If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate, you should get one right away, since you will need it often to use as proof of identity and citizenship. Birth certificates are used as proof of ID when applying for a passport or driver’s license, enrolling in school, and even getting married.
Unfortunately, while it is simple to apply for a birth certificate copy online, it’s not free. The application forms necessary to get a birth certificate copy are available online, but you must pay a fee when you submit your application to the Vital Records office responsible for issuing birth certificate copies.
How to apply for your birth certificate online
If you don’t have one already, you need to apply for a certified copy of your birth certificate. Certified copies are issued by the Vital Records Office in your birth state. If you need a copy of your birth certificate to use as proof of ID, you’ll need a certified copy. Just a photocopy won’t work.
A state’s Vital Records Office maintains the vital records of that state’s citizens, including birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. They are the only ones who can issued a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Applying online is the simplest and fastest way to get a certified birth certificate copy, which will be acceptable in any official capacity. All you have to do is:
- Fill out a simple online form asking for basic information
- Print and sign the birth certificate application form
- Mail it, along supporting documents and payment, to the address provided
When the Vital Records office has approved and processed your application, they will mail the copy to your listed address.
However, some people try to apply on their own and their applications are rejected due to errors. You can avoid delays by having a knowledgeable expert check your application before you send it.
When you take advantage of our application system, your application will be reviewed by our experts. They will make sure that it will be accepted without delays. You will also receive custom instructions on how to submit your application. Different states and counties have different application processes, so it can be difficult to determine the exact requirements. We’ll let you know which ID documents you can use to prove your identity and how to submit them with your application. You won’t have to navigate all the red tape and confusing directions on your own, and you’ll be able to ensure that your request is fulfilled as soon as possible.
You’ll also want to make sure that you apply for the correct type of birth certificate, since there are two different types. Some copies are only useful as keepsakes or for genealogical information. This type does not have an official state seal stamp and cannot be used officially. You will need to provide a certified birth certificate copy, with the stamp, in order to apply for other important documents.
Ordering online can save a lot of time and hassle if you live in a different state than your birth state. However, when applying for a birth certificate copy online, you must include payment for the processing fees, along with your application. You will need to check with your birth state to find out the birth certificate copy cost. If you do not pay the required fees, your application will not be processed.
Is there a way to download my birth certificate?
Birth certificates are official documents that can be used to prove your identity. Since you can do nearly anything online now, people often wonder if it is possible to download their birth certificates online.
This is not an option, however, since certified birth certificate copies must have an official raised or embossed state seal and the signature of the state, county or city registrar. So, you cannot download or print a birth certificate at home.
However, this is a good thing! Vital records are documents that contain much of your personal identity data, information that should be kept private. Your information would be much less secure if free, printable birth certificate copies could be found online.
With enough information, anyone could get a copy of your birth certificate and use it to commit identity theft. You should also keep your birth certificate in a safe, secure place where only you and people you trust can access it.
More tips for applying online
Photocopies of birth certificates are not valid for official purposes. Birth certificates must have a state seal and the registrar’s signature in order to be used as proof of identity. Only a Vital Records Office can issue certified copies, so any services that claim to allow you to download or print copies are scams and should be avoided.
Birth certificate copies applications go through the mail. Once the Vital Records Office has processed your application, they will mail your birth certificate to you. This process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the state. However, many states offer rush service, allowing you to pay extra to get your certified copy in just a few days.
Even when applying for a birth certificate online, you must be legally allowed to apply in that state. Most states have regulations that you must be the person on record or an immediate family member to access birth records. However, birth certificates can also be, for legal reasons, obtained by law enforcement officers or a legal representative. This may require a judge’s permission or a subpoena.