If your birth certificate was stolen, lost, or damaged, you will need to get a birth certificate replacement. However, you must apply with the vital records office in your birth state, even if you have relocated.
The application process is different if you are a US citizen born abroad, or you’ve just moved to different state.
In addition, the application process also varies by state and county, since there is no federal standard for birth certificates in the United States. Birth certificate copies are issued by states and counties, not the federal government.
So, if you need to get your birth certificate, or someone else’s, we’ll help you determine the right way to apply when you live in a different location than you were born in.
Who Can Apply for an Out-of-state Birth Certificate?
Each state has their own rules about who is allowed to apply for a birth certificate copy
Some states have open birth records, which are also called public records. These states allow anyone who can provide the necessary information about the person on record to request an official copy of a birth certificate.
However, most states have closed birth records. These states will only allow the certificate holder, select immediate family members, and possibly a few other authorized people to access birth certificate copies.
Requirements to apply for a birth certificate from another state
The application process and necessary documents to get a birth certificate copy vary by state. So, the following requirements may be slightly different, depending on where the individual was born. To apply for a birth certificate copy, the applicant typically needs the certificate holder’s:
- Name, gender (at birth), birth date, and place of birth
- Mother’s name and maiden name
- Father’s name
- Parent’s marital status at the time of birth (only required in some states)
If you are applying for a third person’s birth certificate in a closed record state, they may require proof that you are legally allowed to access the records. For example, you may need to show proof of your relationship to the individual or a court order or affidavit.
Long-form or short-form interstate birth certificates
Since there are different birth certificate formats that you can apply for, you’ll need to verify which type you need. There are long-form and short-form birth certificates, and they are used for different things.
- Long-form certified copies: used to prove a citizen’s identity, age and citizenship. To prevent identity theft, you generally must show proof that you are an eligible to apply for this certificate.
- Short-form birth certificate copies: these are easy to get and typically state on the document that they are “not valid for identification purposes.”
Documents needed to get a birth certificate from another state
When it comes to acceptable IDs that can be used to prove the identity of the applicant, every state has different requirements.
However, most states require at least one of the following government-issued IDs:
- U.S. passport card or book
- Driver’s license
- State-issued ID card
In addition, some states, such as Texas, offer several alternative options for acceptable forms of ID.
Applying for an out-of-state birth certificate online
If you need a copy of your out-of-state birth certificate to get a Social Security Card replacement, request a passport, etc., the easiest way to order it is online. This saves you a trip to the Vital Records Office. Even if you still live in your birth state, this is still the simplest and fastest application method. You get to avoid standing in line for hours, trying to figure out the confusing paperwork by yourself.
Previously, you had to go in person to a Vital Records Office in the state where you were born. Obviously, this was a big inconvenience if you no longer lived in the state. Imagine having to travel all the way across the country, just to apply for a copy of your birth certificate. Fortunately, you can just complete the birth certificate application online now. You are not required to travel back to your birth state and go to the vital records office in person.
You can actually apply for a birth certificate copy online right here. Just select your birth state, check the requirements listed, and follow these three steps to get your birth certificate delivered to you by mail:
- Fill out the correct birth certificate application form.
- Print and sign the form.
- Mail it, along with all necessary documents and payment, to the address listed.
How to get an out-of-state birth certificate copy for someone else
In order to apply for an interstate birth certificate for someone else, you must:
- Be legally qualified to do so in their birth state (close family member, legal representative, etc.)
- Have the individual’s consent or hold power of attorney
- Have all the necessary documents and, if applicable, proof that you can legally apply
While it’s much easier to get someone else’s birth certificate in a state with open records, the you’ll still use the same application process. Either way, the vital records will be mailed to the provided mailing address after the application is processed.