope.
It is $15.00 for the first copy and $6.00 for each additional copy of the same record, ordered at the same time.
Please make check or money order payable to The City of Ellsworth. Please note the City DOES NOT accept credit cards. Debit cards are accepted in person, not over the phone.
Mail letter and payment to:
City Clerk's Office
City of Ellsworth
1 City Hall Plaza
Ellsworth, ME 04605
Original birth certificates stay in the town that the child was born, in regardless of where the adoption took place. The adopted information gets forwarded to that town so the birth record can be amended/replaced.