Your birth certificate is a vital record that you will often need to show to prove your identity and citizenship. So, if your birth certificate is damaged, lost, or stolen, you’ll need to request a replacement birth certificate copy right away.
If it was stolen or lost, you should also take some additional steps to protect yourself and your credit. Your birth certificate contains sensitive information that someone could use to steal your identity or open up lines of credit in your name.
How do I get a copy of my birth certificate if it was lost or destroyed?
The fastest and easiest way to replace a lost or damaged birth certificate is to use our secure, online application process. You’ll be able to skip the trip to your birth state’s Vital Records Office and get your birth certificate sent straight to your home.
Keep in mind, you’ll need a certified birth certificate copy if you want to use it to do things like apply for a driver’s license or passport, enroll in school, or get a marriage license. A certified copy is issued directly by the Vital Records Office that has the original. It will have an embossed, multi-colored, or raised seal and the registrar’s signature.
So, if you need to get a new certified birth certificate copy, our online service can help.
You’ll also need to make sure you have the required information and supporting documents. Required documents and information vary by location, so you can click here and select your birth state to check and see what is required.
What should I do if my birth certificate was stolen?
If your birth certificate was stolen, you’ll need to file a report with your local police department right away. You should also contact the Vital Records Office in your birth state and let them know. Finally, you should monitor your credit to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. You can do this yourself, or sign up for a credit monitoring service that will watch your credit for you.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll also want to order a new birth certificate copy. Be sure to keep your replacement copy in a safe and secure location, that only you and people you trust can access.
How do I replace a lost birth certificate that will be used outside the US?
If you’ve lost your birth certificate and need a new copy that will be accepted outside the U.S., then you need to start by getting a new certified copy of your birth certificate. Then, you must apply for an apostille. The application process for an apostille varies by state. So, you’ll need to check the rules and requirements for your state to learn more.
A certified copy of a birth certificate with an apostille is considered legally valid for use outside of the U.S. You will need one for things like getting married, dealing with financial institutions, etc.
How do I replace my U.S. birth certificate if I was born abroad?
This is a complex question and depends on the time and place you were born, and how your parents reported your birth.
For more detailed information, check out our article on birth certificates for U.S. citizens who were born outside the country. You’ll be able to read about the different processes and find out which one applies to you.