It’s easy to get a certified copy of a birth certificate. Each state has a slightly different procedure, but there some basic steps that are the same. The first thing a person should do is visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then go to the website of the state in which he or she was born. There, they will find the details including the procedure and cost of getting a copy of their birth certificate. They may be able to order a copy online. If they decide to order a copy by mail, they’ll need to send a birth certificate request letter to the state’s department of vital records.
There are several reasons a person may need a certified copy of their birth certificate, including applying for a passport, getting a new driver’s license, a marriage license, to enroll in public school and to enroll in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. Family members and legal representatives or someone with a court order can also apply for a certified copy of someone else’s birth certificate. The applicant needs to check the requirements of eligibility for his or her state of birth. In most states, if the applicant is requesting his or her own birth certificate, they must be over 18 years of age and provide a photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID or work ID.
The following information should be mentioned in the letter:
• The full name that is on the birth certificate
• The sex of the applicant
• The month, day and year of the applicant’s birth
• The mother’s full name and maiden name if requested
• The father’s full name
• The city, town, county and state of birth
• The name of the hospital, if known
• The reason the applicant wants a copy
• The contact information of the applicant
If the copy is required for information only, some states give uncertified or informational copies that don’t have any official seals or stamps. These can’t be used for any official purpose, but the will give pertinent information. The applicant needs to ask the vital statistics department in the state where they were born if unofficial copies are given.
If the applicant is in a hurry and requires the copy quickly, he or she can go in person to the county’s record office and apply. There is an extra fee in most states for expedited service. It is also possible, in most states, to request a copy online. If the applicant is applying for a copy of the birth certificate of someone else, they will need to have documentation of proof of their legal right to request the certificate.
The Public Health Department or Office of Vital Records in the state where the applicant was born will have a website in which they give an application form. It can be completed online and the fee can be paid online. In some states there is an extra fee for online requests. The applicant should double check the address where the certified copy should be sent.
Below is a sample of a birth certificate request letter. The letter should be short and only contain the required information. There will most likely be a fee for getting a copy, so a check or money order for the amount mentioned on the website should be included with the letter. The letter can be sent by certified mail to ensure it is received.
Sample Request Letter for a Copy of Birth Certificate
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code
Address of State Vital Statistics Department
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Request for Birth Certificate
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a formal request for a certified copy of my birth certificate to be sent to the above address. I need it to apply for a passport. I am including the required information to assist in locating the document:
My Full Name and Sex: Applicant’s Full Name as on the birth certificate and Sex: Male
Father’s Name: Name of Father
Mother’s Name: Name of Mother
Mother’s Maiden Name: Maiden Name of Mother
My date of birth: DATE
My Place of Birth: Name of Hospital, Address of Hospital, City, County, State
Enclosed is my certified check in the amount of AMOUNT OF FEE. I can be reached at Phone Number or at Email Address if you have any questions or need any more information.
Applicant’s Printed Name
By Andre Bradley