A birth certificate may be obtained online in many countries. Individuals interested in purchasing this type of documentation should first visit the official government website of the country in which the birth took place. Additional websites are available to assist in obtaining this paperwork for countries that either do not provide this information on the Internet or do not have an official government site.
Purchasing a birth certificate online is often the most expensive method of obtaining this type of documentation. Certificates are also available for individuals willing to request them at a government office in person or through the mail. Instructions on pursuing either course of action are typically located on a country's official website or the website of the local region or town where the birth took place. The price of receiving a birth certificate online can be up to three times that of requesting it in person or via mail, however.
In the US, a birth certificate must be requested from the state in which the birth occurred. Each state requires different information from the purchaser, including alternate forms of proof of citizenry. This may take the form of a state issued ID, a social security card, or regional school records. Many third-party websites also are available for US citizens that expedite the shipping process for a very high fee. These sites typically promise delivery of official, government documentation in less than five business days. It is important to verify the validity of such sites before submitting information or payment for services.
In the UK, citizens may obtain a birth certificate online by visiting the national passport services website. Interested parties must provide the name of the child and both parents as well as billing and shipping information. These requests are generally processed by the registration office of the region in which the birth was recorded.
Some countries do not provide citizens with a birth certificate online through official government websites. Alternate sites often are available that can contact the correct government agency and transmit the requested documents to purchasers, however. Individuals needing a birth certificate from these countries may wish to verify the trustworthiness of these types of sites prior to providing sensitive identification or payment information.
A very small number of countries do not provide access to birth certificates through the Internet at all. Residents of these countries who require officially sealed certificates must typically appear in person at a government office in the country or region where the birth originally took place. These offices may also be contacted by phone or email for more information on receiving any official documentation without a personal appearance.