Birth Records

Birth records 100 years or older are public record. All records less than 100 years old are only available, by request, to a close blood relative.

Applying for a Record

Persons born in Rhode Island may obtain a birth certificate at Rhode Island State Vital Records, in the town or city in which they were born, or, if their parents resided in Portsmouth at the time of the birth, at the Portsmouth town clerk's office. One may apply in person, at which time he or she will be required to complete a state mandated form and present an official picture ID (such as a driver's license or military ID.)

Requesting a Record by Mail
A birth certificate may be requested by mail. Information to include is the individual's birth name, date of birth, mother's maiden name and father's name. A photocopy of the individual's picture ID (such as a driver's license or military ID) must be included with the request. For ease of use, access a birth certificate request form.

Fees & Payments
A money order, payable to the Town of Portsmouth, must also be included. The fee is $20 for the first, and $15 for each additional birth certificate requested (of the same person). A self-addressed, stamped envelope should also be included for a speedy response. A contact name and telephone number is suggested in the event additional information is needed or questions arise. Every attempt is made to respond within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. Requests should be mailed to:

Town Clerk's Office
2200 E. Main Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871

State Law
Pursuant to Rhode Island State Law, one may only obtain a birth certificate for the following:
  • Oneself
  • Parent
  • Children
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent
One must be able to prove relationship if the last names are different.  A social worker or attorney may also obtain a birth certificate for his/her client. In some instances, the birth record may only be on file in the State of Rhode Island Vital Records Office.  The town clerk's office will inform you if that is the case.