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How to Find a Birth Record in New Mexico?

What Are Birth Records in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, records of all the births occurring within the state’s boundaries are maintained by the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS). Typically, after registration of births, certified copies of such birth records are available to eligible persons upon request. Statewide recording of births in New Mexico began in 1920, but before then, some entities (including churches) were already documenting sparse records of births. A typical New Mexico birth certificate contains the following information:

  • Holder’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of birth registration
  • Gender
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ full names
  • Mother’s maiden name

Birth certificates are a means of identification. New Mexico emphasizes birth registration for various reasons. In New Mexico, a birth record is required to obtain vital documents such as a driver’s license, passport, and social security. Birth records are also used for school registration, proof of citizenship, and other legal purposes.

How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in New Mexico

Members of the public cannot look up New Mexico birth records online because they are not publicly available until after 100 years of birth events. Only certain persons are eligible to obtain birth records whose registration dates are less than 100 years. The state, however, approves online applications for New Mexico birth records using the service of any authorized third-party vital records vendor.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.

How to Get Birth Records in New Mexico

Obtaining New Mexico Birth Records Before 1920

Persons seeking to obtain records of births registered before 1920 can begin their search at the State Records Center and Archives (SRCA) in New Mexico. The Center maintains archived records gathered from different entities during that period. These archived records exist as microfilm, and interested persons can access them. To obtain certified copies of such birth records, especially for research purposes, requesters should complete the Conditions for Publication/Reproduction Form. A completed application form may be submitted in person or via mail at/to:

New Mexico State Records and Archives
1205 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM 87507

Obtaining New Mexico Birth Records Post-1920

Eligible persons can obtain New Mexico birth records from 1920 to the present at the New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS). Some Local County Health Departments in New Mexico also issue certified copies of birth records. Requesters should complete the Birth Record Search Application or write a letter with the following information to the BVRHS:

  • Registrant’s name (Name of the person on the birth record)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Mother’s name (maiden name included)
  • Father’s full name
  • Relationship to the registrant (if requesting on registrant’s behalf)
  • Reason for requesting the birth certificate
  • Requester’s name and signature
  • Mailing address

Birth records in New Mexico from 1920 are closed records by law for 100 years, and only specific persons are eligible to access such birth records. To obtain a certified copy of a birth record in New Mexico, a requester is required to attach a valid government-issued document as proof of identity. Acceptable proof of identity include:

  • Valid government-issued driver’s license
  • Valid government-issued identification card
  • Passport
  • Mexican matricula
  • Military ID
  • Foreign passport w/visa and I‐94

A requester who does not possess any photo-identification can provide two of the following alternative documents as proof of identity:

  • Social Security Card with Signature
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • School Records
  • Marriage Application
  • Social Security Numident
  • Voter’s Registration Card
  • Medical Records
  • Tax Form
  • Tribal ID
  • School ID

Applicants can submit their requests with required documents and payment proof in person or by mail. Usually, in-person birth record requests in New Mexico are quickly processed and fulfilled compared to mail-in applications.

Where Can I Find Birth Records in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS) is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of birth records in New Mexico. It receives birth record requests by mail and processes in-person applications for eligible requesters.

Walk-In Requests

For walk-in requests of certified copies of birth records in New Mexico, qualified persons can submit completed applications and the required documents at:

Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
1105 South Saint Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505

The BVRHS offices open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for in-person applications. For further inquiries, requesters may call the BVRHS on (505) 827-0121.

Mail-In Requests

Requesters can equally opt to apply for New Mexican birth records by mail. Completed applications, supporting documents, and payment proof should be enclosed with self-addressed stamped envelopes and mailed to:

New Mexico Vital Records
P.O. Box 25767
Albuquerque, NM 87125

The BVRHS requires requesters to include their physical addresses and not post-office boxes when applying for birth records.

Some Local County Health Departments in New Mexico complement the efforts of the BVRHS in issuing birth records. The Health Departments in Bernalillo, Socorro, and McKinley counties are examples of such departments providing vital records services.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in New Mexico?

Certified copies of New Mexico birth certificates can only be obtained by specific persons. In New Mexico, birth records are closed for 100 years and only become public records after a hundred years of registration. Persons who are eligible to obtain certified copies of birth records that are not publicly available in New Mexico include:

  • A person named on the certificate age 18 years and older (Registrant)
  • Registrant’s mother
  • Registrant’s father, whose name appears on the certificate
  • Registrant’s siblings (they must show evidence of relationship to the registrant)
  • Maternal grandparents of the registrant (they must also show proof of relationship)
  • Paternal grandparents of the registrant (they are only eligible if the registrant’s father’s name appears on the certificate. Proof of relationship is also required)
  • Registrant’s children (proof of relationship required)
  • Registrant’s current spouse (documentary confirmation of marriage to the registrant is compulsory)

Requesters who are not members of the registrant’s immediate family must provide documents to prove legal interests in the records requested.

How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in New Mexico?

Certified copies of birth records obtained from the State Records Center and Archives (SRCA) cost $0.50 each. The SRCA staff pays $0.25 for 8 ½ x 11 sized photocopies of archived records, while patrons pay $0.10 for the same size. Other fees apply depending on the dimensions and status of requesters.

It costs $10 to obtain one copy of a New Mexico birth certificate from the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS). Each additional copy of birth certificates in the same order costs $10. When applying for New Mexico birth records by mail, requesters should enclose proof of payment with their applications. All checks and money orders are payable to the New Mexico Vital Record. The cost of amending birth certificates in the state is $10. Birth certificate fees paid in New Mexico are non-refundable even if the record requested cannot be found.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in New Mexico?

The BVRHS processes and fulfills birth record requests on the same day for applications made in person. Walk-in requests are treated on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the BVRHS sometimes stops receiving new in-person applications before the official closing hour to enable them to process large volumes of birth records requests. New Mexico birth certificate requests submitted via mail are usually processed and fulfilled within six to twelve weeks after the receipt of applications.

How to Expunge Your Birth Records in New Mexico

Expungement of a record is the permanent removal of all or part of the information in a person’s record. Public access to an expunged record is always restricted. Persons seeking to expunge records must do so by petitioning a court of law. There are currently no provisions for birth records expungement in New Mexico.

How to Seal Your Birth Records in New Mexico

New Mexico seals adoption records after all adoption processes. As a part of the adoption process, a completed Report of Adoption and final decree of adoption must be submitted to the State Registrar. Once submitted, adoptees’ original birth certificates are sealed and substituted by new birth certificates. The parties involved in an adoption must ensure that copies of the report of adoption and final decree of adoption submitted to the State Registrar are certified by the Clerk of the Court. Any alteration renders both documents invalid. The vital information on a sealed original birth certificate is usually the same as that of the new birth certificate, except for the parents name change. The adoptive parents’ names replace the names of an adoptee’s birth parents in the new birth certificate.

How to Unseal Your Birth Records in New Mexico

An adoptee in New Mexico requires the consent of their birth parents and a court order to access their sealed birth record. After the adoption processes, birth parents are expected to notify the court of their consent or dissent to:

  • Allow adoptees to contact them in the future
  • The release of their identity to adoptees (18 years and older) or the adoptive parents if adoptees are under 18 years of age

Any decision made by birth parents can be amended at any point at the court, adoption agency, or the New Mexico Department of Health. If a birth parent disagrees to let an adoptee gain access to their identifying information, such an adoptee can still access the following information:

  • Health and medical history of birth parents
  • Adoptee’s health and medical history
  • Adoptee’s general family background, including ancestral information, with efforts not to disclose name references or geographical designations
  • Birth parents’ physical descriptions

An adoptee whose birth parents have dissented to having their identities released can file motions to overturn such a decision at the court. Doing so will enable them to unseal their birth record. However, the adoptee’s petition to the court to unseal birth and adoption records must be based on a good cause. To determine if there is indeed good cause to disclose the information in a sealed adoption record, the court considers the following:

  • The reason for requesting to unseal the record
  • A possible way of satisfying the adoptees’ request without disclosing the name or identity of birth parents. This includes the appointment of a confidential intermediary to contact birth parents and seek their consent to grant adoptees access to birth records
  • If the birth parents are still alive.
  • Report or recommendation of any individual appointed by the court to assess adoptee’s requests
  • If the purpose of releasing the information in a sealed birth record to an adoptee supersedes the reasons for which birth parents do not want to grant access to the adoptees

If the court, after carefully reviewing an adoptee’s petition, rules in their favor, their birth record will be unsealed. Consequently, such an adoptee will have access to the content of their sealed birth and adoption record.