The Registro Civil--a public service institution that manages original documentation of deaths, births, and marriages—keeps records about the population of Mexico that date back to 1859. To locate Mexican vital records, you must contact the civil registry of a specific municipio, or municipality. In addition, you can order some civil registry records online.

Locate Vital Records at the Registro Civil

Collect the required information. Collect the full name, place of birth, and date of birth of the individual about whom you are requesting records. In addition, gather the date of the event--marriage, birth or death--for which you are requesting records. You can also contact the local Roman Catholic Church parish for additional information about the person. Catholic parishes in Mexico have maintained vital records for parish members since 1530.

Visit the Registro Civil where the person lived, died, or married. Request and complete any required paperwork using the information you collected during your research. Pay the required fee to locate the record, which in 2010 typically costs between $20 and $35 in U.S. currency. The process can take up to two days to complete.

Return for the certified record. The clerk typically provides a specific timeframe for you to return. Return to the Registro Civil to collect the records you requested.

Locate Vital Records Online

Go online to the Directorate General of Civil Registration website (rcivil.df.gob.mx). Click "Haga su solicitud ahora y pague posteriormente en el banco" at the bottom of the page, which loosely translated means "Apply now and pay later at the bank." (See the Resources for a link to the site.)

Click the type of record--death, birth, or marriage--you are interested in ordering. Click nacimiento (birth), matrimonio (marriage), or defunción (death) to select the type of record.

Select the type and registration year of the record. Under the "Tipo de registro," or type of registration, select the registration type. As of early 2010, you could only select from “Normal." Other options include "Inscripcion" (registration) or “Consulado” (consulate). Select the type of record you would like to order. Select the year of registration from the drop-down menu titled "Año de registro."

Enter the date of registration information on the following page titled "Datos registrales." Enter the required information. Under "Nombre del Titular," or "holder name," enter the name of the record holder. For marriages, enter both "Nombre del Titular" and "Nombre de la Titular." These are the names of the bride and groom. For births or deaths, enter the name of the individual next to "Nombre del Registrado." Under the "Juzgado," or court, enter the court that oversees the jurisdiction using the drop-down menu. Enter the date of the event next to "Fecha de..." Click “Continuar."

Review the location provided. The site will provide a location with hours of operation from which you can order certified copies. Contact the location to determine payment arrangements, which typically take place at a bank specified by the Registro Civil. The website will provide contact information for the court that oversees the jurisdiction.