Long-Form Vs. Short-Form Birth Certificate

By Gwen Wark - Updated April 07, 2017
Birth certificate with blanket

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In some states and countries, there are two types of birth certificates. A long-form birth certificate is the copy of the actual certificate of birth on file with the locality where the birth took place. The short-form birth certificate is a notarized document stating that the long form certificate exists and is on file.

Place of Birth

The long form of a birth certificate gives details as to whether the birth took place in a hospital, birthing facility or home. The short form does not have this information.

File Number

The short-form birth certificate will have a file number. This corresponds with the file number of the original long-form Certification of Birth.


The attendant physician or midwife is listed on a long-form birth certificate, but not on the short form.


The long-form birth certificate lists the nationality of both parents, but the short form does not.

Parents' Birthdates

The date of birth of the parents is listed on the long form certificate; short form certificates list the names only.

About the Author

Gwen Wark is a freelance writer working from London, Dublin, and New York. She has been a published writer since 1998 with works appearing in both university and local publications. Her current writing projects include SEO, web copy, print and advertising features. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Rutgers University.

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