From 1904 until 1979, the Canal Zone Government registered all civil acts of birth, death, and marriage in the Canal Zone for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Since 1979, the Panama Canal Commission has issued certified copies of these documents in response to requests from the public. On December 31, 1999, the Panama Canal Commission ceased to exist . On December 1, 1999, those records were transferred to Passport Services in the U.S. Department of State, which will provide the certification service just as it does for similar records issued by U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad.
To request copies, write to Vital Records Section, Passport Services, U.S. Department of State, 1111 19th Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036. Please include the following items for birth and death:
- The full name of subject at the time of event;
- Month, day and year of event;
- Place of event (city and country);
- Parents’ names, date and place of birth, and nationality for birth record;
- Any available U.S. passport information;
- Signature of the requestor, parent or guardian, or legal representative;
- Requestor address and telephone number;
- A check or money order for $50.00 for each copy made payable to U.S. Department of State. Remittance must be payable in U.S. dollars through a U.S. bank. Do not send cash.
- Marriage records from the Canal Zone issued 1904-1979 were forwarded to the National Archivesand Records Administration (NARA) instead. You may submit a request to Civilian records (NWCTC), Textual Archives Services Division, 8601 Adelphia Road, College Park, MD 20704-6001 for a copy. Do not send any money with your request. If any fees are required, you will be contacted by NARA.