- How to obtain an official copy of your birth certificate
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How to Locate an Official Copy of a Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is a vital piece of information. It is used to identify individuals in many different scenarios. Having an official copy of your birth certificate is essential.
The parents of each child receive an official copy of his or her birth certificate shortly after the child is born. However, due to circumstances quite often beyond control, birth certificates are misplaced, lost, or even destroyed. Fortunately, acquiring a birth certificate is no longer the difficult and tedious task that it once was.
Each state has its own set of policies regarding the procedures required to request and receive copies of birth certificates. Some states will allow individuals to request a copy of a birth certificate online, while others will not. In most cases, a copy of the required form for mail in and in person requests can be downloaded from the Internet and printed. Additionally, the required form for fax request can be downloaded and printed, but this form is different than the walk in and mail in forms.
Typically, however, it is possible to apply for a copy of a birth certificate in person, by mail, or by fax. If applying in person, the individual will need to locate the appropriate public office in his or her state for the request. If placing the request by mail or fax, acquiring the proper address or fax number can be acquired by contacting your local state representative.
Individuals who are permitted to request a copy of a birth certificate:
• Individual who is named on the birth certificate.
• Legal representative of the individual named on the birth certificate.
• Immediate family members including spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, half brother, sister, half sister, grandparent/great grandparent (must indicate maternal or paternal), grandchild, great grandchild, stepparent, stepson, or stepdaughter. Additional information may be required from step relatives.
• Applicant must be at least eighteen years of age.
Basic information to be included with requests for birth certificates (please note that variations may exist due to the origin of the birth certificate):
• Full name of the person named on the birth certificate. If the name has changed since birth due to adoption or court order, the new name must be included as well.
• Date of birth. If the exact birth date is unknown, an additional fee may be charged for retrieval of the information.
• County and city of birth.
• Gender of the individual named on the birth certificate.
• Parents’ names. Mother’s name must include her maiden name.
• Relationship to the person whose name is on the birth certificate.
• Reason for the request for an official copy of the birth certificate.
• Applicant’s signature.
• Applicant’s daytime telephone number. This includes the area code.
• Applicant’s mailing address.
• Items for which you do not know the correct response should be filled in with the word “unknown.”
Fees associated with acquiring a copy of an official birth certificate:
• No fee is required for active and inactive members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
• A $10.00 fee per copy for civilians.
• Additional fees are typically charged to locate birth certificates when the date of birth is unknown. The initial fee generally covers a range of years with an additional fee being assessed for continued searches.