How to get a Duplicate Birth Certificate

There is nothing worse than needing your birth certificate for an important event only to discover you can’t find it. However, while getting a replacement will cost some money, it is easier than you might think.

How to Get a Duplicate Birth Certificate

For natural-born U.S. citizens, start by contacting the vital records office for the state in which you were born. There you can find information about how to request your birth certificate, any required documentation or forms that you need to complete, and how much a duplicate copy will cost. This information is usually available online, and requests can often be made through the website as well.

For those who were born abroad, but not related to parental military service, you’ll need to request a copy of your birth certificate from the U.S. State Department with a notarized request and $50 fee. Detailed information about what to include in your request is available from the DMV.

If you were born abroad but on a U.S. military base, you’ll follow the same process for those born in another country described above. However, if your parents did not file a Consular Report of Birth Abroad when you were born, you’ll need to contact the hospital where you were born, the operator of the base where you were born or the public affairs office of the appropriate branch of the military.

If you were born in another country and are not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to request your birth certificate from your country of origin.

As there are many different uses for your birth certificate, it is important to have one on hand. Don’t wait until you are in urgent need of it before you request a copy if you know yours is lost. Rush or expedited orders are available, but these are considerably more expensive than other requests.

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