Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understanding birth certificates

A birth certificate is an important document that can be used for various reasons. Learn everything about birth certificates, why do you need them, the difference between long and short forms and how you can obtain a certified copy.

A Vital record is a legal document issued by government authorities which records life events about an individual. There are four types of vital records:

  • Birth records
  • Death records
  • Marriage records
  • Divorce records

Some jurisdictions may also include records of civil unions or domestic partnerships.
Vital records are typically maintained and issued by the county or the state where the event took place.

A birth certificate is an important document that includes personal identifiable information. A birth certificate can be used to legally prove your identity and is required when (but not limited to):
  • Applying for a passport
  • Getting your driver's license
  • Getting a replacement Social Security card
  • Applying for government benefits
  • Enrolling in schools
  • Joining the military
  • Claiming pension or insurance benefits
  • For genealogy purposes
  • International use
  • Court proceedings

A certified copy of a birth certificate usually has two common versions the short form, and the long form.
Both versions are certified copies and may be used to prove an individual’s identity. The amount of information shown on both versions varies from state to state and depending on the reason you may be required to provide a one or the other.

Short Form Birth Certificate Format

A short form birth certificate contains almost all of the important information that a long form has, with the exception of signatures or further detailed information about the individuals parents; however this varies from state to state. It can be used to prove a individuals identity, age and citizenship, and is typically the default version when requesting a birth certificate.
However, depending on the reason for needing a copy of your birth certificate you may be required to provide the long and more detailed form of your birth certificate.

Long Form Birth Certificate Format

A long form birth certificate, often referred to as the official version, has all the information regarding an individual's birth, though this information varies from state to state. A long form birth certificate includes, but not limited to, the following information:

  • Time and place of birth
  • Parents’ names
  • Address
  • Signatures of those present at birth

You will require a long form for an adoption process, for a dual citizenship application, or to obtain a passport. If you need the long version of your birth certificate, you must specify it in your application.

Thanks to our reliable and fast application process, you can easily obtain your birth certificate. All birth certificates ordered through US Birth Certificates are certified copies that can be used as proof of identity and citizenship, to obtain a passport, to renew your driver's license, to obtain a social security card, etc.
A certified copy of a birth certificate is issued by the office of vital statistics of the state or county where the birth took place and will have the embossed, impressed, multi-colored, or raised seal and signature of the issuing authority. It will also show the registrant’s full name at birth as well as the full names of both parents, the date and place of birth and the registration number.
If you require a certified birth certificate to use overseas, you are required to first request your birth certificate and then apply for an 'Apostille' or 'Certification Certificate'. These are commonly use when marrying abroad, to start an international adoption process, or to apply for a dual citizenship.

No, birth certificates do not have an expiration date. However, if you have lost your birth certificate or if it is any way degraded or if not all information is clearly visible, then you are required to obtain a new copy.

Requesting your birth certificate

All about the process of requesting a certified copy of your birth certificate, who is eligible to apply, what are the requirements, do you need to provide a copy of your current photo ID.

Thanks to our online platform, requesting a birth certificate has never been easier. You simply need to complete your birth state’s application form, pay the state fees, and follow the instructions. We provide personalized instructions with easy to follow steps that will tell you exactly what you need to do. Some states require you prove your identity by providing a copy of your photo ID or having your application notarized.

In most states, birth certificates are private records only available to immediate family members or those who can prove they have a tangible interest in obtaining them. All direct family members, and those with a legal interest, or with a court order may get a certified copy of a birth certificate.

If you are not a direct family member, or if you do not have a tangible legal interest to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate, you may apply for an informational copy of a birth certificate. An informational copy will contain all relevant information; however, it is not a legal document and may not be used to prove someone's identity. Informational copies are often requested for genealogical purposes.

The request a certified copy of a birth certificate you are required to complete the form. and indicate the relationship you have with the registrant. Some states will require you prove your identity and/ or relationship to the registrant by providing a copy of a valid photo-ID, that must also include your address and signature, for example:

  • Photo drivers license
  • State photo-ID
  • U.S. or foreign passport

Other states may require that you have your application notarized by mailing a sworn letter along with your application. We provide a set of customized instructions that have detailed information on how to have your application notarized.

We have simplified the application process to obtain a birth certificate. To apply for a certified copy of a birth certificate you will need to complete our online form and provide as much information as possible so that the Health Department is able to locate the birth certificate. Information required may include:

  • State of birth
  • Full name at birth
  • Date and place of birth
  • Sex
  • Full maiden name of mother
  • Full name of father
  • Your name
  • Your relationship to the person whose certificate you are requesting
  • Reason for requesting the certificate
  • Address where you want to receive the certificate

Yes. Most U.S. states offer the option to request a certified copy of a birth certificate in both English and Spanish. If you would like to know if the state where the birth occurred offers this option or if you want to complete your application in Spanish, please contact us so we can help you.

Every birth in the U.S. is recorded, and a birth certificate is issued as proof. A birth certificate is an important document used to prove identity and to apply for government benefits and other important documents like a driver’s license and passport. You can quickly obtain a copy of your baby’s birth certificate through our secure vital record services. You will need to provide your baby’s full name, date and place of birth, parents’ names, mother’s maiden (birth) name, and the address to which the certificate is to be sent.

Some hospitals may provide you with an order form during your hospital stay. It is recommended that you request a copy of your baby’s birth certificate as soon as possible, usually about one month after the birth as it takes about a month for the information to be officially recorded.

To legally change your name you require permission from a court of law since a judge needs to consent to the altering of the vital records. To apply for a court-ordered name change, you must file a petition, pay a filing fee and attend a hearing. To apply for a court-ordered name change, you must file a petition, pay a filing fee and attend a hearing. If you legally changed your name due to adoption or gender reassignment surgery, for example, you are required to provide a court order to prove who you are.

To request your birth certificate after legally changing your name, you will need to complete the application form and submit a certified copy of your name change order. Please note that changing your name due to marriage will not affect your vital records as you did not go by your married name at birth.

In every adoption, there’s an original birth certificate and an amended birth certificate. When a birth occurs, the state of birth issues an original birth certificate known as OBC, when a child is adopted, a new certificate is issued, an amended birth certificate, or ABC. An amended birth certificate has all of the relevant information regarding the birth of the child exactly as shown on the original birth certificate.

However, it replaces the birth parents’ names with those of the adoptive parents, as well as the child’s name if it is being changed. Most adoption records, as well as the original birth certificate, are sealed at the time of adoption. Thereforeñ, the OBC is usually not available to the adopted person.

Please keep in mind that birth certificates vary from state to state. For example, some states may change information when issuing amended birth certificates, like changing the place of birth to that of the adoptive parents’ residence, even if that differs from the actual place of birth.

Obtaining your birth certificate

How to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, how long does it take to process a copy and how much does it cost. Everything you need to know about the official fees and how to pay them, processing times and rush services.

To request a copy of your birth certificate you are required to complete the state form and pay the state fees. The fees to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate varies from state to state. US Birth Certificates charges a transparent service of 47$ fee for our filing assistance service.

  • All 50 states forms that guarantee the fastest, easiest, and most reliable services
  • Our filing assistance service includes the filled out form as well as a verification process from one of our expert team members
  • Dedicated Customer Service 24/7
  • Customized instructions
  • Your certificate in your hand guaranteed!.

Thanks to our vital records services, obtaining a copy of your birth certificate has never been easier. We offer the safest, easiest and quickest way to get your birth certificate. Please note that processing of vital records applications varies from state to state and even between counties of the same state. Each state’s turnaround time depends on number of applications received. However, in most cases birth certificate orders are filled within two to three weeks after reception of application.

Need your birth certificate faster? Some states offer rush service, which may include rush processing and expedited mailing service, or only one of the two. If your state offer this option and you wish to request it but didn’t at the time you submitted the form you can contact us and we will amend it for you.

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