How do I Attain a Copy of Birth Certificate Records?

Florence J. Tipton

To obtain a copy of birth certificate records, you will need to contact the local government agency where the birth took place. It is important to provide identifying information about the person for whom the birth certificate is needed. This helps officials avoid unnecessary delays in locating the birth certificate. In most cases, you can complete an application at the agency or mail one to the office. Birth certificate records are typically mailed, but you may also pick up the birth certificate from the office at a later date.

Birth certificates are legal records of birth.
Birth certificates are legal records of birth.

Local offices are generally responsible for maintaining vital statistics on citizens who are born in the respective country and can provide an official birth certificate. An imprinted seal and the signature of the person authorized to validate the authenticity of the birth is usually included on the certificate. Some countries do not keep birth certificate records. Those that do will require specific information before you can obtain a birth certificate.

A birth certificate contains information regarding the date, time and place of birth for an individual.
A birth certificate contains information regarding the date, time and place of birth for an individual.

Generally, the type of information needed to get a copy of birth certificate records includes the person’s full name at the time of birth; full names of both parents, including the mother’s maiden name; birth date; and the county or township where the person was born. If you are requesting birth certificate records for someone other than yourself, you will likely need to indicate your relationship to the person. You might also want to include the reason you need the birth certificate.

When you need to receive original birth certificate records or replace ones that are lost, you will typically have two options for making a request. First, you can submit your request in writing via the local mail service. If you decide to submit the request in writing, contact the office prior to sending the application. Doing so can ensure that the information you have on the mailing address and applicable filing fee is current.

You may also visit the local agency in person to obtain an official birth certificate. An application is completed at the office, with the same information being required as if you were mailing the request. You will want to have as much information as possible whether you are making the request on behalf of yourself or a family member. Not having adequate information could delay the processing of your request for birth certificate records.

Your reasons for needing a birth certificate are many and varied, though one of the chief reasons is for applying for a passport. It may be a good idea to allow enough time for receiving the birth certificate before the passport is need. In some countries, it could take up to four weeks to receive a birth certificate.

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