A birth certificate is a vital record made to designate a person's birth. The birth certificate is a legal document detailing every aspect of a person's birth, including the city and state of birth, who the parents were, date of birth, and the hospital where the person was born. Birth certificates are needed for many situations, including getting a passport. Over time, a birth certificate can become worn or lost. However, replacing a birth certificate is easy.
Contact the hospital where you were born, or the department of vital statistics in the state where you were born. You can request your birth certificate directly, for a lower fee than going through a third party. In most cases, you can request a certified birth certificate by mail or over the phone by supplying your name and Social Security number, the name of your parents, and any other information you have, such as the city of birth and the hospital.
Contact a reputable third-party to obtain your birth certificate for you. This is useful if you are in another state and don't know what city you were born in, or in which hospital. There are several reputable companies that specialize in getting a birth certificate for you (see Resources section). The fee will be higher because there are the usual state fees as well as a fee for the third-party company, plus shipping.
Provide as much information as you can when contacting a third-party company. These companies specialize in finding birth certificates, and they can find yours with as little as your name and the state in which you were born. But the more information you can provide, the quicker the process.
- Be careful when approaching a third-party company to get your birth certificate for you. It's best to stay with one of the well-known, reputable companies.
- birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com