Delayed Birth Certificate definition

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 hospital or birthing center personnel using a Certificate of Live Birth form meant for data entry purposes.

However, some home births —that were very frequent in the past and still take place today— may not have been registered within 1 year of the baby’s date of birth.

What is a Delayed Birth Certificate?

When a citizen’s birth registration has not been filed within the first year, a different form will have to be submitted along with certain documents that serve as supporting evidence. The form that is filed more than 1 year after a citizen’s birth is known as a Delayed Birth Certificate.

Delayed birth certificates can be filed any time after the established period of 1 year past the citizen’s birth has been exceeded.

Who Needs a Delayed Birth Certificate?

Nationals whose birth has not been registered with the corresponding vital records office will need to present different documents depending on their age and the state they were born in.

Most birth registrations are sent by a medical practitioner or midwife who gives care to the mother or baby within the first 72 hours after the birth. Therefore, it is relatively uncommon to apply for a delayed birth certificate for a baby nowadays.

Nevertheless, a number of senior citizens often find out that their birth record was not duly filed with a vital records clerk after they attempt to obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate when applying for a passport or Real ID.

In other instances, people researching their ancestors cannot find their birth certificate and are met with a “no record found” when they order a birth certificate. Often, the necessary paperwork was not done for these birth records to be correctly registered. Nevertheless, those doing genealogical research can search for a delayed birth certificate instead.

How to Get a Delayed Birth Certificate?

Citizens whose birth record was not registered on time —within their first year of life— will have to file a delayed birth certificate. The exact procedure to file a delayed birth certificate differs slightly from one state to another.

In most cases, the citizen —or their parents in case of a minor— will have to fill out a Delayed Certificate of Birth form and submit it alongside the required supporting evidence, affidavit, and the applicable fee.

Usually, the first step is to apply for a certified copy of birth certificate. This can be easily done online by filling out a simple web form. In many states, such as Texas, this is done in order to verify whether a birth record for the citizen exists or not.

If the record exists, a certified copy of their birth certificate will be issued. If no record exists, the citizen will be provided with a form and instructions on how to apply for a Delayed Certificate of Birth.

In several states, such as Virginia, the Delayed Certificate of Birth form must be submitted after being signed before a Notary Public.

The form must be supported by at least 2 documents from independent sources establishing the following facts:

  • Full name of the citizen at the time of birth (except adoption, legitimation, paternity acknowledgment, or court action cases)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Mother’s full maiden name and birthplace
  • Father’s full name and birthplace (except if parents were not married to each other at time of birth, during 10 months prior to birth)

Acceptable supporting documents for delayed birth certificate applications include:

  • Baptismal records
  • School records
  • Certified Copy of Marriage Application
  • Birth Certificate of applicant’s child
  • Statement by attending physician or midwife
  • Hospital Record at birth or later hospitalization
  • Physician’s office record printed on letterhead
  • Census records
  • Military discharge records
  • Insurance Policy Application or Statement
  • Expired Driver’s License
  • Employment Record printed on company letterhead
  • Voter Registration Record
  • US passport
  • US Naturalization Certificate

Once the delayed birth certificate application has been completed and processed, the citizen will be able to order a certified copy of the birth certificate to keep on file.