It’s important to have a copy of your birth certificate available, since you’ll need it often as proof of identity. You may need a certified copy of your birth certificate in order to apply for a driver’s license or passport, sign up for school, or apply for a marriage license. However, many people don’t keep a copy on hand. So, if you need a copy right away, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to process a birth certificate application.
First of all, you should be aware that photocopies and short-form birth certificates are not legally valid and cannot be used for official purposes. You must use a certified copy of your birth certificate, which you can only get from the Vital Records Office in the state you were born in.
You can apply for one in person and get it fast, but if you no longer live in your birth state, then this is probably not the best option for you. Traveling to your home state’s Vital Records Office will likely negate any time or money saving benefits.
In addition, birth certificate application processing times vary, depending on how busy the Vital Records Office is. You may end up standing in line for hours waiting. However, you will likely get your birth certificate that day.
How to get your birth certificate online
It’s not as fast as going in person, but the easiest way to get a birth certificate copy is to order one online. All you have to do is fill out a short application with information about yourself, or the person you’re applying for, such as the full, legal name, and the place and date of birth. The whole process only takes around 10 minutes.
When you order your birth certificate copy online, it generally takes around 4-8 weeks to process your application and for you to receive your certified copy in the mail. However, processing times vary by state, so you may want to check out birth certificate application processing times for more information.
Many states also offer rush service, for an additional fee. If you need your birth certificate fast, you can pay for rush service and get it within 5 business days. However, you should keep in mind that rush service varies by state. Some states offer a rush service option, but it does not affect processing times, only shipping times. Other states offer both expedited processing and shipping. So, you should check and make sure which type of rush service your birth state has before you order. In addition, some states do not offer any kind of expedited service or shipping options. In this case, you will have to either go in person to apply or wait a few weeks to get your birth certificate copy in the mail.
How will I receive my birth certificate when I order online?
If you apply for your birth certificate online, you will have the option to select your preferred shipping method. So, if you need a copy right away, you can pay extra for express shipping. This will allow you to get your birth certificate quicker, and as a bonus, it also provides greater security to keep your private information safe. Depending on the shipping method you choose, you may need to be present when it is delivered to sign for it.
However, if you do not need it urgently, you can use the standard shipping service, first class mail. Using this method, it takes around 10 days for your certified birth certificate copy to arrive. Unlike the express options, you won’t be able to track your package, but you won’t have to be home to sign for it either.
Can I order a birth certificate for someone else?
If you are ordering someone else’s birth certificate, you must first find out if you are legally allowed to do so. Different states have different rules and regulations concerning who is allowed to apply for someone else’s birth certificate. In general, you can access another person’s birth records if you are an immediate family member. If you are not, but you have a legitimate need, you may be able to petition the court for permission to apply for their birth certificate. Keep in mind, however, that many states require you to provide proof of your identity and your relationship with the individual on record when applying for someone else’s birth certificate.
You can also check out: What is a rush service for Vital Records