All You Need to Know About the Processing Time for Birth Certificate

What is the Average Processing Time for a Birth Certificate Request in the US?

A birth certificate is the first line of identification documents that any US citizen receives/applies upon birth. More than a record of when and where you were born, this incredibly important document is necessary if you plan to

  1. Apply for a passport
  2. Enroll a child in school
  3. Start employment at a new place of work
  4. Request vital government documents and benefits

If you can’t find your birth certificate and are running short of time for any of the above, the usual question that'll keep lingering in your thoughts is how long does it take to process a request for a birth certificate.

Typically, whether you misplaced, lost, or never applied for a birth certificate in the first place, you'll need to file a formal request with the vital records office in the state where your birth (or whoever you're applying on behalf of) was registered. That's true whether you want just an informational copy or a fully certified birth certificate.

Several factors play into the processing time for a birth certificate. Before we can dive fully into that, we think there are a few things you need to know first about the whole birth certificate application process.

Who Can Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in the US?

Unless you're ordering a copy of the birth certificate for yourself, then you'll need to follow some different criteria to do so before you can be allowed to file a request for someone else. Although there may be minor differences depending on the state, there are some general guidelines for applying or requesting a birth certificate replacement.

Family MemberThis includes the parent(s) named in the copy, grandparents, step-parents until the child is 18, spouse, legal partner, siblings, children/grandchildren, and any other immediate family member who can prove that relationship with the person named in the copy.
Legal Representative and Government EntitiesThis may include a person with the power of an attorney, a legal guardian of the registrant, or any other authorized legal person. This category must accompany the request with a copy of a legal document. And if the attorney is not directly representing the person named on the certificate, then they must prove how their client is related to the registrant. On the other hand, government agencies can also request informational copies of birth certificates if they need them to carry out their official duties.

How Much Time and Money Does it Take to Get a Birth Certificate?

The amount of money you'll have to set aside for a birth certificate copy depends on the state and method you decide to use. You can generally expect to pay between $10 and $50, but the amount can go higher, especially if you choose some third-party facilitators offering online applications and rush mail. On average, the cost is $25 per copy.

Again, the wait time for processing a birth certificate hinges on where you're applying from and the method you use to apply. The processing time for birth certificates can be as little as two weeks or take as long as about three months in some states like Texas. Using DoNotPay will make wait times a lot shorter.

What are the Requirements To Request and Acquire a Birth Certificate?

No matter the state you're applying from, these are some of the essential information and documents you'll be required to provide in the request letter:

  • Full name, place of birth, and date of birth of the birth certificate registrant.
  • Parent(s) full name and the relationship you have with the person named in the copy.
  • Your identity verification documents such as social security number card, driver's license, or official ID. These are to verify the applicant is who they claim they're.
  • Mailing address and telephone number.
  • Legal documents if applicable.
  • Notarized note, where necessary.
  • The reason behind the request.

Can I Order a Birth Certificate Copy on My Own?

Physically visiting the vital records office where the birth was registered might be a more straightforward method. However, you need to keep two things in mind. First, you have no way to determine if you can be served the same day because of the possibility of a busy staff or a lot of other people, forcing you to wait in line for hours. On the other hand, if you somehow don't live in the same state, this can be costly and time-consuming due to the travel time and tickets. Therefore, unless you live near the vital records office, you might want to use DoNotPay to make the process much more efficient and cheaper.

Choosing to order the copy via mail is another DIY option, but you’ll likely need to fill in lengthy forms, obtain notary services (if need be), mail the documents and the check/money by yourself to the particular vital records office of your interest. This can take days before you finish and some other additional days before your mail reaches the office, hence increasing the overall .

Request for a Copy of Birth Certificate Using DoNotPay in Minutes

Getting a birth certificate for yourself or a loved one doesn't have to be a complicated and tedious ordeal. DoNotPay offers a state-of-the-art process to file a birth certificate request in minutes.

If you want to order/get a birth certificate copy but don't know where to start, DoNotPay 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.

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