How to Get a Copy of your Birth Certificate
The Steps to Get a Copy of your Birth Certificate:
If your parents filed a birth certificate when you were born:
In order to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, you’ll need to prove that you are who you say you are; this can be done in various ways. Most states will accept a state issued I.D. Card and/or Driver’s license. If you do not have one of these, you will need to contact the state in which you were born to get a list of requirements for obtaining a copy of your birth certificate.
Every state is different, but some examples are:
- Lease Agreement
- Pay Check Stub
- Medical, Dental or Chiropractor Records
- Letters from Government Agencies
- School Records
- A letter explaining who you are and why you are seeking a birth record. This letter must come from someone who knows you personally, preferably a family member.
Remember, not all states accept the same documents. It is important for you to call your Vital Statistic’s office, or access their website to find out the requirements.
You can also purchase a copy of your birth certificate online. To do so, please go to www.vitalchek.com. This is oftentimes a faster way; however, you will need a credit or debit card to pay their handling fee. You will also need to provide some personal information such as your parent’s names and a social security number.
If your parents never filed a birth certificate when you were born:
Getting a birth certificate when you have never had one can be quite difficult. In many cases, you will have to go to court to petition the state for a birth certificate. Not only does this require extra documents, but it also requires a lot of time. In fact, this process can take anywhere from six months to a year, but is not impossible.
The following records can be used to prove your identity:
- School Records
- Baptism Certificate
- Dental, chiropractor, and medical records
- Marriage License
- Lease Agreement
- Letter from a Government Agency
- Letter from a family member or your employer
- Amish Directory with the names of you and your family
Before you do anything, you will need to submit an application in the state in which you were born; this will cost a fee that is nonrefundable. You can use the internet and/or call the Vital Statistic’s office in the state you were born in to obtain an application. You will then need to print and fill out this application. Once you have filled it out, you will need to mail it to the address on the application. Upon receiving your application, they will search their records to see if your birth was recorded. If they cannot find your birth record, they will send you a letter stating that they could not find a birth record of you. Do not get rid of this letter! You will need it as evidence and proof that you do not have a birth certificate.
With the previously mentioned letter, you should also have received an application form, which encourages you to apply for a birth record. If, for some reason, you did not receive the application form with your letter, please contact the Vital Statistic’s Office in that state, and ask for it. In most cases, you should be able to print the form off their website.
Note: Always make copies of all your letters and application forms before you send them back the Vital Statistic’s office.
Once your application form is filled out, put it in an envelope, along with all other required forms and letters, and mail it to the delayed registration office. Once they receive your application and proof of identity, a birth record may be issued.
Note: If a list of acceptable documents is not included with the application and letter, you will need to contact that office to find out what is acceptable for proof of identity.
In some states, you will need to apply for a birth record through probate court. In such a case, you will need to complete steps 1 and 2 before scheduling a court hearing with the county in which you were born. In most cases, the judge just wants to hear from you, know why you have never had a birth certificate, and verify that the information provided is true and accurate.
Note: On rare occasions, the judge may agree to speak to the person seeking a birth record via phone or internet video chat.
After appearing before the judge, the court house will file a document that gives you permission to have a birth certificate issued. Once you have the court papers, you will need to file them with the delayed registration office in the state in which you were born. In some cases, the court may file this paperwork for you. If not, they will send you a certified copy of the court order; you will need to mail this court order and any other required documents to the delayed registration office. You will also need to call the delayed registration office to make sure of the process after your court hearing.
Reminder: Always make copies of all your application forms and documents before mailing them to the vital statistics office.
As with any birth certificate, requirements are different from state to state. It is important to contact the agency to learn of the requirements. You can either call the state in which you were born, or go online to their website.
You may also go to the following link www.vitalchek.com and select your state, then the county you were born in. This will take you to that County’s website with their contact information.
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