What Information is on a Birth Certificate?

U.S. birth certificates are fairly standarized across all states. The information included on a birth certificate is similar to the details included in most foreign countries. In the United States, there are two type of birth certificates that the parents can receive after the birth of their child. There is an informational birth certificate and a certified birth certificate.

What Data is Included on an Informational Birth Certificate?

All informational birth certificates will include the following information:

  • The child’s name
  • The parent’s name
  • The time and date of birth
  • The city, county, and state of birth
  • The footprints and handprints of the baby

This type of birth certificate is not “official” or “certified” as it is not filed with the state’s records office.

An information birth certificate is usually filed and printed by the hospital. Generally, they feature a background and can be used by the parents in their baby book or as a keepsake to hung on the wall or put in a photo album or scrapbook. Basically, it shows the important details of the baby’s birth.

An informational birth certificate cannot be used for legal purposes. You cannot use this certificate to obtain a social security card, driver’s license or passport. It simply features essential details of the child’s birth.

Read more: How to determinate if your birth certificate is official

information on a birth certificate

What is a Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate? What Data is Included?

A certified copy of a birth certificate is an official record of the birth of a child. This type of certified birth certificate is issued by your state’s records office. Keep in mind that both authorized and informational copies are considered "certified copies”.

This is a legal document that can be used as a form of identification. A certified birth certificate can be used to get a driver’s license, passport, social security card, and also to get married.

The information that is included on an authorized birth certificate must be the following:

  • The child’s full name, spelled out including the first, middle, and last names
  • The child’s place of birth: city, country, and state
  • The date of birth, which can also include the time
  • The child’s sex/gender
  • Details about the birth: single birth, twins, triplets, etc
  • The father’s full name
  • The birth location of the father
  • The birth date of the father
  • The mother’s full name, along with her maiden (unmarried) name
  • The birth location of the mother
  • The birth date of the mother
  • The city, country, and state of residence of the birth parents

However, it should be noted that the information on a birth certificate might vary depending on the state. Each state has its own requirements. For example, in the case of California birth certificates authorized copies may only be obtained by the individual mentioned on the certified, parents of the individual and "certain other individuals or entities specified in law", according to the California Department of Public Health. Other requestors can only obtain informational copies, which are equally considered “certified copies.”

And although a certified birth certificate may not always contain all of the above, it must at least have the following details:

  • The baby’s full name
  • The date of birth
  • The sex/gender of the baby
  • The place of birth
  • The names of both parents
  • The official City, County or State Seal

A certified birth certificate must always have a raised seal, multicolored and embossed, of the city, county or state. It must also have the signature of the registrar and the date of issue.

New parents should be aware that the registration for an official birth certificate must be submitted within one year of the birth. However, the issuance date of the birth certificate can be any date. Meaning, you can request a certified birth certificate to use to register for school, get married, get a driver’s license, etc.

Read more: Is your Birth Certificate a bond?

Where Can I Find the Birth Certificate Number?

When you obtain a certified birth certificate in the United States it will have a number to identify the document. You will usually find the birth certificate number at the upper right corner. However, the location of the number can vary depending on the state that has issued the certificate.

To make it easier for you to recognize the birth certificate number, note that it is made of eleven numbers separated by spaces. Look for the eleven-digit number. It might also start with two letters.

Other FAQs About Information on Birth Certificates

Does a birth certificate show the blood type?

A certified copy of a US birth certificate includes basic information that verifies the live birth of a child in the United States of America. The information usually included on a US birth certificate is detailed above.

However, an individual’s blood type is not reflected in their birth certificate.

Citizens who need to find out their blood type can request an ABO test from their healthcare provider.

This typically involves taking a blood sample and testing it to determine whether the citizen’s blood type is A, B, AB, or O.

Does a birth certificate show the weight at birth?

Although the form filled out by the hospital and submitted to the vital records office to record a child’s birth —known as the US Standard Certificate of Live Birth— has a checkbox for the baby’s height and weight at birth to be recorded, this information is kept on file.

Once this form is filed, the vital record’s office will issue a certified copy of a citizen’s birth certificate. As explained above in detail, the information printed on a US birth certificate may vary slightly from one state to another.

Nevertheless, more often than not, an individual’s birth weight is not included in their birth certificate in the United States.

Does a birth certificate show the time and date of birth?

A citizen’s date and time of birth are registered by healthcare providers that attended the birth in the US Standard Certificate of Live Birth Form.

This form is then sent to the vital records office for the child’s certified birth certificate to be issued. A US citizen’s date and time of birth are printed on their birth certificate.

Does a birth certificate have the Social Security Number?

A US citizen’s birth certificate is always the first official document they have issued.

There is a checkbox on the US Standard Certificate of Live Birth form for the parents to request the child’s Social Security Number (SSN) at the same time as the birth certificate.

Parents who check this option on the form will receive the child’s birth certificate and their social security number on separate documents a few weeks after the hospital has submitted the form to the vital records office.

Parents that have not marked the checkbox will have to request the child’s social security number after they receive the birth certificate.

In short, a citizen’s social security number is not on their birth certificate.