How to Get a Copy of Divorce Papers in Washington State
By Brenna Swanston
Updated March 15, 2018
If you need a certified copy of a divorce certificate in Washington, you can get it in one of several ways: either by ordering it through the mail, by phone, by going online and ordering through VitalChek, or by walking into the Washington Department of Health office. Be prepared to shell out a fee for ordering the divorce certificate, and expect to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive your order, depending on the ordering method you choose.
Ordering by Mail
To order a divorce certificate by mail, you'll have to download, print and fill out the Washington State Department of Health marriage and divorce certificate order form, found online at the department's website. Make out a check to the Department of Health for $20 per certificate, plus additional fees for faster shipping ($18.30 for express mail, $15 for FedEx within the continental United States or $25 for FedEx to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Mexico).
Mail your order form and payment to the Department of Health at P.O. Box 9709, Olympia, WA 98507. Your order will ship out three weeks after your payment is processed.
Washington state partners with VitalChek for online orders of vital records, including divorce certificates. Simply create an account and follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your order.
VitalChek does cost more than ordering vital records by mail: $26.50 per certificate. Your certificate will ship within two to three business days of your order placement.
Ordering by Phone
This is the most expensive and restricted method of ordering a Washington divorce certificate. It costs $31.50 per certificate, and the Department of Health offers call hours only from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, it's also a relatively fast way to get your divorce certificate; it should be on its way to you within one to two business days from the time you place your order.
Call 360-236-4313 to order a copy of a divorce certificate by phone.
Placing a Walk-In Order
Of all the ways in which you can order a Washington state divorce certificate, just doing a walk-in is fastest and cheapest. Go in person to the Department of Health at 101 Israel Road SE, Tumwater, Washington, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. It costs $20 per certificate, and your divorce certificate should ship the same day, unless you order after 4 p.m., in which case it will ship on the next business day.
Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She covers topics including environment, education, agriculture, travel, immigration and religion. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, Calif., and holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University. Swanston is an avid traveler and loves jazz, yoga and craft beer.