How to Order a Birth Certificate from Another State: A Comprehensive Guide

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Map of the United States indicating that you can process your vital records online, regardless of whether you are on the other side of the country

Birth certificates are crucial documents that serve as official records of an individual’s birth. While these documents are typically issued by the state where the person was born, there are situations where you might need a birth certificate from a different state. Whether you’re moving, applying for a passport, or conducting genealogy research, obtaining a birth certificate from another state requires navigating specific processes.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to successfully order a birth certificate from a different state.

Understanding the Process of Ordering Out-of-State Birth Certificates

It’s important to recognize that birth certificates are state-specific, and each state has its own set of rules and procedures. Before initiating the process, consider the following items:

1. Identify the state where the birth certificate was issued

As a first step, we highly recommend identifying the vital records office of the state where the person on record was born. This office is responsible for maintaining and issuing birth certificates.

2. Gather the information needed to apply for the birth certificate

Before initiating the request, ensure you have all the necessary information. This typically includes the full name of the person on record, date of birth, place of birth, names of parents, and any additional details required by the specific state.

Some states may require proof of your relationship to the person named on the birth certificate or proof of legal interest in obtaining the document. This could include being the individual named on the certificate, a parent, a legal guardian, or someone with a legal right to the information.

3. Ordering online as your most convenient method

States often offer multiple methods for requesting a birth certificate, including in-person, by mail, or online. In this case, since you are applying for a birth certificate in a different state where the certificate was issued, we recommend that you do the process online.

The process of applying for a birth certificate online is straightforward and involves 3 simple steps: information verification, online signature, and identity verification. Some states may ask for notarization, but if you choose this option, you can do it online for extra convenience. This is often the quickest and most efficient option available to apply for a birth certificate. 

! Apply for a birth certificate online.

There is also another way to order your birth certificate which is by mail. If you prefer a traditional approach, requesting a birth certificate by mail is another viable option. To initiate the process, obtain a copy of the application form. Once you have the form, carefully fill it out, providing all the required information accurately. Ensure that you include any necessary supporting documentation, such as identification and payment if applicable. Double-check the specific mailing address for the Vital Records Office in your state, as it may differ based on your location. After completing the application and assembling the required documents, securely package and mail them to the designated address.

ID Requirements to apply for a Birth Certificate

Every state has its own documents requirements, but common documents include a government-issued ID, and proof of relationship (if not the certificate holder), this could include a copy of your driver’s license or passport. Some states may have specific requirements regarding the type of identification accepted and fee payment.

If you are applying online for your birth certificate, using our secure application form, you won’t need to look for the specific ID requirements since the software itself will display all the necessary documentation you need.

In case you still need to verify the ID requirements to fully comply, follow the steps below:

1. Go to our home page:

Person sitting in front of a computer, searching in their browser for the vital online records page to start their application and obtain their certificates

2. Scroll down until you reach the map section and select the state where you were the birth certificate was issued:

A woman in front of a computer screen choosing, selecting the state where she will apply on a map of the United States

3. Once you have selected the state, simply scroll down to the summary section and click the option with the application requirements:

Man in front of the screen clicking on the list of requirements necessary in his State to obtain his birth certificate

4. All done! You will be able to check all your state requirements.

! Check the CDC website for more information regarding where to write for Vital Records.

State processing fees

Most states charge a fee for processing out-of-state birth certificate requests. Fees can vary, so check all the vital records state fees for the most up-to-date information. Payment methods may include money orders or checks if you are applying by mail.

If applying online, aside from the state processing fee, usually you will be required to pay an additional third-party processing fee to cover the costs associated with handling, preparing, and sending the application documents directly to the Health Department.

State processing time

Processing times vary, but it’s essential to be patient. If you’ve chosen an expedited service, you may receive your birth certificate sooner, but standard processing times can take several weeks.

Review the processing times for each state here. Our comprehensive list includes the standard processing times for all states, as well as expedited processing information.

Receive Your Birth Certificate

Once your request has been processed and approved, you will receive your birth certificate by mail. Be sure to double-check the information for accuracy.

! Read our article: Can you download and print a birth certificate online?

Obtaining an out-of-state birth certificate may involve a few steps, but with careful planning and adherence to the specific requirements of the state in question, the process can be efficient and hassle-free. Always refer to the official website of the state’s vital records office for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Whether you choose to request it in person, by mail, or online, securing your out-of-state birth certificate is an essential step for various official and personal purposes.