- Step 1: Determine type of certificate needed Determine whether you need a certified birth certificate with an official seal or just a photocopy. A certified copy is needed for obtaining most formal documents.
- Step 2: Go online for contact information Go online to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov/ and search for "vital records." Find your state of birth for contact information of the appropriate records office you can write to for a new birth certificate.
- Step 3: Be aware of state rules Be aware of what different states require in order to obtain your birth certificate. Each will be different, so make sure you know ahead of time.
- TIP: Birth certificates are usually only available to the individual and immediate family. A century after a birth, birth certificates become declared public record.
- Step 4: Obtain an application Obtain an application in person, online, by fax, or by mail. Gather the acceptable identification documents required.
- Step 5: Submit the application Submit the application for the new birth certificate in person, by mail, by fax, or online in accordance with state rules, including proper identification documents and fees.
- TIP: In some states, such as New York, you can submit an application via smartphone.
- Step 6: Hire an attorney Hire an attorney to get a new birth certificate if you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with government offices. While it may still take up to a month or longer to obtain, the document will be the same authoritative record of birth.
- FACT: More than 135 million babies are born each year worldwide.
You Will Need
- Proper identification
- Money for fees
- Means to submit an application