If you need to get a copy of your U.S. Birth Certificate notarized for legal purposes, you may be wondering how to do it.
A notary public can notarize a U.S. Birth Certificate or another type of vital record, but depending on what you need to use your birth certificate for, it may not be necessary to have it notarized.
Before we get into the process of notarization, we’re going to clear up a few misconceptions about birth certificates in general. Contrary to popular belief, the certificate you receive at the hospital when your baby is born (the one with the footprints) is not actually a birth certificate and is not legally valid proof of identity.
Every individual’s original U.S. birth certificate is securely stored at the Vital Records Office where it was created. You can not access the original version of your birth certificate, since the Vital Records Office keeps it under lock and key.
However, you can get certified copies of your birth certificate, which are created using the original, and a certified copy is valid anytime you need to use your birth certificate to prove your identity or citizenship.
Do I need to get my birth certificate authenticated, certified or notarized?
If you are asked to show an official birth certificate, all you need is a certified copy of your birth certificate. You can not use a regular photocopy. Since there are several different types of birth certificate copies that you can apply for, you should learn how to recognize an official, certified copy. This type of birth certificate copy is identical to the original. It has all of the same information, and has been verified for accuracy by the issuing office. A valid, certified copy will include:
- A raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal
- The registrar’s signature
- The date the certificate was filed (must be within one year of the person’s birth)
If your birth certificate copy does not have all of these elements, then it is not certified and cannot be used for official purposes. You will need order a certified copy from the Vital Records Office in your birth state. They will create a copy, using your original birth certificate that they have on file. The certified copy that you receive will be legally valid to prove your identity or verify your citizenship.
Do certified birth certificate copies need to be notarized?
No, it is not necessary to notarize a certified copy of your birth certificate. In fact, it is actually illegal. You do not need to have it authorized or certified by a third party either, since the issuing office has already certified it.
A certified birth certificate copy will have an official seal from the Vital Records Office that issued it, making it valid for use when you need to prove your identity. It is already officially legal and valid, so there is nothing else that needs to be done to it.
Actually, notaries are instructed to deny any requests to notarize birth certificates, as well as other vital records, including death and marriage certificates. This is because all vital records are certified by the county clerk, who is responsible for ensuring that the records are accurate and are exactly like the originals.
However, when you apply for a certified birth certificate copy, some states do require you to notarize the application, in order to prove your identity.
In short, if you need to get an official copy of your birth certificate, you can order a certified copy online, and the document you receive will be completely official and acceptable proof of your identity.
You can also check out: How to authenticate a US Birth Certificate?
Learn more about notarized applications here: Can I Notarize A Request For A Birth Certificate? National Notary Association