How To Obtain A Birth Certificate


It is very important to have a copy of your birth certificate and a copy of the birth certificates of any children. It is the single most important legal document that proves who you are and how old you are.  So if you do not already have a copy of your birth certificate, how do you get one?  There are several options available. If there is no rush, going directly through the vital records office of the state where you were born is fine.  However, if you need a fast birth certificate, there are also online options available that can deliver it quickly and easily to your door.

Information Needed to Request the Birth Certificate

Before you can request a copy of a birth certificate, it is important that you have some detailed information you can provide about yourself or the person whose birth certificate you are requesting.  This information includes the following:

  • You will need the location of where the person was born and, depending on what state you live in, you may also need to know the county and name of the hospital.
  • List the person’s full name, date of birth, including the year, and a full name.
  • The reason for the request of the birth certificate is also important.  This determines what type of certificate you will be sent.  There are both short and long forms and what you receive is based on the reason for the request.
  • The names of the parents of the person whose birth certificate you are requesting will also be required.  You will also need to know the birth mother’s maiden name.  If the father’s name is not listed on the original birth certificate, or if you do not know the name of the father, some states will not require you to list his information.
  • You will be required to list your relationship to the person on the birth certificate.  For security reasons, you must be related somehow and able to justify why you need a copy of the birth certificate.  Typically, if requesting the birth certificate of someone other than yourself, it should be for a spouse, child, or sibling.
  • If you are ordering online, you will need to provide an address and credit card. Some states require that the address on your credit card be the same as the shipping address.  And the name of the card must be the same as the person ordering the birth certificate.

How Soon Will the Birth Certificate Arrive?

This depends on you. If you need a fast birth certificate, the easiest way is to order online.  Depending on your state, certificates can arrive in as little as 2-3 business days, especially if you expedite shipping.  With regular shipping, it may take a little longer, but should still arrive within 10 business days.