Certified Birth Certificate Copy

A certified copy of a birth certificate is an official copy of the original document, issued by the  Vital Records office that has the original on file. A certified copy will have a raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored state seal, the registrar’s signature, and the date the original certificate was filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year of the certificate holder’s birth).

How to get a certified copy of a birth certificate?

Certified birth certificates are vital records that can be used to prove identity and citizenship. So, you will likely need one when applying the things like a U.S. passport or Social Security card. However, you can only get certified copies of your birth certificate from the agency that issued the original document in your birth state. The process to apply varies by state, as do the fees and processing times.

Differences between a certified copy and an informational copy

The Vital Records office is responsible for issuing both informational and certified copies, so they are both technically authorized copies. However, an informational birth certificate is not valid for official use and states on the document itself: “informational, not a valid document to establish identity.” It also will not have a state seal or registrar’s signature. Neither informational copies nor regular photocopies of birth certificates can be used to do things like apply for a driver’s license or passport or enroll a child in school.

For more information, check out: Birth certificates: long form and short form

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