How to Get a Certified Copy of Your Birth Certificate

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

A certified copy of a birth certificate is necessary for a lot of things. It is one of the documents needed to obtain many forms of ID, including a passport and a drivers license. Some colleges and universities also require a birth certificate to verify your application. It also is a major document used in tracing your family’s genealogical lineage when exploring a family tree. If you have lost or damaged your birth certificate, it is possible with the right information to replace this document. Whatever your reasons for obtaining a birth certificate, it is rather simple to do:

1. Replacement copies of birth certificates often take time and money.

Before wasting both, be certain that you can’t get a free copy of the document from someone who may have it. The first place to check for a free copy of your birth certificate is with your parents. If there are circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to do this, it is still simple to get your birth certificate provided you have enough information about your birth and parents to do so.

2. Collect the information you will need to obtain a certified copy.

This will include your hospital and county of birth, your parent’s names, or if your father is unknown, then just your mother’s name. You will need your mother’s maiden name, if she was married at the time of birth. Your date of birth will be necessary as well. They may ask additional questions about things such as your parent or parents’ birth places, and their birthdates.

3. Go to the CDC website located <a href=””>here</a>, and enter your state of birth.

Depending on the state, your records will be held by different government agencies. You may need to contact a county agency or a state agency, depending on where you were born. The department of health is one common agency who holds birth records, though the agency structure of the state will determine if this is correct for your state. If you were born abroad, you will need to speak to the government agencies of your appropriate country to find the correct agency to speak with.

4. Either go in person to or visit the website of the agency who can issue you a new birth certificate.

Use the information you prepared to fill out a request form, and submit an application and filing fee. This fee will differ based on the speed with which you want the information, and whether or not you want it shipped.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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