How to Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate From Another State

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Generally speaking, there are very few times that most adults need access to their birth certificates. However, these few times tend to be extremely important when they relate to marriage, obtaining passports and other time-sensitive legal matters. Unfortunately, the process of getting an out-of-state birth certificate when the state you live in isn’t the one you were born in can be long and rather difficult.

Out-of-State Birth Certificates

To understand exactly how to get a birth certificate when you don’t live in the state you were born in, it’s best to start by turning to documentation from your birth state. In most cases, you can get your birth certificate or a birth certificate replacement either through a state-specific website or by calling the court for the county where you were born.

It is important to know that each state has slightly different processes for ordering a birth certificate. To make sure that you know what your state requires, use to find your state’s requirements for obtaining vital records.

Birth Certificate Types

Once you know how to generally get a birth certificate, it is much easier to obtain one from another state. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are two types of birth certificates, and you may need one or the other depending on why you want access to them.

Certified birth certificates have an official seal of certification, such as from a notary public. If you do not need a certified birth certificate, you will likely find it easier to obtain one without certification. In any case, allow sufficient time if you are ordering a certificate from another state. How long you will have to wait is based partially upon how quickly you can receive U.S. Postal Service deliveries sent from where you were born to where you currently live.

Order a Birth Certificate Online

One of the most convenient ways to get your birth certificate from another state is to visit the website of the state you were born in. Depending on how the state’s government is organized, check either the state's department of health or, if it is a separate entity, the department of vital records or vital statistics.

Then, you will need to identify if you need the birth certificate to be certified and whether you need a long-form or a short-form certificate. Long-form certificates contain more information than short ones, and the cost for these forms is higher. Your state’s website will also outline payment methods and processing times.

Getting a Birth Certificate for Someone Else

It is possible to obtain a birth certificate for someone else. You will need to state your relationship to the person in your request and have either their consent or a power of attorney for that person. Each state is slightly different when it comes to required documentation for obtaining another person’s birth certificate, so call or email the appropriate department to be sure.

Obtaining a Social Security Card

There are a number of instances in which obtaining a copy of your birth certificate might provide the documentation you require. However, in others, it might be necessary to show a Social Security card, instead of, or in addition to, a birth certificate. Getting a Social Security card is somewhat different from obtaining a birth certificate. You will need to visit the Social Security website and follow the instructions.

You may apply for a new Social Security card online in most instance. However, if you are requesting a name change, you will need to submit various proofs of identification in person at your local Social Security Administration office. Regardless of the process required in your particular case, there is no charge to replace a Social Security card.

If you are ordering a replacement Social Security card or a birth certificate, you'll need ample time for the newly issued documents to reach you. The more time you have before you need the documents, the better. If you do find yourself pressed for time, make certain that the records department is aware of that so they can try to expedite your request.

Read More: How to Replace a Birth Certificate & Social Security Card

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