ORDER YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE ONLINE
United States Nationals wondering how to obtain an authenticated copy of a US Birth Certificate are often looking to use the document for legal purposes abroad such as getting married overseas or have some other legal business in another country.
However, in order to learn how to get your birth certificate authenticated in the US, it is important to clear up a few essential concepts first.
When a child is born, the original document that certifies a live birth within the United States —that is, the original US birth certificate— must always remain on file at the local vital records agency office in the location where the birth occurred after it is submitted for recording by the hospital.
Therefore, this original —kept under lock at the county or state vital records office— is the one that will be reproduced when you request a birth certificate replacement.
The certified copy of a birth certificate is valid within US borders but needs an additional, accompanying document in order to be valid outside the nation.
Whenever a US citizen is asked to provide a birth certificate for legal purposes overseas, the first document they need to obtain is a Certified Copy of their Birth Certificate that bears:
Next, depending on the country where the birth certificate needs to be provided, the US citizen will need to either have it authenticated or obtain an Apostille Certificate for the document:
If you require a birth certificate for use in a country that is listed below, you will need to have it authenticated by the U.S. Department of State:
If you require a birth certificate for use in one of the following countries, you will need to obtain an Apostille Certificate by the U.S. Department of State:
Once you have:
You will need to:
There are 3 ways to present your Birth Certificate Authentication request:
You should receive your authentication certificate within about 12 days.
Include the following in an envelope:
Office of Authentications U.S. Department of State CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT 44132 Mercure Cir P.O. Box 1206 Sterling VA 20166-1206
If you are in an emergency or urgent situation due to any of the following, you may call the office to make an appointment to expedite your birth certificate authentication request:
If you need your authenticated birth certificate within 2 to 3 days, you may drop your request at the local Office of Authentications between 8 and 9 AM Monday through Friday. The clerk will give you a scheduled pick up day within the next 3 days so you can get your documents.
Please bear in mind that you will need to produce a photo ID if you are paying the birth certificate authentication fees with a credit card.
Now that you understand how to obtain a birth certificate that is legally valid outside the US —for yourself or a relative— remember that your first step is to order a certified copy of your birth certificate online. Doing so will save you time and hassle, as well as a trip to the local vital records office.