Your birth certificate is a vital document that you will use throughout your life to prove your citizenship, age, and identity.
So, you’ll need your birth certificate when applying for other identification documents like:
- Passport books
- Passport cards
- Driver’s licenses
- Social Security cards
You may also need a birth certificate to:
- Apply for government benefits
- Enroll yourself or your child in school
- Sign your child up for sports
- Join the military
Keep in mind, however, that a photocopy of your birth certificate is not legally valid and cannot be used for official purposes. You must have a certified birth certificate copy.
Certified copies of birth certificates are issued by the Vital Records Office that has the original certificate on file. However, the Vital Records Office issues several different kinds of birth certificate copies. Some of these copies are only for informational or keepsake purposes, so it’s important to order the right one.
In order to use a birth certificate for official purposes, it must be a certified copy. If you have a copy, but you aren’t sure what kind it is, there’s an easy way to tell. A certified copy will always have a raised, embossed, multi-colored seal, the registrar’s signature, and the date of issuance.
Fortunately, it’s easy to apply for a certified birth certificate copy online. All you have to do is fill out the short birth certificate application form, print and sign it, then mail it to the correct Vital Records Office, along with payment for the processing fees. They will process your application and send you your birth certificate copy in the mail.