Department of Records - City of Philadelphia


New: Purchase Traffic Accident Reports Online! Beginning February 22, 2021 visit:

Welcome to the Department of Records

The Home Rule Charter of 1951 established the Department of Records to ensure that Philadelphia's municipal records were appropriately controlled and managed. The Department sets records management standards and procedures for all City departments, boards, commissions, and agencies, and manages key records operations and services such as the City Archives, the Records Storage Center, the Recorder of Deeds, and central reprographic services.  


The Department also manages public access to municipal records and establishes and collects fees to cover the cost of providing copies of records. As an agent for the Commonwealth and the City Revenue Department, the Records Department also collects realty transfer taxes and document recording fees and, as the official City tax registry, maintains the city's real property database and tax maps. 


James P. Leonard, Esq., Commissioner


Effective November 30, 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has increased the Access to Justice fee portion of the recording fee from $35.50 to $40.25. Accordingly, the recording fee for those documents that include the Access to Justice fee has increased by $4.75. The revised fee schedule can be found at or City Hall Room 111.



Click here for new Fee schedule (English). Effective July 1, 2018. The City Realty Transfer Tax is 3.278%



Our Phone Numbers at a Glance


General Inquiries 215-686-2262
Deed Recording 215-686-2290
Public Safety Incident Reports 215-686-1488
City Archives 215-685-9401

How do I obtain a birth or death certificate?

From 1906 to the present - Birth and death certificates from 1906 to the present are available at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records.

For another potential resource for birth and death certificates for the following time periods, please visit the PA State Archives.

Birth Certificates, 1906-1911
Death Certificates, 1906-1966  

From July 1, 1860 through June 30, 1915

The Philadelphia City Archives has birth and death certificates from July 1, 1860 through June 30, 1915. Contact or visit the City Archives for more information.

Due to public health concerns, the City Archives is open by appointment only. Please call (215) 685-9401 or email us at to contact one of our team members and schedule an appointment.