birth certificate format

Birth Certificates: Short Form vs. Long Form – What’s the Difference?

Did you know there are different versions for birth certificate format? You may have heard the terms short form and long form birth certificate during the time when President Obama was being questioned about his place of birth. This heated debate brought to light the two most common versions of a birth certificate,which are the short and long form. Both versions of the certificate contain important place of birth information and the amount of information can vary depending on the state you are obtaining it from. There are certain times when you will be required to show a long form birth certificate and understanding when it will be required is important. Let’s look at the differences between these two versions of birth certificates.

Short Form Birth Certificate Format

A short form birth certificate contains almost all of the important information that is on a long form birth certificate except it may not have signatures or detailed parents information on it depending on the state location. It can usually be used for proving citizenship and for proof of identity but it may not always be accepted by every state or for all applications. To see if your state accepts a short form birth certificate as proof of identity or citizenship, you can contact your local governing body such as city hall.

Long Form Birth Certificate Format

A long form birth certificate is sometimes referred to as the official version, each state may call it something a little different. It typically has all of the information you would expect to see on a birth certificate but can also vary by the location in which the person was born – time and place of birth, parent’s names,address, signatures of those present at birth, etc. You will need a long form birth certificate if you are looking to start an adoption process, if you are applying for a dual citizenship, or are looking to obtain a passport.

It doesn’t hurt to have different versions of a birth certificate, but they should be stored in a safe place. Having your vital records organized and ready is the first step in being prepared for unexpected life events or taking the stress out of planned life events. For questions about how to obtain a birth certificate, you can read more here.

105 Comments

  1. I am over 60. I need to correct a spelling error on my birth certificate. My first name is spelled with 2 n’s instead of one. All my documents are with one. The only supportive document I could find was a copy of my school transcript. It has my parents name and mine and my date of birth. There is no seal. I have nothing else I can find anywhere and it was rejected. What do I do now? I live in England and I need the certificate to get a European passport. My family lives here but I will get deported if I don’t get a European passport. All I am missing is my birth certificate.

    1. Thank you so much for your question. The best thing to do in your situation is to contact the vital record agency that issued your birth certificate directly to determine how to request a change to the spelling of your name, and what paperwork they need to verify that requested change. If you need assistance in contacting the agency, please feel free to email us at Vitals.Research@vitalchek.com, and we’ll be glad to assist in getting you the proper contact information. Thank you.

  2. I tried to order a copy of my birth certificate because I need it to enroll in college, and get a job. My friends mother paid the 50.0 fee, we filled out all the required forms, and faxed it to Vital Check. First Vitalcheck says that the copy of my license is not readable, so I should print out the notary form and have it signed, I did that and faxed it back. Now Vital check is saying that I still need to submit a copy of my license, which I have now done three times, still no birth certificate. Is this company a legitimate place of business, or a scam just getting 50.00 from everybody. Has anyone actually received a birth certificate from these people before ??? I’d really like to know before I contact the Better Business Bureau.

    1. Hello Jay and our apologies for the experience you are having. I can assure you that VitalChek is a legitimate company. While we are not a government agency, we are authorized by – and work directly with – government agencies across the nation to provide these services on their behalf. We would like the opportunity to assist you further and find out what exactly is going on with your order. Can you send us a direct email, including your VitalChek order number to Vitals.Research@vitalchek.com?

      Sincerely,
      Nichole H.

  3. I need a long birth certificate for my kids? Its for immigration paperwork. My husband n i are from mexico. Today we went to get one for our daughter and i requested the long one. What its the difference between short n long birth certificates? My other 2 kids i noticed the oldest one its 6 and hes only had fathers n mothers name n last name. But my other sons whos 4 hes birth certificate its a lil different hes has mexico unders our birth place? Does that mean that one its the long version?

    1. Hello Dayana. Thanks for your question. The information on a long or short birth certificate may vary from state to state. Some states only offer one version as opposed to a long and short version. When you are ordering your birth certificates, be sure to state that you need it for immigration purposes so if an apostille is needed, the agency will know to include it.

  4. My husband & I recently signed up for governmental assistance (SNAP benefits) and was told that it would be best to have our birth certificates in hand in case they asked for them, as well as our two daughters. Our oldest will also start school and they’ll need a copy of the birth certificate too. Would those be considered used for legal purposes and if so, will those be the long form certificates? I’m actually going to order them from the VitalStatistics website and I just want to make sure I click the right selections.

    1. Hello Daphnie. Thanks for your question. The types of birth certificates vary from state to state so we recommend that you contact the Vital Records offices where each of you were born to determine which type of certificate will be most appropriate for you.

  5. Hello, I requested my birth certificate and received a short one. In the past I received a long one. What did I do different this time? I need the long one. Can I exchange, get a refund, or exchange?

    1. Hello Kati. Thanks for reaching out to us. If you ordered your birth certificate through VitalChek.com, please email us your order number at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we can look into this for you!

  6. Hi someone stole my wallet and now i have to go get all my ids back witch birth certificate do I need to get my non drivers ID

    1. We’re very sorry to hear that your wallet and ID information has been stolen. In this type of situation, we certainly recommend that you report the theft both to the police and to the appropriate credit bureaus to ensure you can help stop any potential identity theft from occurring. Once you have done that, ordering a certified copy of your birth certificate is also recommended so that you have the appropriate identity document on hand to handle the pertinent credit information. Depending upon the state where you were born, you may or may not need to show photo-ID to get your birth certificate. If the state has electronic identity verification in place, then you should be able to order your certificate online without submitting any additional documentation. If additional documentation is needed, many agencies have alternate forms of ID they will accept as proof of identity. We hope this information is helpful to you, and best regards.

  7. Hello my name isKimona I need to get a long Form Birth certificate for four of my children where exactly do I need to apply for it and how long would it take?

    1. Hello Kimona and thank you for reaching out to us. The processing time will depend on where your children were born. VitalChek can provide you with an expedited ordering platform if you’d like? You can contact us to place the order for your children’s birth certificate by phone, 1-800-255-2414 or at https://www.vitalchek.com/.

      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  8. I do not want to end up with the short version because I have that one already.

  9. I’m applying for a birt certificate in Nashville Tennessee What does it mean when it says identification requirements .. It says the actual mothers copy of birth certificate for current year& previous two years.. Can I send a copy that’s on white paper . I have that one but need original copy from vital records so my son with Down’s syndrome can get his picture ID.. Please let me know so I can do this right away he’s 18 now and I need it for him to go to places that reguire an ID. Also how much does it cost for the long form Vs. Short form . I know short form is $15.00 by mail .. This is how I am doing it.. Thank you

    1. Hello Christine. Thanks for reaching out to us with your questions. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we will be happy to assist you.

  10. I have a POA for an inmate that is currently incarcerated. He wanted me to get a copy of his Certificate of live birth from NY State, after submitting the required information I received a letter back stating that in order to process my request a court order from the New York State Supreme court was required
    and only after submitting the court order would the process resume. He is not a murderer or anything of the sort, what would be the reasons that a court order from the State Supreme court be necessary in order to request a copy of one’s own birth certificate?…This is very troubling for the government to withhold such information.

    Thank you

    1. Hello Max. Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any insight into why the State of NY is requiring a court order for the birth certificate. We suggest you contact them for more information regarding this issue. We wish you luck.

  11. Are you the only one who knows about this? Does California use one paper to act as both long and short form? I have called the clerk’s office here in San Diego and asked for the long form, no one there knows what I’m talking about. I went down to the office of clerk/recorder of vital statistics to see if I could find someone to help me. This time I explained that the long form has extra confidential information, with personal identifiers, such as footprints. The clerk told me that they throw them away. What is going on? I called the hospital I was born at. I spoke to the Lady who makes the birth certificate!! No help, again she doesn’t know what I’m talking about!! really?! I have order and payed for a certificate on three separate occasions and I still don’t know what I have. They all look the same and there isn’t any personal identifiers. Something fishy going on? I just don’t know. Highly irregular…

    1. Hello Phillip. Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. The types of birth certificates offered can vary from state to state and in reality the terms “long form” and “short form” are becoming somewhat outdated. A long form birth certificate, also referred to as the official version, typically has all of the information you would expect to see on a birth certificate – time and place of birth, parent’s names, address, signatures of those present at birth and more. This official form of birth certificate would be used for travel, passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver’s license, school registration, personal identification and other legal purposes. The form of certificate you reference with the footprints may be know as a hospital copy or an heirloom copy and is generally for sentimental or genealogy purposes. Some states may keep those on file while others may not. When ordering a copy of a birth certificate, we recommend you specify what you intend to use it for rather than using the terminology “long form” or “short form”. We suggest keeping a certified copy of your birth certificate on file because you never know when you might need it. Hope this explanation has been helpful.

  12. Hello, If I order a long form birth certificate for my son, does it come “certified”? If not, how can I get a certified copy? I need it for obtaining a work visa overseas. Thanks for any help you can give.

    1. Good morning, James. We appreciate you reaching out to us with your question. The types of birth certificates offered can vary from state to state and in reality the terms “long form” and “short form” are becoming somewhat outdated. A long form birth certificate, also referred to as the official version, typically has all of the information you would expect to see on a birth certificate – time and place of birth, parent’s names, address, signatures of those present at birth and more. This official form of birth certificate would be used for travel, passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver’s license, school registration, personal identification and other legal purposes. Be sure to specify what you need it for during the ordering process. You can easily order your official birth certificate through VitalChek.com and email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com if you have any questions.

  13. I had my child in Atlanta Georgia and I requested my son’s bc but I am not a USA citizen. I requested for my child bc on vital chek but the request was cancelled because I don’t have a USA Id, meanwhile I used vital chek in 2014 with the same id for my other kid. Has the law changed?

    1. Hello Flo. Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. The requirements for ordering birth certificates and other vital records may vary from state to state or agency to agency. If your previous order was processed through a different vital record agency than this current order, that may account for the differing results. It is also possible that the agency has changes their requirements since 2014. Please email your order number to vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we’ll be happy to look into this for you.

  14. I need a long form or official certified copy of my birth certificate for geneaology purposes. I’m trying to research my family history. I’ve already ordered a birth certificate from Vitalchek. I picked the option geneaology/ family history. Will I receive the long form? I already have the short form.

    1. Hello Kashma. Thanks for contacting us with your question regarding your VitalChek order. The types of certificates issued may vary from state to state. Since you selected genealogy as your reason for ordering the copy of the birth certificate, there is a chance you will just receive an informational copy rather than a official certified copy. Please email your order number to vitals.research@vitalchek.com so we may look into this for you.

  15. Hello. My nephew is coming to Maryland from Oklahoma to visit us for the summer and want to enroll him in a summer program at our local rec center. They said I would need his birth certificate to register him for any of the classes or
    programs. His mother says she cannot locate his birth certificate, which is from California. Would I be able to order one from your service as his guardian for the summer? I believe I will need a certified copy to register him. Thank you.

    1. Hello Marie. Thanks for your question regarding ordering a birth certificate for your nephew. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we will be happy to look into this for you.

  16. I am trying to order a copy of my North Carolina birth certificate, but there is no option to select LONG form. There are only options to select the “Reason” behind my need for the certificate. How can I ensure that I receive a long form birth certificate?

    1. Hello Elaine,
      North Carolina only lists certified and uncertified as options for their birth certificates. A certified copy of a North Carolina birth certificate can typically be used for travel, passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver’s license, school registration, personal identification and other legal purposes. We suggest you select passport/travel as your reason for needing the birth certificate as those are usually the most comprehensive. Please feel free to email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com if you have any questions regarding your order.

  17. Hello, I am applying for my irish citizenship and it says I need to have the original long form birth certificate. Can that be ordered? Or does it need to be the first copy?

    1. Hello Adair. More than likely, they are requesting a certified copy of the long form of your birth certificate. We suggest you contact the agency that is processing your citizenship application to verify that a certified copy of your birth certificate would be sufficient. If you need to order a copy of your birth certificate, there are typically several different ways to do so, including:
      • In person at the issuing Vital Record Agency
      • By mail with a completed application
      • By phone if the issuing Vital Records agency accepts telephone orders
      • Online, either through the appropriate vital record agency’s website or an authorized secure service provider like VitalChek.

  18. Hello,

    I wanted to have a second copy of the NY Birth Certificate (Long Form Copy specifically) issued for my son.We already received a long form a while after the birth. However, for some reason, I want to have another Long Form Birth certificate.

    What is the best ‘Type of Birth Certificate’ to choose from in the VitalCheck site?

    1. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. We suggest you select passport for the reason when ordering your son’s birth certificate. While the terms long form and short form birth certificates used to have a distinct meaning, they are now outdated terms which are not typically used any longer by the issuing vital records agencies. In general, a “long-form” version of a birth certificate would include the full names of the parents, whereas the “short-form” version would not. Since that information is now required for any birth certificate being used to obtain a U.S. Passport, most agencies have decided to include this on all certified birth certificate copies – thereby making the term “long-form” or “short-form” obsolete. Click here to watch a short 2 minute video that explains this further. You may also want to contact NY State Vital records (or NYC Vital Records) directly to verify this holds true for their records.

      1. Thank you for help, I selected the Passport option and submitted it (it was the best option I suppose,though we already got the passport). I have a concern that I would need help on. The Birth certificate online form needed the social sec number of the applicant (myself) and date of birth (myself). However, I was able to submit the online form only when I gave my wife’s Social Sec. number, instead of mine. But it accepted my date of birth. Kindly let me know who should I contact to ensure social id’s are correctly recorded for myself and my wife.

        1. Good morning. Assuming you ordered through Vitalchek.com, please email your order number to vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we will be happy to assist you.

          1. Thank you, I have contacted vitals.research@vitalchek.com to address my concern and will wait for their help on my problem/question.

  19. Hello,

    How do I ensure I get a Long Form birth certificate, showing who my parents are, when placing the online order?

    1. Hello Theresa. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. We suggest you select passport for the reason when ordering your birth certificate. While the terms long form and short form birth certificates used to have a distinct meaning, they are now outdated terms which are not typically used any longer by the issuing vital records agencies. In general, a “long-form” version of a birth certificate would include the full names of the parents, whereas the “short-form” version would not. Since that information is now required for any birth certificate being used to obtain a U.S. Passport, most agencies have decided to include this on all certified birth certificate copies – thereby making the term “long-form” or “short-form” obsolete. Click here to watch a short 2 minute video that explains this further.

  20. The Vital Statistics International Agency located in St. Thomas Virgin Islands informed me that they are not able to issue the Certificate of Live Birth.

    How may I obtain my Certificate of Live Birth? I was born in St. Thomas Virgin Islands so I would think they should be able to issue it.

    May I please receive some assistance with this problem?

    1. Hello Ihla. Unfortunately, we do not currently work with the Vital Records Agency in St. Thomas so we are unable to offer insight/assistance into your situation. We suggest you contact them again for clarification as to why they cannot issue your certificate and who you need to contact for more information. Sorry we could not be of assistance. Best wishes.

  21. I clicked passport for nyc birth certificate and they sent me a short form due to the info on it is required and accepted by the passport agencies. If you want a long form you need to choose research/family tree or something like that.

    1. Hello Kem. The terms long form and short form used to have a distinct meaning but they are now outdated terms which are not typically used any longer by the vital records issuing agencies. In general, the “long-form” version would include the full names of the parents, whereas the “short-form” version would not. Since that information is now required for any birth certificate being used to obtain a U.S. Passport, most agencies have decided to include this on all certified birth certificate copies – thereby making the term “long-form” or “short-form” obsolete. Click here to watch a short two minute video on this subject. When a customer orders through VitalChek, they input all pertinent information including the reason for needing the certificate (ie: travel, employment etc.). This selected reason type determines what type of certificate is ultimately provided to the customer by the issuing agency. VitalChek processes the order, forwarding it on to the vital records issuing agency who then locates the record, prints it and ships it via the shipping method the customer selected during the ordering process. If you wish to have certain information displayed on the certificate and are not sure what the proper terminology is to describe it, you can always contact the issuing vital records agency for clarification or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  22. How do you get a copy of the Certificate of Live Birth?

    1. Hello Shaun. For more information, We suggest you contact the Vital Records Agency in the area where you (or the person you are requesting the certificate for) was born.

      1. Thank you

  23. Hello I was curious if I was able to order both a short and long form of my birth certificate? There is an option for a long form but I can’t locate how to get a short form. If you could please help me out it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Sean. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  24. How do I obtain a long form birth certificate through vitalchek? I see no option for the long form when going through the order process.

    1. Hello Andrew. Thanks for reaching out to us with your question regarding ordering a long form birth certificate. The types of birth certificates offered can vary from state to state and in reality the terms “long form” and “short form” are becoming somewhat outdated. A long form birth certificate, also referred to as the official version, typically has all of the information you would expect to see on a birth certificate – time and place of birth, parent’s names, address, signatures of those present at birth and more. This official form of birth certificate would be used for travel, passport, proof of citizenship, social security, driver’s license, school registration, personal identification and other legal purposes. It is possible that the state that issued your birth certificate no longer uses the designation long or short. Please email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com or call 800-255-2414 and will be happy to provide more information and assist with your ordering process. Thanks for choosing VitalChek.

  25. Guess it’s not in the cards for me to get my long form. Tried 10 years ago, sent everything they asked, paid the fee, still nothing came, they said they never got payment which was a bald face lie because it was a postal money order. I’m not stupid, and sent it registered mail somebody signed for it, waited over a year for them to straighten it out they never did, then decided I would get stupid and did it again and sent another postal money order AGAIN they lied said they never got it, forgot what that cost that many years ago but it was a double screw scam job.

    1. Hello Neal. We’re sorry to hear about the issues you are having with regards to ordering a long form copy of your birth certificate by mail. There are several other ways to order your birth certificate…perhaps one of these will work for you.
      1. Order In Person: If going to the Vital Record Agency in person is convenient for you, this is usually the quickest and least expensive way to obtain the record.
      2. Order By Phone: If the agency accepts phone orders, calling in your order can be a convenient way of obtaining your certificate.
      3. Order Online: Ordering vital records online from the Agency’s website or their authorized online ordering service (like VitalChek) is fast and convenient, allows you to pay with a credit card, is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and generally ensures you receive your vital records quickly – in some cases within just a few days.

  26. I am ordering this for the purposes of obtaining a marriage certificate. The state of NY requires a long form birth certificate that includes my parents names. I didn’t see a difference in what info is included on the computer copy versus the book copy, so I just ordered the computer copy.

    Will the computer copy of the certificate include my parents names?

    1. Hello Danielle. Please contact us directly so we may help you determine which certificate type you need to order. You can call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  27. What option do I click on to order my newborns birth certificate ?

    1. Hello Wendy. For assistance with an order through VitalCheck, you can call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  28. Hello I need a long form of massachussetts for my daughter to enter Italian citizenship, on vitalcheck what i dial for long fom? dual citizenship / immigration and the option to mar

    1. Hello. Please contact us with your question at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com so we may assist you.

  29. I am attempting to gather all proper paperwork to ensure a smooth marriage license process. In Louisiana, we will need ‘certified copies’ of birth certificates and my fiance’s divorce papers. If ordered from Vitalchek, do the items come as a ‘certified’ copy? Also, my fiance’s original birth certificate had him with his birth father’s last name. When he was 2 years old, his mother went to change his last name to hers and the office literally took a pen, put a line through the last name, and hand wrote the change. In trying to get a passport a few years ago, they did not accept that and he was issued a birth certificate card. Is that acceptable for a marriage license in Louisiana?

    1. Hello Ashley. Each state has different requirements for identity verification for vital records. We suggest you contact the Louisiana Department of Health for more information about what they will accept and how to properly amend his birth certificate.

  30. I ordered a Delaware birth certificate last year for passport purposes. I received a short form and need the long form. What purpose should I put in the request box on the Vital Chek website in order to receive a long form birth certificate? I chose ‘passport/travel’ but received the wrong form.

    1. Hello Jean. Some vital records agencies have moved away from offering a short form or long form certificate. If you specified you needed the certificate for passport/travel purposes, the certificate you received should be acceptable for that purpose. Nevertheless, we would be more than happy to look into this situation for you. Please contact us with your order number by phone at 800-255-2414, by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com or by private message on the VitalChek Facebook page.

      1. Thank you!

  31. Hello! I already have a certified birth certificate but it does not list my parents names. I was born in PA. Would like to ensure the document ordered will have my parents names. Should I choose a certain option on the order form – does not give long/short option. It has drop down menu for reasons- such as passport, estate, legal, etc.
    thanks!

    1. Hello Debbie. Thanks for reaching out with your question. According to guidelines provided by PA, as of July 2015, they have been issuing ALL birth certificate copy versions with parent’s names included. To be safe, you may still want to select either passport or legal as your reason for ordering. You can also click here for contact information if you wish to contact them directly for further confirmation.

  32. Hello and thank you for the service you provide here.

    I have a question about long-form birth certificates. I have a long-form from the State of Indiana, but it’s quite old and was issued when
    they were still using the green safety paper. However, it has all the details I need on it. (I am applying for my Irish passport and it
    requires a long-form birth certificate.) I legally changed my first name several years ago and had my birth certificate updated.
    Now, Indiana will not accept a request for a long-form, only the short-form – which is insufficient. Based on your experience, are older
    birth certificates still considered valid – even though they don’t look like, or have all the bells and whistles of the newer
    versions? I realize this is out-of-scope – but any input at all would be useful.

    Thanks very much –

    1. Hello Lia. Unfortunately,this question is beyond our knowledge but we suggest you contact the issuing agency for your Irish passport to determine if they have any restrictions with regards to older birth certificates. Best wishes!

  33. Hi, I ordered a birth certificate from El Paso, Texas. I need it for passport, the options were passport or
    Passport/travel what is the difference. I went with
    Passport now I’m afraid I chose the wrong one. And I was a bit worried after reading all the negative comments about how VitalChek doesn’t work, let me tell you! I ordered my bc on Thursday and today Friday it’s already on its way!! I’m so excited!! Can you please let me know if this is the correct version needed for passport? The only negative is you guys don’t answer the phone nor emails.

    1. Hello Erika. Thank you for choosing VitalChek. We apologize that you have had difficulty reaching us. In addition to calling or emailing, you can also send us a private message with your order number through Facebook. (You will usually get a response within a matter of minutes) I consulted with our customer service team and either option will meet the criteria. Thanks again for choosing VitalChek!

  34. I would like to fill on form birth certification of my daughter but I did not have that form.may you create it

    1. Hello Mialom. Please contact us at 800-255-2414 or vitals.research@vitalchek.com for assistance.

  35. It seems I only have the option for an short form when selecting immigration or apostille. Is this because Texas only offers that? I need it for my application where I am being sponsored by my spouse in the Netherlands. Will the short form suffice? Also, if I choose apostille, will I receive it with an apostille. I was told to send it to the Secretary of State for one.

    1. Hello Vanessa. Thanks for reaching out with your question. If you are ordering through VitalChek, you can contact us by three different methods so we can answer your questions and assist you with the process: Phone – 800-255-2414, email – vitals.research@vitalchek.com or by private message through our Facebook page. You can also contact Texas Health and Human Services for more information about the forms of birth certificates they currently offer. Click here to visit their website.

      An apostille is the authentication of a document for use outside of the United States. The apostille is signed by a Secretary of State and certifies the authenticity of the capacity and signature of the person signing the document. Generally speaking, you will need to order your vital record first. Once you receive it, you will submit it for the apostille. Click here for more information.

  36. I received the NYS “Short Form” birth certificate today. I live in PA now and I am concerned that PENNDOT will not accept this
    birth certificate because it does not say “Certificate of Birth” on top. It says “Certified Transcript of Birth” .Why didnt I receive a Certificate of Birth?

    Nick

    1. Hello Nick. Thanks for reaching out with your question. More than likely, this is just a matter of a difference in wording. When you order your birth certificate, what you are receiving is a certified copy of information contained on your original birth certificate. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to look into this for you. We can be reached by phone at 877-854-4481, by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com or by private message through the VitalChek Facebook page.

  37. I need official proof of my father’s Armenian race / ethnicity in order to apply for an Armenian passport. I was born in Louisiana, which no longer lists “race” on birth certificates. I understand that the Certificate of Live Birth (filed by the attending physician) would list the parents’ races. (Is this the same as a “long form” birth certificate?) However, Louisiana’s vital records department does not give information on how to order a Certificate of Live Birth, and for that matter, does not distinguish between long form and short form birth certificates. Can you shed any light on this?

    1. Hello David. We’re sorry to hear that you are having trouble obtaining the information you need. Unfortunately we aren’t able to shed any light on this. From the information in your post, it sounds like you have already had some contact with Louisiana Vital Records and that is who we would suggest you contact for more information. We’re sorry we are unable to assist you further but hope you find the answers you need.

  38. Hi,

    It’s nice that you have a blog post about the differences between short and long form. Thanks for writing this. But there’s no reference to how those terms manifest in the form itself.

    Does “Vault Birth Certificate” mean short form? Does “Birth Certificate” mean long form? If yes, then number one, this needs to be made explicit.. And number two, your blog article here states that you need long form for Dual-citizenship/Immigration — but in the form, when you choose “Dual-citizenship/Immigration” as the reason, then the next page (cart) shows Vault Birth Certificate as the option. So confusing!

    Finally, a friendly web development tip: This “Leave a Comment” field needs to wrap text to next line. It’s really difficult to type in this when the text keeps moving to the right!

    1. Hi Edward. Thank you for your feedback. We agree there is a lot of confusion around the terms used to describe the various birth certificates available and each agency may describe their certificates a little differently. A key factor in determining what type of certificate you will receive is the reason code you select during the ordering process. If you need assistance with your order please contact us so we can assist you. We can be reached by phone at 800-255-2414, by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com or through private message on our Facebook page.

  39. Hi I was wondering how to order the long form birth certificate simply because I want the long form how do I order that without being blocked .

    1. Hello Robert. Thanks for reaching out with your question. You may want to contact the vital records agency in your birth state to see if they offer a long form birth certificate and what reason you should supply during the ordering process to ensure the certificate you receive contains the information you need.

  40. I recently requested my long form birth certificate from IL and received what looked like a short form birth certificate. I made a 2nd request for a long form and received the same document. I was born in IL and need a copy of my birth certificate that includes my mother’s signature. How can I get a copy with her signature?

    1. Hello Cynthia. Please contact us so we can assist you with this matter. We can be reached at 800-255-2414, vitals.research@vitalchek.com or via private message on our Facebook page ay Facebook.com/VitalChek.com

  41. Hi for making US passport for my newborn which kind of birth certificate is require informational or authorized one.
    Please help me on that

    Thanks

    1. Hello Neha. Thanks for reaching out with your question. For passport purposes, you will need to get an authorized copy of the birth certificate.

  42. South carolina is horrible and the people that work in the offices are uneducated and do not have customer service. I need to obtain a copy of my original certificate of live birth. Vital records refuse to give it to me the hospital claims they don’t have it after 10 years and the county in which I was born the court house is dumbfounded. Why do y’all people make it so damn hard to get a piece of paper. I know y’all still have the originals.

  43. Is there any way I can get a handwritten amended birth certificate replaced with a printed one since the amended form was processed but the hand writing is sloppy. Live in Ca.

    1. Hello Michelle. Thanks for reaching out with your question about your handwritten birth certificate. We suggest you contact the vital records agency that issued your original certificate to determine if you can get a digitized printout of the record rather than the handwritten copy.

  44. Hi! I just ordered a copy of my birth certificate from the District of Columbia yesterday. I want to make sure I get the long form copy as I already have a short copy and I ordered this because I want my time of birth. I believe I selected “geneology” for the reason for the request. Is there anything I can do to make sure I do NOT get short form? Thanks so much

    1. Hello Mariel. If you ordered through VitalChek, please contact us with your order number so we can assist you. We can be reached by phone at 800-255-2414, by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com or by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. If you ordered from DC Health, please click here for more information.

  45. hi i am needing to know if the color of a Alabama birth certificate means anything? Mine is light green (born 1966) and has a stamp on the back that says certified. thank you in advance.

    1. Hello Angela. More than likely the color of the paper is just a security measure. If you want further clarification, you may want to contact the Alabama Vital Records Office. Click here to visit their website for more information.

  46. Hello,

    I just received my Maryland birth certificate from Vitalchek.
    I was sure to read all about the correct options to check in order to receive a LONG FORM, but my certificate does
    not appear to be correct long form since it is missing Time of Birth and other information.

    How can I get this missing information or receive a refund?

    This is a professional legal document, You should really make the ordering process more
    clear about the EXACT information that is being sent on the certificate.

    1. Hello Robert. We are sorry to hear that your certificate did not contain the information you needed. Please contact us with your order number so we can look into this situation for you. The quickest way to reach us is through private message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

      1. Thank you, I appreciate your response. I will get in touch.

  47. How do I get a copy of my long birth certificate from Maryland. I ordered a birth certificate from Vitalcheck & received one, but it was the short version and I need the long version for my passport

    1. Hello Stacey. Please contact us with your order number so we can look into this for you. The quickest way to reach us is through our Facebook page at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  48. Hello,
    My name is Jose. I ordered my birth certificate through your company. I requested a long form and was born in New York State in Westchester County. Not the City of New York. However I would like to know if I will receive a letter of exemplification with the certificate. I went directly to the NY State Website and it stated that I would have to request the letter of exemplification when I ordered the birth certificate. I spoke to someone on the phone and they stated that I would have to go to the NY State County Office to get the letter of exemplification. Ultimately I want to know if I need to request it with VitalChek or go directly to the State Office in Westchester. This is conflicting information. I needthe letter of exemplification for dual citizenship.
    Thank you,

    1. Hello Jose. Please contact us with your order number so we can assist you with this matter. The quickest way to reach us is via private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also reach us by phone at 800-255-2414 or by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  49. Hello I am in need of my birth certificate for a passport. The state issued birth certificate I have now does not list either of my parents. I
    was adopted and my current birth certificate shows my adoptive name, just not parents. I am not sure if I should be
    requesting my certificate in my mothers maiden name, as I was adopted a few years later by my non birth father. I went to ‘
    my city hall in the town my birth certificate states I was born but they had no record of my adoptive name. I didn’t ask for
    my certificate in my mothers maiden name,, I didn’t think about it. I really need to figure this out asap and don’t really
    know where to start. I know what county I was born in, I will go to my towns city hall again and ask for it in my mothers’
    maiden name but if they do not have that record, then where do I try? We have a county courthouse but their weibsite
    states to go to the town I was born in and i’m not positive what town it is. thanks

  50. Can u use a shot certified birth certificate to get marriage license or does it have to be long

    1. Hello Jessie. More than likely you can use a certified short form of your birth certificate to get a marriage license but it would be best to check with the clerk’s office that will issue the license to verify.

  51. Hello,

    I have a copy of both my short form and long form birth certificates. My concern is my birth number. You see, the numbers differ on the two forms. The short form has an extra zero added, and it’s not a leading zero either (eg. 8011… on the short vs 811… on the long). Should I be concerned? Are both birth certificates valid?

    1. Hello Celine. We suggest you contact the vital records agency that issued the certificates to inquire about the discrepancy in the birth number.

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