How To Find a Certified Copy of Your Birth Certificate

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How To Find a Certified Copy of Your Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate might just be one of the most important documents you have. It is more than just your proof of birth date.

Throughout your life, your birth certificate is used as proof of your existence in many different settings. You need to provide your birth certificate when you register for every level of school from pre-school through college. The DMV requires your birth certificate to get an ID card, instruction permit, or driver's license. The Government requires a certified copy of your birth certificate to issue you a passport. You have to have your birth certificate to get a marriage certificate and license. At the end of your life, they will want information from your birth certificate to prepare your death certificate.

A person's first birth certificate is made available to the parents of a newborn following the delivery. While still in the hospital, the mother or other parent will provide all the information for the certificate. The office of Vital Records for the state in which you are born is the only place you will be able to order your birth certificate.

Even though it is so important, it is also the one document that is most frequently misplaced or lost throughout your lifetime. It is the one thing that you will be ordering certified copies of at important times of your life. Not everyone can order a copy of their birth certificate. You have to have specific qualifications to order a copy, whether certified or informational. This is to deter identity theft and protect you from scam artists. The only ones who are qualified to order a certified birth certificate are those who are named on the certificate. DoNotPay can help you navigate this process with ease.

Difference Between a Certified and Informational Copy of a Birth Certificate

When a birth certificate is "certified" or "authentic," it will have an embossed seal from the state and be signed by a representative of the vital records office of the state where you were born.

Only a certified birth certificate will be accepted for applying for one of the following:

  1. A passport
  2. Admission to school
  3. Driver's license
  4. Marriage license
  5. Death certificate

An "informational" birth certificate has all the same information as a certified copy, but it will not have an embossed seal, and will clearly be marked "Informational." It is not a valid document to establish an identity for official state purposes.

Who Can Get a Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate?

Only you or an immediate member of your family can get a certified copy of your birth certificate. Family members can do so by either filling out an application at the Office of Vital Records in the state where they were born. You can visit the Vital Records office in person, fill out the forms online , or mail a request form in. The fees for certified copies of birth certificates vary between states.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate?

The fastest way to get a copy of your birth certificate is by visiting the Office of Vital Records in person in the state where you were born.

You can usually have your copy in your hand when you leave their offices.

If you apply for a copy of your birth certificate online or by mail, you can expect to receive a copy of your birth certificate in approximately four to six weeks. This accounts for the processing of your application, verification of information, and the time it takes to reach you once it is complete.

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate?

To get a copy of your birth certificate, you will need to prove your identity. Different states may require slightly different kinds of proof, though for most you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth, including city, state, and hospital
  • Gender
  • Parents' full names and their marital status when you were born
  • The reason you are requesting the birth certificate

If you are ordering a copy of a birth certificate for your parents, you will need to submit a copy of your birth certificate to prove that you are qualified.

How to Get a Copy of a Certified Birth Certificate On Your Own

There are several ways to obtain a copy of a certified birth certificate on your own as an adult.

  1. Go to the Office of Vital Records for your state
  2. Provide proof that you are qualified, either with your ID and/or social security number
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Place of birth, including city, state, and hospital if it is known
  5. Parents' full names and their marital status at the time of your birth
  6. The reason you are requesting your birth certificate
  7. Pay the fees and wait for the certified copy of your birth certificate to be handed to you.
By MailCall the Vital Records Office for the desired state to receive instructions for requesting a certified copy, produce all required information and send it to the designated address via post.
OnlineMany Vital Records Offices allow you to apply for a copy of a birth certificate online, but it may require scanning and uploading relevant documents.

Next Steps For Finding and Getting a Copy of a Birth Certificate if You Can't Do It Yourself

If you are unable to get a birth certificate on your own, you can ask your parents if they have a certified copy or if they will apply on your behalf. You can also ask a grandparent or a sibling to order one for you.

If these options are not satisfactory or don't work out, you can get help from DoNotPay and order your birth certificate the easy way.

Is There an Easier Way to Find Your Birth Certificate?

If you want to find a copy of a birth certificate in the United States but don't know where to start, has you covered in 8 easy steps.

  1. Go to the Birth Certificates center on DoNotPay.
  2. Select who the certificate is for (you or a loved one). If you are requesting a copy of someone else's certificate, enter their personal details, and upload evidence that proves your relationship.
  3. Enter the location you or your loved one was born in, so we can complete the form specific to your state.
  4. Enter the name(s) of the parent(s) as displayed on the certificate.
  5. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.
  6. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
  7. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.
  8. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf.

Why You Should Use DoNotPay to Find Your Birth Certificate

DoNotPay offers the best and easiest way to get a copy of your birth certificate.

  • Fast. They know who to contact in every state, what the fees are, and what information is needed. In just a few minutes, your application is filled out and DoNotPay is taking care of the rest of the details, such as filing for it with the correct Office of Vital Records and sending in the fee.
  • Successful. With DoNotPay, you know that none of the information on the application will be missing. They will only submit fully completed applications.
  • Easy. DoNotPay will take all the stress out of getting a copy or finding your birth certificate.

The DoNotPay process is 100% online and even offers virtual notary services and check mailing. The AI Consumer Champion will take care of all the details on your behalf!

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