How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in the US?
Published April 20, 2023
If you were born in the United States as a US citizen, chances are you already have a birth certificate waiting for you in your state’s vital records office. It’s only a matter of getting the certificate.
Unfortunately, getting it alone can take a lot of time. In fact, it wouldn’t be strange to hear that someone has been waiting for a year to get their birth certificate from the vital records office.
However, this kind of news tends to be exaggerated, and they’re often far from the actual processing time. With that said, how long does it take to get a copy of your birth certificate? Read on to find out.
Average Processing Time of Birth Certificates
Before anything else, it’s important to understand that there are several stages before you can get a copy of your birth certificate in the US. The transaction usually consists of the following stages:
- The vital records office receives the order for your birth certificate
- They start processing the order
- They mail the birth certificate to your mailing address
However, the processing time itself would only take, on average, eight business days.
Keep in mind, though, that there’s usually a four- to eight-week gap between the day you order your birth certificate and the day you receive it. That’s because the first and third stages may take longer.
If there are a ton of orders for birth certificates, for example, then it may take time before the staff in your local vital records office acknowledges your order. And that can take a couple of weeks.
Even after processing the order, it may take a couple of weeks more before the mailing staff acknowledges the mail and sends it to your address. Needless to say, it shouldn’t take longer than a year or even half a year. Those instances tend to be exaggerated or just simply extreme outliers.
Unfortunately, those instances aren’t impossible. They can happen, albeit rarely, and you most certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to you. If so, then there are things you can do to avoid that.
How To Get Birth Certificates Faster
Aside from submitting the requirements immediately upon sending your request, there are three other things you can do to expedite the birth certificate processing. Here’s a look at each one:
Pay for the Rush Services
Though not all vital records offices offer rush service, some do. This service is similar to the express delivery option in most online shopping platforms nowadays, except it doesn’t only apply to the delivery. The rush service also ensures a faster processing time and, overall lower waiting time.
Of course, it would cost you more money. For your reference, the typical filing fee for birth certificates is around $25. If you include a rush service, you may have to add another $25.
Monitor the Order’s Status
Whether you filed your request by mail, in person, or online, you can always check the status of your order through the vital records office’s official website. There, it would tell you if the order is processing, in delivery, or something along those lines. It allows you to monitor the order’s status.
A common problem people have, though, is that, in some cases, they wouldn’t even find their order details. In that case, there’s a good chance the staff has yet to acknowledge your order.
Of course, you don’t want that since it would mean they have yet to start the processing time. If you can’t find your order, then consider reminding them by contacting the staff through the website.
Opt for Third-Party Services
Although the two previous options should prove to be quite helpful in accelerating the order processing time, they’re far from being the most effective solutions. That’s because there’s a significantly better option for expediting birth certificate processing—third-party services.
Agencies like Instant Vital Records allow you to order birth certificate online without the hassle of collecting the necessary documents. In addition, the processing time is drastically lower.
How long does it take to get a new birth certificate? People often assume the answer to that question is “too long” or “not fast enough,” but there have been instances where the vital records office sends the birth certificate in just three days. The processing time ultimately depends on how busy their staff currently is, the number of people on that staff, the number of orders, and more.
Lost Your Birth Certificate? Request A Replacement Online
Instant Vital Records offers a birth certificate replacement service you can use from the comfort of your home. Enter your information and our software will automatically complete the required forms for your state. We print and mail your forms along with required payments to your state health department. You can trust that we take your personal information privacy and security seriously with HIPAA compliant data storage and data encryption. To get started, simply click here to begin your application. Your replacement documents will arrive by mail to your home within a few weeks.
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About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced blogger and writer who enjoys learning to code in his spare time. His commitment to delivering factual content is what has helped him create hundred of helpful articles that have reached millions of people.