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How to Get a Copy of your Birth Certificate


Some legal procedures require a copy of your birth certificate. For example, they will ask you to bring a copy if you are going to travel, register for school, and in some other cases. It's an easy process, but you need to know some peculiarities in advance to save you your precious time. So, what do you need to do in order to receive your copy of the birth certificate?



Define what type of a copy you need for your purpose

Copies can be certified and non-certified, so if you only need it for some sort of an informational purpose, non-certified is enough. For the vast majority of legal procedures, you'll need a certified copy though.

To get a copy of your or someone else's' birth certificate, identify the state where the person was born and where the certificate was issued. Local vital statistics dept file all the certificates, so you can easily find it there.


Get all the necessary personal information

Particularly, you want to state your full name, sex, date and place of birth, and your parents' full names. After that, contact the department and ask for a copy. They will inform you whether or not there are some specific requirements or fees for you to deal with. You can also go online and find all the listings and requirement there.

Getting someone else's certificate

If you want to get a copy of someone else's certificate, check with your local laws to make sure you are eligible for that. The laws vary from state to state, but most vital statistic departments will require you to be a close relative.


Send the data and the fees to the vital statistics department

They will send you a certified copy by mail. If you need this copy urgently, you can opt for an expedited service. You can find the addresses of vital records offices and their prices prices here http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm As for paying your fees, you have several options: pay with a personal check or money order. You can also go to the actual department and pick the copy in person. In this case, you can pay your fee in cash.


  • Don't forget to write your full name, address, and phone number when you send the papers to the vital statistics department. If you want to get a copy of someone else's birth certificate, don't forget to write your relationship to the person.
  • Don't start the process before you are 100% sure you've lost the original certificate. Check your old papers and try to find it first.
  • If you are trying to receive someone else's birth certificate, double check the spelling of the person's name. Also, make sure you've filed the rest of the information correctly.
  • Don't write your current location when you fill in the papers unless you still live in the same state.
  • Don't send blurry or stained copies of your documents to the department. Make sure they are readable.



Luckily, the process of getting a copy of your birth certificate isn't complicated. You don't need to collect lots of documents or wait in the lines. Just check with your local requirements and receive your copy in a couple of working days.

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