What do I need to get my Birth Certificate? Documents required

birth certificate and identification documents

Birth certificates are essential identifying records, also used to obtain other forms of ID, social benefits, like a Social Security Card, and even to enroll in school.

If you have lost your birth certificate, if it’s damaged or destroyed, you will need to replace it. If you just had a baby, it is also essential to obtain a birth certificate for your newborn as soon as possible.

Obtaining a birth certificate online is easy, you will need to complete the form for the state where the birth occurred, pay the processing fees, and depending on the state, provide ID to prove you are who you say you are.

List of documents you need to request a birth certificate

Birth certificates are maintained at a state and county level. Each state has their form to complete with basic information about the person whose certificate you are requesting. You will be required to provide the following data:

  • The full name of the person on record
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (city, county, or hospital)
  • Gender
  • Parents’ full names (and in some states), their marital status at the time of your birth.

You will also need to provide the reason for requesting the certificate, for instance, to renew your passport or driver’s license, claiming a pension or insurance benefits; this will help state officials determine whether you need a long or short version of the birth certificate.

The last step is to provide your contact details such as email, phone number, and address. Some states do not deliver to P.O. Boxes, and in other the billing and shipping address must be the same.

Once you complete the form you are required to pay the processing fees using a credit card, or when sending via mail, by check or money order.

Additional requirements to obtain a Birth Certificate

When ordering a birth certificate, you must also provide your relationship with the person on record. In some states, the records are sealed, and only direct family members may request a certified copy of the birth certificate.

If you are not an immediate family member but have a proven tangible interest, then you will be required to provide further documents, like court orders or affidavits, to legitimize your claim. In some states depending on the relationship you have with the person on record, you may be required to provide further information, for example, in Colorado, if you are requesting one of your parents’ birth certificate, you must provide your own along with the application.

If you are a legal guardian you must provide the corresponding documentation, or if you have appointed rights as power of attorney or an executor of the registrant’s estate, you must include a copy of a Power of Attorney (PoA), or supporting documentation identifying you as executor. The POA is always required in case the individual object of the birth certificate, or the eligible family member is unable is unable to apply for a birth certificate,

Documents needed to prove your identity

When submitting your application to request a certified copy of your birth certificate, you are required to prove your identity. In most cases, you will be required to provide a copy of your photo ID, i.e., passport, driver’s license or state photo ID.

Most states offer lists of alternative forms of identification should a valid form of photo ID not be available, like work ID, utility bill, school ID, or property tax bill. Usually, in these cases, you will be required to provide copies of two, or three, alternative documents to prove your identity.

In other states, like California, you are required to have your application notarized by a public notary to verify your identity. In such cases, you must provide both your ID and form and sign it in front of a notary public, and are not required to submit a photocopy of your ID. The Sworn Letter will be enough proof of identity.