Where to Get a Birth Certificate in the US
Published Aug 30, 2021
If you’re looking forward to applying for a green card, getting a hold of your birth certificate is one of the essential things to do. Since your birth certificate proves your identity, it is a must-have document you need especially if you’re from abroad. It consists of important details about your identity like your name, age, birthday, etc.
Any individual who is applying for a green card must provide a copy of their birth certificate to the U.S. government. So if you can’t find your birth certificate, you must be wondering, “where to get birth certificate?” In this article, you will know how and where to get a birth certificate in the United States.
Requirements for Birth Certificates
Who needs to provide a copy of their birth certificate?
The sponsoring relative and the person applying for a family-based or marriage-based green card are both subject to submitting a copy of their birth certificate to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In addition, the sponsoring family member who is a U.S. citizen or a green card owner should also submit the family sponsorship form (Form I-130 ”Petition for Alien Relative”) to the USCIS.
What should the birth certificate include?
The birth certificate copy should include this information:
- Full name
- Date and time of birth
- Place of birth
- Mother’s full name
- Father’s full name
- Registration date
- Issue date
- The issuing agency’s official seal
Can I still apply for a green card if I only have an extract version?
The abbreviated or ”ëxtract” version of a birth certificate only includes the important information and emits unnecessary details in the original document. The USCIS accepts an abbreviated version considering that it was issued by an authorized official, and the document has all the essential information for a green card application.
What to do if my birth certificate is written in a foreign language?
The USCIS requires the documents of green card applicants to be translated into English if it’s written in a foreign language. Birth certificates that are written in a foreign language must undergo translation by a certified English translator.
All of these documents are required to be translated into English:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce papers (if previously married)
- Bank statements
- Police records
Where To Get Birth Certificates In The U.S.
Authorized government agencies offer services that you can use to have a certified copy of your birth certificate and other needed documents.
Getting a copy of these vital records depends on where you’re born and your situation.
For people born in the United States, you can get an official copy of your birth certificate when you contact the office of vital records, depending on the state where you were born. The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contains the information of vital record offices of every state. It shows where you can find the office and obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate. For an easier process, you can order documents from the links that CDC provided for every state.
For Americans born abroad, you can get a copy of your Consular Report of your Birth Abroad (CRBA) at the U.S. Department of State. This copy can stand as your identification.
If you can’t access your CRBA, you can contact the hospital you were born in and ask for their records.
For citizens born abroad and adopted by an American citizen, you can contact the foreign embassy you were born in. Your origin country would have issued you a birth certificate already. If it’s in a foreign language, you can get it translated by an authorized official.
For people born abroad, The U.S. Department of State provides information on obtaining their documents depending on their country. The website includes the links for the issuing authority, document application, fees, and phone numbers.
Alternative Document To Substitute Birth Certificate
Your last choice would be submitting a notarized personal affidavit if you still can’t obtain a certified copy. On the notarized personal affidavit, you must thoroughly describe the facts about your details that can usually be seen in a birth certificate. You must also indicate and explain why you can’t get a hold of the certified copy of your birth certificate.
These are the documents you can submit for secondary evidence:
- Birth certificate issued by a hospital
- Certification of birth from the doctor who delivered you
- Census records
- Baptismal Certificate
- An original document from the local government agency in your origin country elaborating how and why your birth certificate does not exist
If you’re unable to locate any of the secondary evidence documents available above, you may submit another notarized personal affidavit from any family member that is older than you.
On the notarized personal affidavit from the family member, it must include the following:
- Full name
- Location or address
- Date and place of birth
- Relationship to the person needing the affidavit
- How well they know the person needing the affidavit
- Date and place of applicant’s birth
- Names of both applicant’s parents
- Supporting details and facts about your birth
Getting a certified copy of a birth certificate is a long process for some since it takes a lot of effort to go from one office to another. However, other online sites now offer services to help obtain your requirements, like your birth certificate. This kind of service indeed makes it easier for busy people to get their birth certificates. So now you know where to get birth certificates in the U.S., get yours immediately here at Instant Vital Records, as these are the essential records available.
Lost Your Birth Certificate? Request A New One Online
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About The Author
As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.