A birth certificate provides you with proof of your legal identity, which is why you need to request a birth certificate replacement if your documentation is lost or damaged. Your birth certificate will allow you to get a driver’s license, enroll in school and much more. Additionally, your documentation provides proof of who your parents are, which can be required for child support services and eligibility for government benefits.

If you were wondering how to get a copy of your birth certificate, it may be because you do not remember how you received your documentation in the first place. The hospital you were born in provides your parents with your birth certificate. This means that the process to obtain your birth certificate copy is much different.

In addition, replacing your lost birth certificate is different than replacing your driver’s license or identification card. That is because your birth certificate is the form of identification you need to replace those documents. Learn about the items needed and how to get a copy of your birth certificate.

Requirements to Get a Birth Certificate Replacement

Not everyone is able to get a copy of your certified birth certificate. Your documentation is an important form of identification, which is why there are restrictions when it comes to obtaining a copy of your US birth certificate. In order to receive someone else’s or your birth certificate, you must:

  • Be the individual named on the certificate and be 18 years of age or older.
  • Be the parent, guardian or legal representative of the person who is on the certificate.

Those with any other relationship must provide a court order establishing guardianship.

All states allow you to replace birth certificates in person or by mail. Regardless of which method you decide to use to get your birth certificate, you will need to provide specific items, such as:

  • A completed birth certificate request form.
  • A check or money order for applicable fees.
  • A valid form of identification (such as driver’s license, federal or state identification card, employment ID or military ID).
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope with your request by mail.

If you go in person or mail your request for new documentation without any of the items listed above, you will not get a copy of your birth certificate.

Be sure to have the correct amount of money to pay for a copy of your documentation. Prices vary depending on the state you live in. For example, in Nebraska and Delaware it cost $17 and in Oklahoma the price is $15 to receive a certified copy of your identification.

Also, make sure the form of identification you present is not expired. For example, if you are planning to provide your driver’s license and it expired last year, you may not be able to receive your documentation. You will have to apply for a driver’s license renewal before obtaining your certificate of birth.

Additionally, some states allow you to receive a birth certificate replacement online. Requesting your birth certificate online may be the route you end up taking. However, just be aware that you will still need to meet all the requirements listed above when completing the process online.

If the birth certificate request you submit is for your child who is younger than 18 years of age, you will need to provide the items that are listed above. If your name is not on the child’s birth certificate, you must also provide a certified court order.

How to Get a Birth Certificate Replacement

There is a different process on how to get a replacement birth certificate depending on where you were born. For example, a person that was born abroad has a different process than someone who was born in the US. It is vital to follow the correct method when obtaining a new birth certificate, as it can be the reason why your birth certificate request is denied.

If You Were Born in the US

If you were born in the US, you need to replace your birth certificate with one from the state you were born in. For example, if you live in Montana but were born in Wyoming, you must request your birth certificate copy with Wyoming’s vital records office.

Also, you have the option of completing the process by mail. So if you live in Montana, you do not need to fly to Wyoming to get a copy of your birth certificate. Just make sure you mail all the necessary items that are above. Not doing so will delay the process.

If You Were Born Abroad to American Parents

If you were born abroad to American parents, your birth was registered with the US Embassy or consular in that country. Additionally, your parents received a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The consular report is what provides proof of your US citizenship.

To obtain your birth certificate, you must contact the US Department of State. Depending on the country you were born in, you may also be able to receive your documentation from their vital records office.

If You Were Born Abroad and Adopted by a US Citizen

You are unable to get a certified birth certificate in the US if you were born in another country and adopted by a US citizen. The country you were born in issued your birth certificate, so you must contact their foreign embassy or consulate. Each country has specific guidelines you must follow in order to obtain your documentation.

How to Report a Lost Birth Certificate

Your certificate of birth is an important piece of identity. It provides proof of your name, date of birth and birthplace.

You use your documentation to apply for a passport and driver’s license. Also, if you want to enroll into the military or your local school, you are required to present your certification.  

In the scenario where your documentation is lost or stolen, getting a new birth certificate is not enough. You must also contact the bureau of vital statistics of the state in which you were born in. By doing so, the bureau can provide you with a replacement.

Additionally, you need to report to the police that your certification is missing. Reporting that your lost original birth certificate to the local police department and bureau of vital statistics will help prevent identity theft. You can place an extended fraud alert on your credit card.

Also, companies will provide you with information with accounts the perpetrator opened or misused. In addition, since you reported that your birth certificate was lost or stolen, you will be able to get fraudulent information removed from your credit report. You will not receive penalties for the amount of money the perp spent on a product or the number of accounts he or she opened in your name.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.