How to Get a Free Copy of a Birth Certificate in Pennsylvania

By Resonna Shaw
Obtaining a birth certificate.
baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

To acquire a birth certificate in Pennsylvania, you must be the named person on the birth certificate or an immediate family member. There are several ways to acquire a copy of your birth certificate via online, mail or in person in Pennsylvania. You might be able to receive your birth certificate for free from the hospital where you were born, or from relatives. However, most online resources and agencies charge a handling fee.

Find the telephone number for the hospital of your birth, and call the hospital. Most hospitals can supply a copy of your birth certificate. Speak to the customer service operator to find out whom you need to speak with to obtain your birth certificate.

Speak to the person (usually someone in records) about obtaining your birth certificate. Supply the representative with your birth name, your parents' name and your date of birth. It might take a few days to a few weeks for the records department to find your information. Once the information is found, you might be required to personally pick up your birth certificate after you provide a valid government photo identification card.

Photocopy your original birth certificate. If you have the original birth certificate you can make a copy of the certificate. Many legal uses require a certified copy of a birth certificate, but a photocopy can be used for informational purposes.

Ask your parents or guardians whether they have your original birth certificate. Many parents and guardians keep birth records in a safe-deposit box or a file cabinet.

Ask your parent or guardian whether they will pay the nominal fee for you to receive your birth certificate.

Obtaining your birth certificate online.

Download the application from the Birth Certificates section of the Pennsylvania Department of Health website (see Resources section).

Complete the entire form and make a copy of your valid government-issued photo identification card. Your identification card must have your current name and address, and the photo must be clearly visible.

Mail your application with the $10 application fee to: Division of Vital Records (ATTN: Birth Unit) 101 South Mercer St. P.O. Box 1528 New Castle, PA 16103

About the Author

Resonna Shaw has been a writer since 2008, for personal enjoyment and for various websites. Shaw holds a bachelor's degree in human resources from DeVry University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Keller University.