We are a team of specialized writers and expert vital records consultants. Our experience in vital records application processes allow us to offer first-rate guidance and advice on how to modify your information, how to replace it, and changes in record keeping. Additionally, we update all existing information when a state makes a change in any law or regulation. Our goal is to ensure you feel empowered and informed to confidently and securely get your vital records at any moment.

Articles Written by USbirthcertificates Team

What are acceptable forms of ID in the U.S.?
There are several acceptable forms of ID in the United States, they are all government issued IDs that people can obtain through the respective offices or government agencies. Identity documents in the United States include: regional state-issued dri...
America’s Birth Certificate
The United States of America has its own birth certificate, though this does not relate to a US certificate of birth. This page explains: What America’s birth certificate is The history of American birth certificate How America got its name The str...
Are Birth Certificates Public Records? State-by-State Rules
If your birth certificate has gone missing or has been damaged, you already know that you need to ask for a replacement as soon as possible, since birth certificates are essential documents for several bureaucratic procedures in the U.S., such as sig...
Bathroom Bills in the U.S.: State Laws and How They Work
Bathroom bills (bathroom access laws) have become a controversial issue in the United States, sparking debates surrounding transgender identity and rights. Bathroom access laws aim to regulate the use of public restrooms and other facilities in line...
How Can I Get My Original Birth Certificate if I Was Adopted?
Obtaining your birth certificate is a relatively straightforward process. You just have to complete your state’s birth certificate form, pay the state fees, mail it and, you will receive your certified copy at home. However, things get a little more...
How to Register a Birth and Get your Baby's Birth Certificate
The birth of a child is often one of the happiest times in a person’s life. When parents welcome a child into this world, they are probably not thinking about their baby’s birth certificate or to register their birth. However, it is really important ...
How to Get the Birth Certificate of Someone Who’s Deceased
There are a number of situations where you might need to access the birth certificate of someone who’s deceased. It is sometimes necessary to prove your connection to a deceased relative, especially if you are the son or daughter of the late person...
Birth Certificate for cruise: Requirements and destinations
Many travelers choose cruises for their holidays. In 2018, 28.5 million people took a cruise to various destinations around the world. American citizens also choose cruises these days, especially to visit the Caribbean Islands, Virgin Islands, Guam, ...
Birth Certificate Requirements for US Passports
Getting a U.S. passport is not as complicated as some might think. However, it is important that applicants have the necessary requirements. One of the most important requirements to apply for a United States passport for the first time is a birth ce...
How to Get a Birth Certificate From Another State
After losing a vital record —even more so when living in a different location, nationals are left with a sense of urgency to obtain a birth certificate replacement. Whether the record from another state or one of a US citizen born abroad was misplace...
Do You Need a Birth Certificate to Get a Green Card?
A green card is a permit allowing foreign nationals to permanently live and work within the United States. When applying for this type of residence status, a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate must usually be submitted. However, when applying ...
How to Change a Name on Your Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is one of the most important documents you can obtain. A birth certificate records a person's name, date, and place of birth, and who their parents or legal guardians are. They are often required when applying for jobs or enrollin...
Is your Birth Certificate a bond? Debunking the myth
If you have heard or read that the birth certificate is a bond, we are here to tell you that this is not true. Birth certificate bonds do not exist and are not real. Different platforms have made claims that a United States birth certificate is a ne...
Can I get my Birth Certificate online for free?
A birth certificate is an important document that every person needs to prove their identity and citizenship. Birth certificates are often required for many things, from registering at school, to getting married, to obtaining a driver’s license. You...
US Birth Certificate Rates in 2022: 4 Quick Facts
US states produce millions of birth certificates each year, and since the pandemic started, the past 2 years were no exception. Over 3.5 million babies were born in the United States during the course of 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic....
Who Can Use a Birth Certificate To Fly?
A birth certificate is an essential document for many legal and official purposes, including travel. It can be used to obtain a passport, as proof of age for babies who are flying, and, in some cases, as a way to confirm your identity if your ID was ...
Do I Need My Birth Certificate to Sign Up for Medicare
If you're approaching 65 or have a qualifying disability, you are eligible to sign up for Medicare in the United States. To be able to apply for the different parts of Medicare through Social Security, you’ll need to be both eligible and submit the ...
How Do I Get a Copy of My Birth Certificate if Born Abroad?
When a child is born to a U.S. citizen abroad or in a U.S. military base, there are a few requirements that must be met for the child to get U.S. citizenship. Whether this birth overseas was planned or not, the child’s parents should contact the U.S....
Birth Certificates: Long Form vs. Short Form
A Birth Certificate is a vital document issued to U.S. citizens that allows them to apply for various benefits and ID documents. If your certificate is lost, misplaced, damaged or destroyed then you will need to apply for a birth certificate replacem...
What Happens If You Don’t Register a Birth in the United States?
When it comes to giving birth, most families will typically opt for a hospital or a stand-alone birthing center. Approximately 98% of births happen in these types of locations. The most common reasons for choosing a medical facility are safety and c...
California Vital Records to Become Electronic With Blockchain Technology
Obtaining a copy of your California vital record, such as a birth certificate, is about to become much more manageable. As blockchain technology is becoming the new normal for making payments, it could become the standard way for county records offi...
California Bill to Require Diacritical Marks on Vital Records
The United States has an extremely diverse population. That means there is a wide variety of cultures, ethnicities, cuisines, and of course, names. According to World Population Review, California currently tops the list of the most culturally diver...
Do you have to carry an ID in the US?
People often wonder whether they are legally allowed to leave the house without their government issued photo ID. This seemingly simple question has a more or less complex answer. In short, it depends on multiple factors, including: Your nationalit...
Cómo Solicitar una Copia del Certificado de Nacimiento en Estados Unidos
Es posible que recientemente le hayan solicitado su acta de nacimiento para poder efectuar algún trámite estatal o federal en los Estados Unidos: renovación del pasaporte americano, pedir la tarjeta sanitaria, obtener la licencia de conducir, probar ...
Can I Cross the US Border by Land with Just a Birth Certificate?
As a US citizen, understanding the legal requirements to cross the border is crucial, especially if you're contemplating a journey to Mexico or Canada. With increasing concerns about security, one may wonder, "Can I cross the US border by land with ...
Can I Get My Death Certificate Online for Free?
A death certificate is an important document that details death information such as the location, date, and cause of a person’s passing. It is usually issued by a registrar from an office of vital records, and it can be used for various legal purpose...
More Deaths than Births in the US
According to vital records, death rates in the United States have increased significantly in recent years. In contrast, birth rates and overall life expectancy have decreased. These imbalances now mean that US death rates surpass birth rates, and thi...
Comment demander une copie de son acte de naissance aux États-Unis
L’acte de naissance peut être demandé à différentes occasions : permis de conduire, renouvellement du passeport ou mariage, entre autres. En étant né(e) aux États-Unis, vous avez le droit de demander et d’obtenir votre certificat de naissance américa...
DMV Birth Certificate: How to Get It
Getting a copy of a Maryland or Virginia birth certificate from the state department of motor vehicles (DMV) is possible but can take time. It is important to get all your documents right and obtain an appointment beforehand to ensure a smooth and su...
Do Kids Need ID to Fly?
Parents traveling with their little ones for the first time, whether a baby, infant, lap-child, or toddler, often wonder: “Does my child need an ID to fly?” the simple answer is, it depends on each case. What ID and Documents Does My Child Need to Fl...
How to enroll a child in a new school: Documents needed
For a lot of parents enrolling their child in school might feel a bit overwhelming. It is important that anyone who wishes to enroll their kid in school plans ahead to ensure they have all the necessary vital records in order. Depending on the school...
What paperwork do you need to obtain or renew a driver's license?
Getting your driver’s license for the first time can be exciting, but questions may arise about what you need to do. If you are getting the driver’s license for the first time, you must know that you will need to provide several documents to demonstr...
Documents Needed for Welfare in the United States
If you are interested in applying for welfare to help you pay for food, you must meet all requirements. Keep reading to learn about different programs available and their eligibility requirements. Different Programs in the United States There are a...
I-9 Form Requirements: Documents to Prove Identity and Employment Authorization
If you are looking for a job in the U.S., you will need to provide prospective employers with several documents that go beyond your resume and cover letter. In fact, if you do not prove your identity and right to work in the United States, companies...
What Documents Do US Citizens Need to Enter the United States?
All incoming passengers must go through border security checks upon arrival in the US. American citizens are asked to provide proof of identity and citizenship to be let into the country. Usually, your US passport will do. What if your passport expir...
What do I need to get my Birth Certificate? Documents required
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 n...
Pet Birth Certificates: What Are They and How to Apply
Many pet owners look for a way to have proof of ownership for their pets. This proof is often in the form of a pet birth certificate. There are different processes for obtaining this type of document, depending on the US state you are in. The rules ...
Fake Birth Certificates: Why You Should not Have One and How to Report Them
Fake birth certificates are on the rise, according to National Public Radio and agencies like Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas. They are used by foreign nationals to improve their chances of getting US residency and in some cases, even to fake family ...
The Fastest Way to Get a Passport: Expedite Passport
Replacing a passport can, like all bureaucratic processes, feel overwhelming even under normal circumstances. It is easy to imagine how stressful it can become when you must obtain a U.S. passport in record time due to an emergency that requires you ...
How to Receive Your California Birth Certificate Quickly
Your California birth certificate is a vital record that you will need at some point for documentation purposes. It is essential to have a California birth certificate if you are a resident of that state to verify your identity and American citizensh...
Fastest Way to Get a Birth Certificate in Texas
Your Texas birth certificate is an essential document that you can use as evidence of your identity and American citizenship. You will be asked to provide your birth certificate on different occasions while living in Texas to finalize bureaucratic pr...
What rights does a father have if he is on the Birth Certificate?
A U.S. birth certificate is an extremely important document that is not only used as evidence of citizenship, but that is needed to obtain a U.S. passport, driver’s license, register at school or get married. The information on a birth certificate al...
The Future of Birth Certificates
In the modern age, the processing and sending of information has become quicker, more reliable, and in many ways safer. Shortly, we will begin to document and process our vital records more efficient as well. Around the country, states have already...
Non-Binary Birth Certificates and State IDs: Full Guide
As the views of Americans on gender shift, so do the laws across the country. In more than 10 states, it is now possible to request a non-binary birth certificate or amend an existing one. The term non-binary includes any person who does not identify...
Gender-Neutral X Passports for US citizens
The United States government have announced that they will introduce gender-neutral passports for US citizens from April 11, 2022. The State Department confirmed this decision on the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility, the annual celebration of the...
What Do You Need to Get Married in Another State?
There are many reasons why you may want to get married in another state. Maybe you and your fiancé are planning a destination wedding, or you want the celebrations to be closer to your family. Whatever the reason, to be married legally in the United ...
The History of Birth Certificates
The history of birth certificates might not seem like much but it marks a vitally important milestone in the country’s development and growth. Birth certificates are with you from the first day of your life. However, despite this seeming longevity, t...
Why Do Hospitals Take a Newborn’s Footprints?
Taking a baby’s footprints at the hospital is a tradition that dates back to the 1960s, and is still done at hospitals across the United States to this day. Many people — especially parents of newborns who witness the process firsthand — often ask, ...
How Does Genealogy Research Work and Do Birth Certificates Help?
For years, people have become more interested in understanding who they are and where their families come from. Thanks to genealogy records, you can use birth certificates and other documents to carry out genealogy research and learn about your roots...
How Long Does it Take to Get a Birth Certificate?
The birth certificate is an essential document that allows us to prove our identity. A birth certificate is often needed when we need to obtain a passport, a drivers’ license, register a child in school, and much more. However if you need one urgentl...
How MLK Changed His Name on His Birth Certificate
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born with a different name — Michael King. This was changed when he was 5 years old by his father, who had just completed an inspiring trip to Europe. Upon his return, pastor Michael King Sr. changed bot...
How to Add a Newborn to Insurance Coverage
If you just have or are planning to have a baby in the United States, there are plenty of things to take care of. Besides the actual pregnancy and birth and getting all things baby ready in the house, you also have to make sure that bureaucracy is so...
How to authenticate your Birth Certificate
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. How...
How to Build a Family Tree: Tips on Birth Certificates
Do you have a younger family member asking for an ancestor’s vital records, or perhaps asking questions about your parents and grandparents? They may be researching family history in order to create a family tree. Or maybe you are the one tracing bac...
How to Correct an Error on a Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is an essential document for any person, since it is a vital record that documents the birth of a child and is usually needed to get married, registering for school, obtaining a driver’s license, etc. Correcting an error on your b...
How to Determine if Your Birth Certificate is Official
An official birth certificate will be necessary for several reasons. Our birth certificate is an essential document. It’s not only a primary form of identification, but it’s often used as proof of citizenship in the U.S. In the case that someone does...
How to Find a County Clerk Office Near Me
Are you looking to find a replacement birth certificate or another essential document from your local county clerk and vital records office? Chances are good that your local county clerk has records dating back several generations. From birth, death...
How to Find Adoption Records
If you were adopted, you likely have questions about your birth parents, where you were born, your citizenship, and more. To answer those questions you’ll need to obtain your adoption records. To find those records you’ll have to contact the county ...
How to Access Public Records for Free
If you are making your family tree or trying to reconnect with long lost family members, you are probably wondering how to find birth records in the United States. You need to know a few details about the relative you are searching for in order to fi...
Finding Out Your Time of Birth
Learning the hour you were born might be more useful than you think. The time of your birth is not as important for matters of bureaucracy as the day of your birth. There are a lot of personal details on a birth certificate that are much more essent...
How to Get a Birth Certificate Translated and Notarized
Foreign nationals immigrating to the United States need to have their birth certificate translated in order to use it for official business. Some of the government agencies that require having an approved translation of your foreign birth certificate...
How to Get a Copy of an Ohio Birth Certificate Fast
Birth certificates are essential documents that serve as proof of identity, citizenship, and age. They are often required when applying for various services, such as passports, social security, and driver's licenses. In some cases, individuals may fi...
How to Get a Birth Certificate for a Baby Born Outside a Hospital
A birth certificate is the very first vital record that is created for a person. Usually, the initial registration of a newborn is done in the hospital by the attending staff following a birth. However, not every baby is born in a hospital. By choice...
How to get an ID without a Birth Certificate or Social Security card?
Losing your ID and other important documents is one of the most annoying things that can happen. Fortunately, it is possible to replace all of your vital records and documents. Even though it will take some time, you will be able to get a new ID, soc...
How to Get TSA Precheck? Documents for Enrollment
The TSA PreCheck, also known as TSA Pre✓® grants U.S. citizens or residents expedited passage through Transportation Security Administration lines at several airports throughout the country when flying domestically. If you fly domestically in the Un...
How to legally change your name: Step by step guide
There are different situations in which an individual would want to change their name. Although the first that come to mind may be marriage or divorce, there are others, as well. Perhaps the best advice would be to approach the decision more like a ...
How to notarize a US Birth Certificate
Citizens of the United States wondering how to obtain a notarized copy of a US Birth Certificate are often looking to use the document for legal purposes such as having a passport issued or getting married. However, in order to understand if a notary...
How to Prevent Identity Theft and Protect Yourself
Identity theft is a serious crime that leaves victims to deal with credit issues, lawsuits, financial disaster, and in some cases, even problems with the police. Most of the time, the consequences of identity theft can be reversed but victims often e...
How to request a school transfer for a child
Transferring your child to a different school might feel overwhelming, but it is possible to do. The reasons a parent has for requesting a school transfer for their kid will vary. Perhaps the child is experiencing bullying or maybe they’ll be able to...
Hurricane Season 2023: How to Be Prepared
People who live in at-risk areas should always be prepared for hurricanes and other extreme weather events. There are different ways in which you can protect yourself and your home. In this article, you will find hurricane safety tips and learn how ...
Illegal Baby Names in the US and Around The World
Choosing the name of your baby can be a difficult decision. It goes beyond just picking a name that you and your partner like the sound of. You’ll need to find a name that doesn’t get your child bullied at school, and that won’t make them resent you ...
Is it Legal to Photocopy a Birth Certificate?
Applying for a passport, driver’s license, or enrolling children in a new school are procedures that require an official birth certificate copy to be presented. The easiest way to obtain a legal copy of a birth certificate that has full official vali...
Why Laminating Your Birth Certificate Is Not a Good Idea
Your birth certificate is an important document that you will need on several occasions in your personal and professional life. Having your birth certificate or those of your family at hand and in the conditions to be presented will make your life ea...
What can I do if I lost all my IDs?
If you have lost all forms of identification by misplacing them, because of an accident, a natural disaster or because someone has stolen them, your first reaction is probably to panic and ask yourself “How can I get a photo ID fast?”. Rest assured t...
Marriage Abroad: International Marriage for US Citizens
Whether you are dreaming of a destination wedding or wish to marry closer to the family of your fiancé who was born in another country, you are not alone. Getting married abroad is an increasingly more popular choice among US couples. However, if hav...
Do you Need a Birth Certificate to Get Married? Requirements by State
Planning your wedding in the US? Find out what the marriage requirements are in your state, how to obtain your marriage license, and more in this quick guide to getting married in the United States. Once you have decided on the wedding location and d...
Marriage License vs Marriage Certificate: What’s the Difference?
If you’re confused about the differences between a marriage certificate and a marriage license, don't panic! When you get married, there’s a lot of paperwork to complete so that you are legally joined in the eyes of the law. Two of these crucial marr...
Can You Have Multiple Copies of a Birth Certificate?
Yes, you can have multiple copies of a birth certificate. A birth certificate is a public record, and you can request certified copies of your birth certificate whenever you need them. Each copy should be a certified copy, meaning, a copy of the ori...
10 Necessary Documents to Bring to College
Preparing for college can be overwhelming. There are many things you’ll need to remember on your packing list, including preparing all necessary documents to take with you. Going to college with the right papers can save you time and hassle, as getti...
New York Adoptees Over 18 Receive Right to Obtain Birth Certificates
The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo recently signed new legislation allowing adopted citizens to obtain their birth certificate. The new law takes effect on January 15th, 2020, turning New York into the 10th state to allow adoptees unrestric...
New York City Office for Puerto Rican Vital Records Opens
Obtaining records for Puerto Ricans in the New York City area just became much easier. A new Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) office will open in the Bronx, NY to help Puerto Ricans obtain birth certificates (certificados de nacim...
How to get your newborn's Social Security Number and Card
Welcoming a newborn is often an exciting and happy occasion. There are plenty of things to get ready, and parents might feel that there is not enough time. However, once the child is born, parents do need to take care of a few legal matters as soon a...
No Father’s Name on the Birth Certificate: How Will It Affect My Child?
In case of unwed couples, the decision to add the father’s name to the birth certificate is a very personal one. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify or locate the father. Other times, the relationship between the biological parents may be strained...
What Can I Do If There Is No Name on My Birth Certificate?
Although not many people know it, birth certificates are sometimes issued even though they do not feature the name of the holder or that of a parent. This is because in the United States, while it is mandatory to register a birth, the certificate can...
NYC Offers Free Online Access to 9.3 Million Historical Vital Records
The New York City Municipal Archives has just introduced a new online platform which allows anyone free access to 9.3 million historical vital records. This new service is part of an ongoing mass digitalization project which aims to reach 13.3 milli...
Barack Obama's Birth Certificate: The complete story
With all the speculation that former President of the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama, was not born in the USA, it is no surprise that people still wonder whether there is any truth in these allegations. This is precisely the premise behin...
Ohio Transgender People Can Now Change their Birth Certificate
Transgender people can now change their name and gender on their birth certificate in Ohio state. The decision was made on December 16, 2020, by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The lawsuit was won after 2 years by Lambda L...
How to Order a Birth Certificate Online During Covid Lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of American life. Lockdown measures make it harder to carry out tasks that we did not think about twice before COVID-19 hit in the beginning of 2020. To ensure social distancing and safe practices, m...
How to get a US Birth Certificate or Passport overnight
If you are a US citizen in need of an urgent copy of a US birth certificate for a deadline-driven task such as enrolling in school or obtaining social benefits, you must be wondering something like this: How long it takes to get a birth certificate ...
How Many People Are Born a Day in the U.S.?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we have seen birth rates decrease. However, these numbers have recently began to increase. About 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year, with a total of about 11 million births per year worl...
How Is Race Determined on Birth Certificates?
Although the question of how race is defined on vital records such as birth certificates and death certificates in the US is pretty straightforward, its answer is quite complex. In order to properly explain the way race is determined on a US birth ce...
Real ID Act: Birth Certificate requirements
The Real ID Act was formulated in the wake of September 11 and was passed by Congress in May 2005. It was an Act of Congress that modified the U.S. federal law that is in charge of the security, authentication and issuing of ID documents, such as dr...
Real ID Compliant States: Full List
The terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th, 2001, led the U.S. Congress to create and establish several new laws to protect the country. One of the laws that came into existence as a result of the attacks is the REAL ID Act. What is the ...
How to Remove A Non-Biological Parent From a Birth Certificate
A birth certificate is a government-issued document which officially records the birth of a child. The document features vital information of the birth, including the names of the parents. A birth certificate can have either the biological father’s...
Removing Sex From Birth Certificates
It is United States law that a birth certificate is completed for all births. The official government-approved document must be completed by the child’s parent, which is then certified by a medical professional. The exact information required for a ...
Safest Places to Store Your Vital Records
Keeping your vital records safe and secure is crucially important. You never know when you’re going to need your certified birth certificate or other files to provide your identity or register for government services. In this article, we’re going to...
Same Sex Parents on a Birth Certificate: How to Register
Since 2017, married same-sex parents in the United States have had the right to enter both their names on a child’s birth certificate when registering a birth. This was permitted following a US Supreme Court ruling that clarified that same-sex spouse...
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 chan...
How Do I Change My Name on My Social Security Card?
There are different reasons why people have to change their name. For instance, marriage, divorce or a court order. Regardless of the reason, if you have changed your name or are about to, you will need to update several documents. You will also need...
How to get a replacement Social Security card
Having your Social Security card stolen or losing it is not a pleasant experience. However, if you have lost your Social Security card, it is possible to replace it. There is no charge to get a replacement social security card, also referred to as a...
Social Security Retirement Benefits: How to Apply
When you start approaching retirement age, it is worthwhile considering if it is time to start accessing your Social Security retirement benefits. These are a great source of financial support in your old age, but you have a specific window of time w...
States with Open Adoption Records
For a long time, adoptees in the United States have had a hard time obtaining access to adoption records and their original birth certificates. To protect the privacy of biological parents and help avoid the stigma associated with giving birth outsi...
Stolen U.S. Birth Certificate: What to do step by step
If your birth certificate is stolen, you will need to promptly protect yourself from identity theft or fraud. The first thing you need to do as soon as you suspect that your birth certificate might have been taken by an unauthorized third person, is...
Strawman Birth Certificate Theory
The Strawman theory is a belief relating to the legal position of a country’s citizens. The basis of the theory is related to the existence of birth certificates, and the way in which they are issued. This page explains what the strawman theory is an...
How to Know If You Were Switched at Birth
Babies switched at birth are a certainly rare yet terrifying occurrence in hospitals and other birth facilities. While some switches are temporary, in some cases years pass before anyone gets suspicious and decides to investigate. And if the familie...
Transgender Birth Certificates by State
Today, there are around 1.4 million transgender people living in the USA. As attitudes to gender fluidity continue to change over time, so do the rules for representing a change of gender on citizens’ vital records. Naturally, a change of gender oft...
Transgender Name Change: How to Legally Change Your Name in the US
Members of the LGBTQ+ community, and transgender, non-binary, and intersex individuals in particular, have long fought to be able to legally change their name and gender marker more easily. For many, this is not only a matter of identity but also per...
Unique Travel Destinations That Don't Require a US Passport
US citizens looking for exotic places to go to without the hassle of renewing their passport or standing in a customs line at the airport still have many worthwhile destinations they can choose from. Read on to find out where you can enjoy an exotic ...
TSA Screening Procedures 2023: What’s Changed Because of COVID-19?
TSA screening is a fact of life when you travel. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, these procedures have changed to adapt to the health crisis. Getting ready to fly cross-country or abroad now has a few more requirements you have to be aw...
US Federal Holidays 2023: Observed and Proposed Dates
Federal holidays are dates that have been designated as holidays by the U.S. federal government (5 U.S.C. 6103). In 2023, there will be 11 different federal holidays within the United States. On these days, all government offices and banks are clos...
US Naming Laws by State
Baby name trends change from year to year —usually influenced by famous people, popular fictional characters, cultural or religious factors. In some states, guidelines have been put in place to define whether new parents are allowed to choose a certa...
Veteran Family Benefits: The Key Things You Need to Know
If you or your family members have served in the military you may be entitled to veteran benefits. This allows former personnel to access advantages such as health care, education, and other support. Many wonder whether family members get veteran be...
Voter ID Requirements and Laws by State
With the 2022 elections just around the corner, many citizens are wondering what documents are necessary in order to vote in the United States. Other questions that arise around the elections are who can vote, what voter ID laws are, and how many st...
Washington Vital Records Law 2021 Update
The Vital Records Modernization Act, a new vital records law for the state of Washington, will come into effect starting January 1st, 2021. The new law will have important effects on the way the public accesses vital records such as death and birth ...
What Do I Need a Birth Certificate For?
A birth certificate is an important legal document —in fact, it is the first official document a citizen is issued in their life. As such, a birth certificate is used to obtain other government-issued identification documents. Birth certificates are ...
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account?
Having a bank account is a necessary step for the vast majority of people in the U.S. It is essential to receive your salary and other payments, as well as making purchases and covering other daily expenses. It is also often necessary to prove suffic...
What Documents Should Be Shredded?
Whether you’re a passionate spring cleaner or love safekeeping, there comes a time when you wonder whether that 15-year-old receipt is worth having around. The truth is, we tend to accumulate more documents than we need and even though paperless tech...
What Happens if I Have No Birth Certificate?
A birth certificate is an extremely important form of identification for U.S. nationals. With your birth certificate, you can prove your identity as well as your citizenship and you can get access to (among others): Government benefits U.S. schools ...
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 pa...
What is a US Birth Certificate and what does it look like?
With thousands of different birth certificate formats issued in the United States alone, it is no surprise that many Americans wonder what a birth certificate is, what it looks like and what purposes it serves. Read on to find out everything you need...
What Rights Do Fathers Have if Not on a Birth Certificate?
When married couples have a child, the father’s name is included on the birth certificate without needing to establish paternity. In this case, parental obligations and rights are equal for both parents. However, the situation changes for unmarried ...
Where Can I Get a Photo ID Besides the DMV?
A DMV driver’s license is one of the most common forms of photo identification in the United States. However, there are alternative forms of identification for those who do not need a driver’s license. The official US photo IDs that are available may...
How To Find Out Who You Are Related To
If the questions “Am I related to anyone famous?” or “Am I related to royalty?” have recently crossed your mind, our quick guide to genealogy will help you answer both. Whether you are creating your family tree or simply curious about your ancestors...
An abstract birth certificate is one where selected information has been copied from the original birth certificate or from a database and has been added to a new, simplied form. Most birth certificates today are abstracted as they are printed from ...
If you want to be recognized as the biological and legal father of a child (especially if the mother and you are unmarried) and your baby is already born, you may want to take steps to sign the acknowledgement of paternity form. Not everyone has to s...
A Decree of Adoption is the document issued by a legal court to finalize an adoption process. The adoption is completed when the judge signs this document, thus creating a parent-child relationship between the adopted child and the adoptive parents. ...
Although adoption has been around in different forms for thousands of years, adoption statutes and official adoption records appeared in the United States only in the second half of the 19th century. Before then and until regulations were implemented...
An affidavit of birth is a document submitted to a court, state, or other institution. It helps verify a person’s birth information and can be used if the birth record is incomplete. It is also known as a birth affidavit or affidavit for birth certif...
An amended birth certificate is a certificate that was officially edited and changed from its original form. This can be the result of an adoption or a request from the birth certificate holder or their parents. There may be several reasons for an A...
An apostille is a certification provided under the 1961 Hague Convention for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries. The main function of a birth certificate apostille is to certify the authenticity of the signature of the document. Th...
What Is a Biometric Passport? A biometric passport, also known as digital passport or e-passport, is a type of travel and identification document used by many nations. This type of passport has an embedded electronic chip that contains key informatio...
A Birth Certificate for Election Identification is a certified copy of a birth certificate that is issued for the sole purpose of obtaining an Election Identification Certificate, or EIC. This is a type of Texas birth certificate copy, that cannot be...
Professionals known as birth certificate and vital records clerks help the general public in some of the most important moments in a person’s life, for example, when a birth certificate, death certificate, or other form of vital record is needed. The...
Almost all birth certificates issued by a U.S. State include an 11-digit number written in XXX-XX-XXXXXX format. The birth certificate number is formed by: A 3-digit area code number. A 2-digit year of registration, which is usually the year of birt...
Birth records are record of births that are kept under governmental authority. A birth record is an essential vital record for any individual. For many centuries births and deaths were documented in church records, not government ones. Birth records ...
New parents have a substantial amount of paperwork to complete after their child is born. This includes the actual pregnancy and birth, as well as long-term care for the baby. It’s easy for some parents to get confused about the differences between b...
Whereas a birth certificate provides legal proof of a registered birth registered and is a certified copy of a birth record, a birth-verification letter is just a letter stating whether or not a birth was registered with that state. Only Texas issues...
Birtherism —also known as the Birther Movement— was started by Donald J.Trump by persistently questioning and denying that former President Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States of America. This conspiracy theory implied Obama w...
The California Office of Health Information and Research is in charge of a database that gathers birth records of all registered births in the state between 1905 and 1995. This birth record database is known as the California Birth Index, or CABI, i...
If you and/or your family live in California, the California Family Code may affect several aspects of your life. If you are considering marriage and starting a family, making changes to your family, register a newborn birth certificate, or are just...
A Certificate of Citizenship is a crucial vital record issued to US citizens born abroad or to derivative citizens. This allows Americans born overseas or children of naturalized citizen parents to prove their US citizenship and obtain important docu...
When a baby is born, both a certificate of live birth and a baby's birth certificate are issued. The certificate of live birth is an unofficial document issued by the hospital for data entry purposes. The US Standard Certificate of Live Birth is a f...
A Certificate of Naturalization is an official document proving that its holder has become a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. Therefore, the Certificate of Naturalization is issued to former foreign nationals. What Does Naturaliza...
In the State of California, a CNPR or Certificate of no Public Record is a certified document issued by the Vital Records office stating that no record could be located with the information provided on an application. If the California Department of...
A certified copy is a copy of a primary document that features and endorsement or seal that proves it is a true copy of the primary document. According to Wikipedia, "it does not certify that the primary document is genuine, only that it is a true co...
A certified copy of a birth certificate is a document that has an official state registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, the registrar’s signature as well as the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which ...
Civil registration is an administration process used by governments. The office that is responsible for managing the registration system can have different titles, including: Registrar Registry office Population registry Bureau of vital statistics...
Closed adoptions were the norm in America in the 20th century. Although they are far less popular now, they still exist. Prospective birth and adoptive parents should be aware of the difference between open and closed adoptions as well as what havin...
A commemorative birth certificate is a copy of your original birth certificate that you can receive as a type of keepsake to celebrate a birth or to remember someone. This vital record is unique because it is meant to be used as a decoration. Simila...
A common law marriage is a union that is legally recognized without a marriage license being purchased or an official ceremony taking place. It allows couples who have lived together for a long amount of time to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage,...
A birth is considered confidential when the mother gives her identity to the authorities, but it is not revealed publically. Confidential births are legal in the United States and are done for various reasons. In these cases, the mother can prevent...
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certifies that a child born abroad to U.S. citizens acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The birth of a U.S. citizen that took place overseas or at a U.S. military base outside the United States is registered...
A county clerk, or clerk of courts, is the person responsible for filing vital records or other important official documents related to a specific county population. Please note that a county clerk is not the same as a birth certificate clerk. What d...
The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is a government scheme that allows the Department of State to verify with parents and legal guardians that their children have the correct parental consent to apply for a passport and travel over...
Criminal records in the United States contain records of arrests, criminal charges, and the disposition of those charges. Criminal records are collected and updated at local, state, and federal levels by government agencies, generally, law enforcemen...
A person’s date of birth (DOB) denotes the day, month and year that an individual was born on. This is an essential piece of personal data, that is often used on official ID documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, and official birth certi...
Determining the parentage and assigning parental rights can sometimes be difficult. Father rights, in particular, can be confusing, especially in case of adoption and when talking about non-biological parents. If you are not the biological parent of...
A death certificate can refer to the document that is issued by a person, usually a registrar of vital records, that declares the date, location, and cause of a person’s death. There are different reasons why you might need to obtain a death certifi...
Death records are a type of record that certify the death of an individual. They contain essential information regarding the deceased, like full name, date, and place of birth, time and place of death, cause of death, name of hospital and funeral ho...
In most states within the US, birth records began being formally filed around 1910. Since then, new parents had to register the birth of their child within the baby’s first year of life. Nowadays, most birth registrations for babies are done by hosp...
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, or more commonly referred to as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level department of the United States federal government, founded in 1953 by U.S President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The primar...
Derived citizenship is one of the ways in which a person may obtain US citizenship. It is a form of acquired citizenship granted through laws of derivation introduced under the Child Citizenship Act. However, in order to obtain it set criteria must b...
A divorce certificate is not to be confused with a divorce decree. The first one, a divorce certificate, is issued by your state’s health department or by the bureau of vital statistics. The divorce certificate is not issued by a court and simply sh...
A divorce decree is a court document that includes the final judgment from divorce court. This document will contain details about the divorce case, and details about spousal support, child, support, custody, visitation, property division, and other ...
Divorce records are public records which contain data on family members, their marital history, their property. residences, and dates of other important events such as the birth of a child. How to find divorce records Divorce records are public reco...
The Department or Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a state-level government agency that administers vehicle registration and driver licensing in the United States of America. The DMV is not used in every state or area, nor are the traditional DMV ...
What Is a Driver’s License? A driver's license is an official document which is often plastic and the size of a credit card. The document allows an individual to legally operate one or more types of motorized vehicle (i.e., motorcycle, car, truck, bu...
A driving record or driver record is a matter of public records, this means that the driving record or motor vehicle report (MVR) is the public record of your driving history. Offenses stay on your driving record for a period of 3 or 10 years. The am...
The DS-4194 form is an official document used by the US Department of State. American citizens may need to use this form to authenticate official documents, such as a US birth certificate or other vital records. The following page explains what the D...
Couples nowadays choose to elope for several reasons: some want an adventure and wish to get married in a different state or country that is meaningful to them, others decide to avoid religious, parental, or community objections. Elopement is also of...
The Enhanced Driver's License or EDL is a state-issued driver's license and ID card which complies with travel rules under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), effective June 1, 2009. It is a federally approved document that includes a ma...
An expatriate is a name for a national citizen who has decided to live or work abroad in another country. It is functionally similar to the term migrant, although differs slightly as expatriates often only live abroad temporarily or relocate for work...
A birth certificate is an essential legal document that US nationals need on several occasions throughout their life. These include, for example: Enrolling in school Signing up for the military Receiving social security benefits Signing a contract o...
Fetal death is defined as death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother. The fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life. Fetal deaths later in pregnancy, at 20 weeks of gestation or more, are also often referred t...
Form DS 1350 (also known as a Certificate of Report of Birth) is a discontinued document that was used to identify and formally establish the rights to US citizenship of individuals born overseas. This originally replaced form FS 545 in 1990 and has ...
Form FS 240 is an important embassy issued vital record that proves the right to US citizenship if the child of a citizen or resident is born overseas. The FS 240 form is commonly referred to as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). A CRBA is an...
Form FS 545, which is also known as a Certificate of birth abroad, is a now-discontinued vital record. It was formerly issued by US consular offices to prove the identity of individuals born abroad to US citizen parents. Since 1990, the FS 545 form h...
Genealogy and family research can be an exciting way to learn about your family history and the events in your ancestors’ life. They can help you build your family tree, learn more about your roots and identity and in some cases, can even provide use...
A government-issued ID is an identification document issued by the United States federal or local state government that allows a citizen to identify themselves. Government-issued identification documents are considered a valid form of identification ...
A heirloom birth certificate is a personalized birth certificate with specially designed details and background security features. It has usally an engraved intaglio border, a gold embossed seal, and it is printed on heirloom-quality paper. In most ...
INA 320 refers to Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It states that children born outside the United States can obtain U.S. citizenship if they meet certain criteria before they turn 18. This was established after the Child Citizens...
An informational birth certificate is a specific type of document that is usually easier to obtain than certified copies of birth certificates and can be used for different purposes. Laws regulating birth certificates are under state jurisdiction. Th...
Issuing authority refers to any government agency or office that has the power to issue a specific official document. For example, in the United States, birth certificates are issued by the office of vital records from the state in which the individu...
The term "keepsake birth certificate" refers to a copy of your original birth certificate that can be purchased for personal, non-official use in Alabama. This document is not a certified copy of your vital record and cannot be used for any legal pu...
The Known Traveler Number is your membership number with a Trusted Traveler Program. The KTN is a 9-digit number that usually begins with 98 and can be found on your Trusted Traveler Program website. The KTN allows you to access TSA PreCheck securit...
A legal guardian is a person who is lawfully appointed to take care of a minor or incapacitated person. In doing so they assume all the responsibilities a parent (also known as a natural guardian) would usually hold and become the primary caregiver o...
Those who were born in New York City and need a certified copy of their birth certificate may have to obtain a letter of Exemplification. The letter of exemplification is not required by most states so many individuals are not familiar with it. In th...
A long form birth certificate may refer to a certificate with parental information or a certified copy of birth registration. This official document is issued by the state’s health department. A government agency might ask you to submit a long form b...
A marriage certificate in an official document that states that two people are married. A marriage certificate is issued by a government official after civil registration of the marriage. In the United States the marriage certificate is the official ...
A marriage license is a document that authorizes a couple to marry. The document is usually issued by a church or state authority. The procedure to obtain a marriage license has changed over time, and there are legal requirements that must be met fi...
Marriage records are a type of vital record that certify that a couple has been married. The process for recording marriages has differed over time, and there are a number of different types of record available. Currently, marriage records can be fo...
A "Miscarriage Certificate" or "Nonviable Birth Certificate" is a document that some states provide when a pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. A miscarriage, also called a "spontaneous abortion," is when a baby dies in the womb before it is able to sur...
NAPHSIS—The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems—plays an important part in the United States vital records system. NAPHSIS is the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems. It is a...
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the United States government’s primary vital and health statistics agency. The NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is part of the United States Department of ...
Many people feel that binary gender definitions (male/female) do not reflect their true gender identity. In this case, they may refer to their gender as non-binary and to themselves as genderqueer. Although non-binary individuals are part of the LGB...
A non-citizen is a person who has an allegiance or is protected by a state or government, without possessing the full rights of that state’s citizenship. In the United States this applies to those who hold US nationality but not US citizenship, as d...
Those looking to retrace their family tree may find Non-Genealogical Vital Records extremely useful. Unlike genealogical vital records, Non-Genealogical Vital Records can go back as far as 80 years. Genealogy records are older, as are considered gen...
An original birth certificate is necessary as it is a primary form of identification and proof of citizenship in the US. Note that there are two kinds of birth certificate, a certified birth certificate and an informational one. The original birth c...
If you are a parent or wish to become one in the United States, you may have heard of the term ‘parentage.’ It is a word used in family law to indicate the establishment of the legal parent(s) of a child. It also refers to parental rights and respons...
A U.S. Passport Book is an government issued identification document with several blank pages used to travel abroad. These blank pages are used for visas and stamps whenever the holder enters or exits a country. What is the Passport Book number? Whe...
The passport book number is a unique set of numerals and letters that distinguishes one passport book from another. If you own a passport, it does have an identification passport number. Sometimes, the passport identifier is only numerals, and other ...
The passport card is a wallet-sized U.S. passport, which is the main travel document. It can only be used to re-enter the United States at land border-crossings or ports of entry by sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. Passport card v...
A place of birth (POB) is the location where a person was born. This information is used for many necessary purposes such as proof of citizenship, birth records, and is listed on a number of crucial identifying documents. Knowing your place of birth ...
Providing proof of age demonstrates that you are as old as you claim to be. Normally, you will be asked for proof of age once you turn 18. Proof of age will typically only be legally recognized with certain government, educational, or military forms ...
Proof of citizenship is necessary when dealing with all levels of U.S. government. The main proof of citizenship is the U.S. Passport. However, people who wish to apply for a passport will need to submit certain documents that are accepted as evidenc...
Proof of joint ownership means that you need to verify you own property jointly with your partner. In order to do so you can present the following documents: mortgage statements, bank statements, credit card statements, residential leasing agreements...
Kinship is a term that is used to describe a person’s connection to another person by blood or family relationship. Your vital records will often prove to be essential in providing proof of being someone’s next-of-kin. Knowing how and when to use the...
A “putative father” is a man that claims to be the biological father of a child that does not have a legal relationship with them. A legal relationship is usually not established because the father was not married to the child's mother at the time o...
When someone purchases real state property, the buyer receives a written document known as "the deed." This document transfers title and ownership of the property from the seller to the purchaser and until the deed is delivered to you or your authori...
If you live in the United States and want to retrace your family history and learn interesting and useful information about your ancestors, you have several options at your disposal, for example: Birth certificates Birth records Non-Genealogical Vit...
Rush service is a service offered to expedite the process of obtaining a vital record. This service is provided for a fee that may vary depending on the state where the event occurred. Rush service reduces the processing time of a vital record, by e...
Although adoptions have been around throughout history, rules and regulations surrounding them have changed over time. In the early 20th century, some states in the U.S. started applying sealed birth records to adoption proceedings and the practice s...
Short form birth certificates are often referred as “abstracts”. They only provide a portion of the information that is included in the long form birth certificate. The short form birth certificate can be used to demonstrate that a full birth certifi...
In the United States, the Social Security Card is the document that helps identify and record a citizen’s wages or self-employment earnings, containing the cardholder's full name and Social Security number. It is also used to monitor a person’s recor...
A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. government to all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible temporary residents. It is an identifier for individuals within the United States that is necessary to obtain ...
In the United States, Identity documents are typically regional state-issued driver's license or identity card. There is no official mandatory national identity card issued nationwide by a federal agency that may be used as identification. A State I...
All births and deaths must be registered. This includes live births, stillbirths, and fetal deaths. There are different regulations for reporting these occurrences, depending on the circumstances. Here you will learn the process for registering these...
A sworn statement, or sworn declaration, is a document with a statement that is given orally or written, under oath or penalty of perjury, with facts relevant to a legal proceeding. A sworn statement is similar to an affidavit, the only difference b...
The Texas birth index is a registry listing all the birth records registered between 1903 and 2010 by the Texas Department of Health Services. It offers an invaluable means of tracing vital records for both genealogical purposes and finding out key i...
A US passport is a travel document issued to citizens and nationals of the United States. US passports, also called American passports, are issued by the U.S. Department of State. American citizens can obtain a passport book or a passport card. They’...
As an American citizen, you will need your vital records (like your birth certificate) on several occasions. They are essential documents, often required to complete bureaucratic and legal processes. It is important that you keep your vital records s...
A Vital Records Office is a governmental institution responsible for filing, issuing, preserving, protecting, and amending copies of vital records. Vital Records Offices are sometimes called a Bureau of Vital Statistics or Bureau of Vital Records or ...
Vital statistics are government-kept statistics, information, and civil registration, of different life events. In the United States, the civil registration system compiles data contained in individual civil registration records to create statistical...
A certificate of failure to find is a legal document issued by a government agency stating that a search for a particular vital record was conducted, but it could not be found. This certificate can often be submitted in place of the missing vital re...