Original Birth Certificate

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When a state’s Vital Records Office creates a new birth certificate, it is placed under lock and key at that office and never leaves. Only copies of the original are issued, as necessary. So, you will never see your original birth certificate, but you can get a certified copy of it. Certified copies are identical to the original and can be used as proof of citizenship and identity.

However, there are also information copies, which are not valid for official use. An easy way to tell if you have a certified copy of your birth certificate is to look and see if it has the registrar’s signature and state seal. A copy with these features is certified and valid for official purposes, like applying for a driver’s license or enrolling a child in school.

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Non-Genealogical Vital Records
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