Don’t Overpay for Official Certificates
October 2, 2018
Because the Vital Statistics Services Office at the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is the only official source of Wyoming birth, death and other certificate services, frustrations and high fees can result if residents are not cautious of online providers.
“We frequently receive complaints from customers who use companies that claim to quickly get official certificates,” said Guy Beaudoin, deputy state registrar with the WDH Vital Statistics Services Office. “We do not want Wyoming residents to be fooled by the unrealistic service claims many of these online-based companies make and we don’t want them to pay unneeded high fees.”
Beaudoin noted many companies pay to have their web sites listed first by online search engines. “People searching for Wyoming marriage, divorce, birth or death certificates may click on the first listing without making sure it’s the correct, official source,” Beaudoin explained.
“Our office truly is the only source for Wyoming’s official certificates,” Beaudoin said. “What happens with many of these companies is they collect information from consumers, have individuals sign a release document and then simply forward a completed application to our office for processing. It’s an added step that adds time rather than getting people what they want any faster. We’ve also heard of these companies taking money and then doing nothing or sending outdated forms or information to their customers.”
Vital Statistics Services charges no more than $20 for providing official documents. Beaudoin said secondary providers charge as much as three or four times the state fees.
“We suggest people contact our office directly rather than spending extra money,” Beaudoin said. “If someone needs quick service we will do our best to help. Certificate requests are processed within three days. Depending on the shipping method, documents may be received within a week. Prepaid shipping envelopes can help.”
Beaudoin suggested visiting the WDH web site at https://health.wyo.gov/admin/vitalstatistics/. People may also choose to call 307-777-7591 for help. The Vital Statistics Services office may be visited in person in Cheyenne at 2300 Capitol Avenue on the first floor of the Hathaway Building.