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Obtaining Rhode Island Divorce Certificates

Introduction to Rhode Island Divorce Certificates


This article is designed to help you get a Rhode Island Divorce certificate.  Divorce Certificates are a bit more difficult to obtain than Divorce Certificates and Death Certificates.  The main difficulty in obtaining Divorce Certificates is that states have not been registering Divorces for as long as other vital records.  There are some states that still do not register Divorces.  Due to this lack of centralization it is common to contact the county in which the Divorce took place.

Counter to common belief, not everything is a few clicks away on the Internet.  Divorce Certificates are one of the items that you can’t just click some links and get a copy of your Divorce Certificate; this is probably a good thing.  You do not want your Divorce certificate in the public domain, where it can be seen by anyone.  However, this does not mean that you can’t easily get your Divorce certificate by following the correct procedure. 

Rhode Island Divorce certificates are not maintained by the Rhode Island State Office of Vital Records.  To obtain a Rhode Island Divorce Certificate you must order online or contact the Clerk of Family Court.


Rhode Island Divorce Certificate Authorized Persons


By Rhode Island state law, Vital records are confidential. Therefore, only those individuals who have what is called a "Direct and Tangible Interest" in the records may have access to records. The following individuals and/or groups make-up those having direct and tangible interest:

  • The person named on the certificate, a member of his/her immediate family, his guardian, or an authorized agent of these individuals; or
  • Attorneys-at-law, title examiners, or members of legally incorporated genealogical societies, in the conduct of their official duties; or
  • Persons requiring information for the determination or protection of a personal or property right; or
  • A person who has been granted a court order instructing the registrar to provide disclosure.

Note: A direct and tangible interest shall not be demonstrated by firms, agencies, or individuals requesting information to be used for commercial purposes.


Rhode Island Divorce Certificate for Genealogy Purpose


Anyone can obtain a Rhode Island Divorce Certificate, 100 years or later from the date of the Divorce for genealogy or other reasons.


Rhode Island Divorce Certificate Ordering


Options Option 1 – Order Rhode Island Divorce Certificate Online

This option is the simplest and easiest way to get your Rhode Island Divorce Certificate.  Order online and you will get your Rhode Island Divorce Certificate usually in less than a week.  Many times you will have the option of receiving your vital record by next-day or second-day service.

Order Birth and Death Records Online!  


Option 2 – Order Rhode Island Divorce Certificate through the Mail

Follow the instructions below, if you are not ordering your Rhode Island Divorce certificate online.  It usually takes 4-6 weeks upon receipt of request to be sent to you:

Step 1: Download Mail-In Application

Step 2: Please provide as much of the following information as possible to locate the Rhode Island Divorce certificate:

  • Full name of husband on the Rhode Island Divorce certificate
  • Full maiden name of wife on the Rhode Island Divorce certificate
  • Date of Divorce on the Rhode Island Divorce certificate
  • County (or city) of Divorce on the Rhode Island Divorce certificate
  • Your name 
  • Your signature 
  • Your relationship to the person whose Rhode Island Divorce certificate you are requesting 
  • Address where the Rhode Island Divorce certificate is to be mailed 
  • Self addressed stamped envelope
  • Your daytime phone number
  • By Mail: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:


Rhode Island Department of Health, Division of Vital Records
3 Capitol Hill, Rm. 101
Providence, RI 02908-5097


Option 3 – In Person

In Person in Rhode Island: You may go to any county health department in the State of Rhode Island to obtain a certified copy of a Rhode Island Divorce certificate. Most Rhode Island Divorce certificates can be issued while you wait.


Rhode Island Divorce Certificate Ordering Cost


The fee to search for a Rhode Island Divorce certificate is $3.00, which includes one certified copy of the Rhode Island Divorce certificate or a "Certificate of Failure to Find." For each additional copy of the Rhode Island Divorce certificate ordered at the same time, the fee is $3.00. Checks or Money Orders should be made payable to "Clerk of Family Court of Rhode Island." Please do not send cash. Fees are not refundable. Additional fees are required for expedited service. 

Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2009 22:30