How to obtain a copy of a U.S. birth certificate

Birth certificate US
The U.S. Birth Certificate is an official deed proving persons U.S. citizenship. It is a valid document which allows U.S. citizen to obtain his U.S. passport, national ID, drivers license, Social Security card it also stands as a validation of identity for marriage.
Birth certificate might be an essential document for both U.S. residents as well as U.S. born nationals living outside of the U.S., who are in need to obtain their U.S. passports through the local embassies.
This paper points at the aspects of a legitimate copy of the Birth certificate, it explains the available ways to apply for a copy, it will indicate the items which are not suitable to replace a Birth certificate. Through this editorial, we will indicate possible issues which may appear during the process. Moreover, it clarifies the variation among a birth certificate and a consular report of birth overseas.

Aspects of U.S. Birth certificate

In 2011 The Department of State announced a demand that Birth Certificate should consist of full parental names. Except in the event where only one parent is known, although a full name must be indicated.
Furthermore, the child’s full name, birth date, birthplace as well as sex is obligatory to indicate.
It is also frequent that in a birth certificate the following personal data must be indicated: parental residential address, their birthplace, and date as well as if it was numerous births at a time (twins, triples and etc.).
In the majority of states, a Birth certificate holds an 11-digit record number. The first 3 digits stand as a state index. For instance in Texas it is 142, in the case of California, it is 104 and etc. The state of New York s an exception whereas the number is 156.
Eventually, the deed must bear a printed, elevated or multicolored seal which belongs to the issuing jurisdiction, whether it is a state, county or a city, that depends on the rules and legislation of that state in which the act of birth took place. It is obligatory that the deed is signed by the registrar and the date of the certification is stated.
Under no circumstances, the certificate obtained at the hospital of birth (with the newborn’s footprint and fingerprint) can be considered or used as legal proof of birth. That document acts only as a trophy.

What are the steps to request a Birth Certificate?

Note that the federal government is not designated to grant this kind of certification. It must be solicited on the U.S., state or territory like Puerto Rico, at the place of birth. These are the appointed offices.
Mostly it is permitted to mail the application to a physical address it is also possible to apply via the internet. A fee is applied in each of the states, payments can be made by using a credit/ debit card or U.S. checkbook. In some of the territories, states offer speedy processing. However, it must be taken into account that the processing will take some days, especially as the certificates must be notarized.
Now using our website OnlineVitalUS you will be able to get your birth certificate way easier!

Thanks to our online application process OnlineVital-US makes it easier for you to obtain a birth certificate.

Possible issues while applying for your Birth Certificate

It may appear that a Birth Certificate encloses some faulty information like first or last name spelled incorrectly, sex or birth date indicated inaccurately.
Regarding this issue, it is crucial to get in touch with the Vital Records office of the territory where a person was born and pursue their guidelines to amend the information. Every state’s regulations are distinct due to this fact it is not possible to advise how to act on each different case, different rules must be applied taking into account that state regulations. 
It is also likely to happen that the birth certificate is not found. In such matter, it is allowed to justify your U.S. citizenship using auxiliary documentation like Delayed Certificate of Birth or a Letter of Record Failure.
Note that the voter’s card, Social Security Number card or the card prooving of having been discharged after serving in any of the division of the U.S. Army (Marine, Air, Land, Sea, or National Guard) can under no circumstances be considered as a legit proof of U.S. citizenship.
One more common issue is that some South Texas counties decline birth certificates to the babies born in Texas but whose parents do not hold the document. In such cases, it is advised to hire an attorney or a migrant rights organization to get some guidance on how to solve this issue.
Lastly, in some cases, if the State Department is not certain in the legitimacy of a Birth certificate a person is not able to apply for or extend his passport or ID.
These difficulties may appear for different reasons, for instance, when the mother gave birth at home and did not register the birth officially on time. In this matter, it is fundamental to prove U.S. citizenship providing such evidence as school and work records, a baptismal certificate, affidavits and etc.


The U.S. birth certificate is document different than the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, where an individual is the U.S. citizen though born outside the U.S. and their one or both parents are U.S. citizens.
This type of certification is not obtained through an Embassy or Consulate, in case you need a copy you may get in touch with the State Department in Washington.

OTHER VITAL CERTIFICATES: marriage, divorce or death

Marriage, divorce or death certification, as well as Birth Certificate, is also issued by State office.
In case you require one of the above-mentioned documentation you can simply call or email the state office. To be able to find the appointed office online, simply type the name of the required state into your internet browser search bar and include “vital record office” after.


  • U.S. birth certificate serves as a proof of U.S. citizenship 
  • Certification obtained in the birth hospital is not a legitimate document
  • Birth certificates which are granted, signed and stamped by the state authority are legit
  • A birth certificate can be requested via interned using our Simplified Form.