A birth certificate is a record made at the time of a birth, usually in a hospital setting, and filed with your state vital records office. It constitutes an official record of your birth, since it is made at a time and in a form specified by state law.
A certified copy of your birth certificate is a copy made by the state agency charged with storing the documents. Agency registrars stamp, emboss or sign the copy to indicate that it is a true and correct copy of the original document in their records. Certified copies are generally required for passport applications.
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