Long Form vs. Short Form Birth Certificate: What’s the Difference?
Published April 29, 2022
A long-form birth certificate is an exact copy of the original birth certificate on file at the facility where the birth occurred. The short form birth certificate, on the other hand, is a notarized declaration that the long-form birth certificate exists and is currently on file.
Difference Between Short Form, Long Form Birth Certificate
At times, a long-form birth certificate may be considered the official document. Each state, however, may have a slightly different name for it. It typically contains all of the information found on a birth certificate but may differ according to the location of the person’s birth — the time and place of birth, the names and addresses of the parents, and the signatures of those present at the birth. If you are considering adopting, asking for dual citizenship, or obtaining a passport, you will require a long-form birth certificate.
It is unnecessary to have multiple copies of a birth certificate; nonetheless, they should be stored safely. To be prepared for an unplanned event, it is important to have your vital records organized and accessible. Reach us on our website if you have any questions regarding how to get a birth certificate.
A short form birth certificate is a shortened version of the standard birth certificate. It omits certain details to keep it concise and convenient.
In essence, the short form is a notarized declaration that a long-form birth certificate exists and is currently on file with the agency that processed it at the time of birth. Therefore, there will be no information regarding your exact birthplace, such as a hospital or home, nor the dates of your parents’ birthdays on the short form, which will have a file number on it to link back to the original form.
Where to Use
The birth certificate is used to provide legal proof of identity or citizenship in both its long and short forms. As a result, both versions can be used to get a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or a Social Security card.
The short version, however, may not always be accepted by all states or for all applications, as some states require that the requested copy of the birth certificate include the complete details of the birth and every information associated with it.
Genealogists also recommend the long-form certificate since it provides complete detail about the parents.
Long-Form and Short-Form Birth Certificates are Both Valid
While obtaining a birth certificate, long form copy may take longer, both the long and short forms are officially certified and valid. If you’re not sure which birth certificate version is right for your situation, you can get help from your local government branch, such as city hall, for information.
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.
About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is a professional writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.