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How to Get a Birth Certificate for a Newborn

author image Jackie Lohrey
Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.
How to Get a Birth Certificate for a Newborn
A woman is on the phone while multitasking with her daughter. Photo Credit: Jeff Randall/Photodisc/Getty Images

A birth certificate is a common form of identification your child will use throughout his life. The process of getting a birth certificate for your newborn begins at the hospital when you provide information to a nurse or midwife so she can complete the birth certificate application for you. If you do not apply for the certificate in the hospital, you will need to contact your state office of Vital Records to do so. In either case, because many states will not automatically send you a copy of the birth certificate, taking proactive steps to get a certified copy now can save time when you need to produce it for identification purposes later.

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Step 1

Help the nurse or midwife fill out a certificate of live birth for your newborn by supplying required information. This usually includes your baby’s name, your current full name and maiden name, if applicable, residence and mailing address, father’s name, if applicable, and social security numbers for both parents.

Step 2

Contact your state Vital Records office or county courthouse and ask for a birth certificate order form if the hospital does not give you one. To locate the Vital Records office for your state, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 800-232-4636 or visit their website to access a database of links to state offices.

Step 3

Read through the birth certificate order form to identify supporting documentation and fee requirements. Supporting documentation requirements depend on the state in which you live, but they usually involve personal identification, such as a photocopy of your driver’s license or ID card.

Step 4

Fill out the order form, attach photocopies of supporting documentation, include appropriate payment for fees and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope if you plan to mail the order form.

Step 5

Submit the order form in person for faster service, or if you feel you can wait for up to 30 days, mail the application.

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