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How to Get a Replacement Birth Certificate

How to Get a Replacement Birth Certificate

If you are looking for guidelines on replacing a birth certificate, this article will certainly be a helpful read.
OpinionFront Staff
No matter who you are and where you come from, without valid documents like a passport, birth certificate, and a social security number, you are as good as having no identity in the eye of the US government. Without your papers in order, you cannot hope to avail of any of the government aids or any of its policies. Without a birth certificate, it is difficult to get even a social security number or a valid driving license. Since you have come here looking for guidelines on getting a replacement for the same, you have obviously lost your old one. First of all, don't worry. There is no reason to panic. The procedure for obtaining a replacement is certainly simpler than one for getting a new one made.

One thing that you should know is that the agency that provides vital records like birth certificates and other such documents, is not the same for all states. Each state has a separate vital records department that stores all the information about people.

So, know that you will have to approach the vital records agency, related to your state. Each state's agency has its own rules. There is no uniformity. Some states allow for online applications while some do not. So the guidelines presented in the following paragraphs are very general. The fees charged for a replacement copy will also be different. Almost all the vital records offices contain electronically stored data for births post 1910. Each new entry is added to the state database every year. So finding a replacement copy shouldn't be a problem.

How to Get a Copy

It is not possible to provide the exact details about the procedure for getting a replacement birth certificate as it is different for every state. Still, here are the general guidelines.

You will need certain documents for procuring a replacement. Firstly, you will need a valid photo ID proof. This could be an attested photocopy of your passport or driving license. Other than this, you will need to provide a proof of address, which may be a past copy of a telephone bill or electricity bill. Besides this, you will have to fill a form, which requires that you enter your personal information, including social security number, and your date of birth.

For the exact procedure that is adopted in your state for getting a copy, you must visit the website of your state's vital statistics department.

You can order a copy via mail, fax, or the Internet. You will mostly be charged with a fee of around USD 30. For more copies, you will need to pay extra. You can even directly walk into the office with the documents to collect the certificate.

Make sure that you have all the relevant documents that are requested by the authorities. Provide correct information and see to it that the application for replacement is complete in all respects, before submitting. Wait patiently for the procedure to be completed. You will be mailed a replacement, soon enough.