16 Year Olds Can Now Get Pennsylvania Birth Certificates

Establishing identity and age is essential for 16 and 17-year-olds who are planning to apply for certain legal documents such as a state driver’s license, employment, or even school admission. That is why the state of Pennsylvania has decided to change the minimum age to acquire a birth certificate.

Acting Health Secretary Denise Johnson announced that the current minimum age to access a birth certificate would change from 18 years old to 16. This was not the only information that health Secretary Johnson disclosed, as it was also revealed a waiver of the $20 fee has been included in the changes for certain individuals.

The new waiver option was added in October for those between the ages of 16-24 who are, or have been, part of foster care programs or juvenile justice. Another waiver application was also created for those suffering from homelessness.

Health Secretary Johnson stated, “When we learned that minors…were having difficulty accessing their birth certificates, especially those… experiencing homelessness or had been involved with the juvenile justice system or foster care, we implemented the changes that were necessary…”

Tens of thousands of requests for birth certificates are sent every year to the state’s health department. So far in 2022, over 32,000 applications have been received by mail, and over 35,000 walk-in applications have been submitted.

Why Are Birth Certificates Needed?

With the change of the minimum age requirement to access Pennsylvania birth certificates, minors can now use this form of identification to apply for important documents.

A birth certificate can be used to prove identity and age to apply for a driver’s license.

It can also be used for those who do not have a license or ID card to apply for a passport, or college admission, as well as access institutions and obtain other documents.

To obtain a Pennsylvania birth certificate, you can begin the application process online.

Source: https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/Health-details.aspx?newsid=1799