How to Find My Dad's Records

There are several reasons why you would want your fathers important documentation like birth certificate, death certificate, military records or even criminal records. You need these records if he needs to travel, for health reasons or to find out more about your genealogy if he is deceased . To find copies of the records you must show proof of your relationship and guardianship (if that is the case.) You need to know your father's full name and the state in which he was born. To obtain military records you will also need to know in which branch he served and the approximate years of his service.

Things You'll Need

  • Fathers Name
  • State born in
  • Military branch


  1. Vital Records

    • 1

      Locate the vital records or county clerks office in the state in which your father was born by contacting the National Center for Health Statistics.

    • 2

      Make a personal visit to the vital statistics office where your father was born or navigate to the state health department website. State department websites offer information on obtaining copies of birth certificates, marriage records or death certificates. In many states you can fill out an application directly on the website. However, not all states will allow you to apply for a birth certificate online, and will either require a request by mail or in person.

    • 3

      Write a letter requesting the birth certificate or death certificate for your father. You need to supply his name, his parent's names, the year he was born, the county in which he was born and your relationship to him. You may also need to explain the reason for soliciting the information. Be sure to add the mailing address to which you want the birth certificate or death certificate sent.

    • 4

      Send the required information by mail or electronically to the appropriate vital statistics office, along with the required fee. The fee will vary by state. You can get this information from the state vital statistics website or by contacting the office directly from the information given to you by the National Center of Health Statistics.

    Online Genealogy Records

    • 1

      Navigate to a genealogy website such as Family Search, Ancestry or Family Link Tree.

    • 2

      Sign up with the website to become a member. Some websites offer free trial periods after which a monthly membership fee is charged. The approximate starting fee is $15 per month.

    • 3

      Enter your father's name and birth or death location. View the documents online and have a hard copy sent to you through the mail.

    Government records

    • 1

      Navigate to websites like Gov Records or the National Archives to find other types of records, including military or government records.

    • 2

      Fill out the online form with your father's first and last name, state and city.

    • 3

      Pay the required fee which will differ depending on the website you use. Expect the information to be sent to your email address or through the mail. This depends on the website you use to conduct the search.

    Criminal Records

    • 1

      Visit websites like DMV or Check Criminal records to look for any existing criminal records, if your father is living and you suspect he may be associated with some kind of crime.

    • 2

      Enter your father's first and last name.

    • 3

      Input the state and city in which he lives and pay the online fee to conduct the search. Expect the records to be sent through the mail or e-mailed to you depending on the site's criteria.

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