Ordering A Birth Certificate – Surviving Pregnancy

An interesting article on how to go about ordering a birth certificate.

In today’s world, everyone needs to have a birth certificate. Even if it’s locked away in a cabinet somewhere. True, people will rarely need birth certificates in everyday life. People usually only need a birth certificate either to apply for a passport or Visa or to use as legal identification in crossing the border.

However, when entering Mexico or Canada, birth certificates are not as easy to use as passports are. For one thing, birth certificates must be legible and in good condition before being acceptable as legal identification.

If people cannot find their birth certificate, or produce a legible copy in undamaged condition, then ordering a birth certificate might be the only option. Other reasons for ordering a birth certificate may be for investigative purposes or for conducting genealogical research.

Getting a copy isn’t that difficult and is addressed on the state level. Usually how it works is that you must write to the state office of where you were born and request a copy of the birth certificate. The office is usually entitled something like “Bureau of Vital Statistics” and is usually listed at a PO Box, close by the state’s capitol or at least a major city. In addition to ordering a birth certificate, whether for yourself or someone you know, you can also order other records—some dating back to the early 1900’s!

However, this process can get complicated. Each state has differing laws. Whereas states like California and Texas allow a person ordering a birth certificate to also order marriage records, divorce records and death records, other states only allow a person limited access to their own records. Some states require physical proof before ordering a birth certificate that you are the official registrant.

Even when a third party makes a request for a birth certificate, some states will comply. A copy of the original birth certificate is then made—however a statement reading “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” is stamped across the copy. Certified copies are available to the registrant, family members and legal representatives

Practically every state will charge a fee for a return of a birth certificate. Fees are usually about $20.00 though some states may slightly raise or lower that amount. Turn around time after a request can take as long as 4 weeks.

If you are in need of quickly ordering a birth certificate for immediate travel plans, this option is available online, though at a higher cost. But, if you need a birth certificate now, it’s money well spent. The Internet makes ordering a birth certificate very easy.