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How to obtain a copy of a U.S. birth certificate


There are many reasons why you might need to order a copy of a U.S.birth certificate. It acts as a form of identification and it is necessary to produce one to apply for a passport, drivers licence, and a range of other documentation.

How to Obtain a Birth Certificate in 3 Steps

The federal government does not issue copies of birth certificates. Instead, applicants can apply at the designated office of the U.S. state (e.g. California) or U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) where they were born.

Every state has different regulations regarding issuing copies of birth certificates and there can be complications. However, ordering your birth certificate through Vital Records makes the process simple. You just need to complete the following steps…


Complete the online simplified application form


Print and send your application to your state’s Health Department


Pay your state fees and receive your Birth Certificate by post

Possible Issues when Applying for Your Birth Certificate

There are a few issues which applicants may encounter when applying for a U.S. birth certificate. If you apply through Vital Records, our expert team will help you to overcome any of these complications.

Lost original birth certificate

This is one of the most common reasons why someone needs a copy. Not having the original birth certificate means that alternative proof or identification is needed to successfully apply for a copy. Each state has its own rules about which documents are accepted.

Incorrect information on birth certificate

On rare occasions, applicants may receive a copy of a birth certificate which contains incorrect information. For example, a name or a date could be inaccurate. In the unlikely event of this happening, applicants should get in touch with Vital Records and we will resolve the problem as soon as possible.

State department questions legitimacy of birth certificate

Very occasionally, the state department might question the legitimacy of a birth certificate. This could be for a range of potential reasons including when a birth is not officially registered on time after a home birth.

Our team of experts at Vital Records will guide applicants through any of these potential issues. Order your birth certificate today to ensure a smooth application process.

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