Obtaining Vital Records from the U.S.

The Consulate does not keep permanent files of issued documents, e.g., a Consular Report of Birth or documents dealing with the death of an American in Hong Kong. These records are instead filed in Washington. We also do not keep copies of Hong Kong civil documents, such as records of marriages and divorces in Hong Kong. These records are held by the Hong Kong government. Other records, such as birth certificates for people born in the U.S., are stored in the state of issuance.

This page is designed to help you locate the vital record documents you need. Jump ahead to information on obtaining vital documents from …

  • The Department of State
  • U.S. States
  • U.S. Police Clearances/Criminal Records Checks

Hong Kong government records cannot be obtained through the Consulate. Please contact the Hong Kong government directly for these files.

Documents that Must Be Ordered from the Department of State in Washington

A document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a birth abroad of a child acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth through one or both parents. This record, also known as an FS-240, along with the Certification of Birth, DS-1350, are acceptable as proof of birth and U.S. citizenship for all legal purposes.

A document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a death abroad of an American citizen. The document is based upon the local death certificate.

A document issued by an American embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a marriage abroad in which at least one party is an American Citizen. A consular officer must have attended the ceremony. This accommodation was discontinued in 1985.

See While Abroad to learn more about requesting one of these documents from the Department of State.

Requests for Reports of Birth (FS-240 & DS-1350), Death (OF-180), Certificates of Witness to Marriage, and Panama Canal Zone birth and death certificates must be notarized, and the request must include a copy of a valid photo identification of the requester (driver’s license, passport, etc.)

This notarial can be done at no charge at the Consulate. Please email ACSHK@state.gov for more information about the current availability of this service.

Documents that Must Be Obtained from a U.S. State

Vital Records are documents such as birth, death or marriage certificates. In the U.S., such records are usually held by state, county or city governments, depending on location. Here is some information to assist you in obtaining copies of such records.

See Where to Write for Vital Records for an on-line source of more information about obtaining vital records in the U.S., such as birth certificates.

Police Clearances/Criminal Records Checks

These checks cannot be obtained from the Consulate. Instead, please see below for more information.


Last modified: June 1, 2020