Where Should I Get Birth Certificates in the United States?
There are many instances where you may need to prove your identity. In most cases, your driver's license and birth certificate are the most valid ways of proving who you are. Not knowing where to get your birth certificate could be the one thing keeping you from processing any number of legal applications.
To add to the confusion, there are two different types of birth certificates according to your needs. Determining where to get the appropriate birth certificate copy when time is of the essence can be frustrating and cost you time and money. Fortunately, there is a quicker and much less frustrating solution when you need a copy of your birth certificate.
Why Are There Two Different Types of Birth Certificates?
Authorized and informational birth certificates are different in their authority and intended use.
Authorized birth certificates are official documents issued by governmental agencies and are often used to validate someone's identity. This type of birth certificate is required to obtain a driver's license, passport, marriage application, and other legal applications. It may also require notarization.
Informational birth certificates are easy to obtain and only serve to provide birth information. Because they are neither official nor require any validation of identity to obtain them, they can't be used to prove identity.
One example of an informational birth certificate is one that a hospital may issue upon a baby's birth to provide the parents with birth information until the authorized birth certificate can be processed. These types of birth certificates do not usually require notarization.
Who Can Obtain a Birth Certificate?
The requirements for who can obtain a birth certificate vary by state. However, in most cases, the following people can obtain a birth certificate on behalf of an individual:
- The person whose name appears on the birth certificate
- Adult children
- Adult siblings
- Legal guardians
How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost?
There may be multiple fees associated with obtaining a birth certificate, depending on the state of birth, including:
- State fees - Obtaining a birth certificate ranges in cost from $9 in Florida to $34 in Michigan.
- Processing fees - In addition to the state fee, there may also be processing fees.
- Rush fees - If you need your birth certificate quickly, you may have to pay rush fees.
- Additional copies fees - When more than one copy is requested at a time, a flat fee averaging around $5 per copy is usually applied to additional copies.
How Long Does It Usually Take to Get a Birth Certificate?
If you live in the state where the birth certificate was issued and can visit the vital record office for that state, the time it takes to obtain a copy of your birth certificate will depend on how busy your state's vital records office is.
While the simpler way to get a birth certificate is online, it will take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks from when you order the certificate until it arrives. If you pay extra for expedited processing, your birth certificate will be processed within five business days, and mailing time would be additional.
What Documents Are Needed to Get a Birth Certificate?
Each state maintains its own required forms to obtain a birth certificate. Generally, most will require some or all of the following:
- Full name of the person on record
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Gender at birth
- Parents' full name and marital status at the time of birth
- Reason requesting the certificate
- Contact details
- Payment of fees
- Relationship to the person of record
- If for someone other than yourself, you may need a Power of Attorney, Legal Guardianship documents, or other court documents
- Photo ID (passport, driver's license, state photo ID)
- Alternate forms of ID (school ID, utility bill, work ID, property tax bill)
- Notary signature
How to Obtain a Birth Certificate on Your Own
In cases where the lack of your birth certificate is holding you back, you may feel like moving forward with obtaining your birth certificate yourself is the best option. To request your birth certificate yourself, you will need to:
- Locate the vital records office for your state.
- Drive to the office and wait in line or locate it online.
- Read through detailed requirements.
- Supply all necessary personal information.
- Locate and upload the required documentation
- Provide reasons for requesting the certificate.
- Obtain a notary signature.
- Decide whether to request expedited processing.
- Pay fees.
- Wait anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for your birth certificate to arrive.
Missing any of these steps could mean your request is invalidated and you must start all over. In the meantime, the reason you needed your birth certificate, to begin with, is still undone. Fortunately, there is a better way with DoNotPay.
Getting a Copy of Your Birth Certificate is Simple with DoNotPay
When the long documents and confusing requirements become too much, DoNotPay can help. We make the process quick and hassle-free with eight easy steps because your time is valuable.
How to Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate Using DoNotPay
- Go to the Birth Certificates product on DoNotPay.
- 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.
- Enter the location you or your loved one was born in, so we can complete the form specific to your state.
- Enter the name(s) of the parent(s) as displayed on the certificate.
- Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.
- Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
- 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.
- 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.
That's it! No tracking down your state's vital records office or finding a notary. We've got you covered.
Why Use DoNotPay to Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate?
Tracking down where and how to get your birth certificate can be time-consuming and frustrating. You have a busy life. DoNotPay removes the frustration and gets you back to living. Our process is fast, easy, and successful.
|Fast||You can finish the process in one sitting rather than spending hours.|
|Easy||Skip the tedious forms and worry about missing a step. We do it all from forms, a virtual notary, to check mailing services.|
|Successful||With our process, you can rest assured your birth certificate copy will quickly be on its way to you.|
Contact DoNotPay today to start the fast, easy, and successful solution to your replacement birth certificate needs.