How to Get a Replacement Birth Certificate

Your birth certificate is one of the most important legal documents you will have possession of in your entire lifetime. There are many situations that you will need to use your original birth certificate or a certified copy of it in order to prove your identity and date of birth. Important documents and IDs should be kept in a safe place, but losing them is more common than one might think. Documents and important paperwork can get lost in the shuffle of a move and misplaced anytime you take them out to use. If you’ve lost your birth certificate there are easy steps to follow to retrieve a new certified copy. Getting a birth certificate replacement can be an uncomplicated process as long as you have the correct documentation available to you. A lost birth certificate can be a problem if you happen to be in the process of applying for a US passport, joining the military, applying for certain benefits and enrolling in school. You’ll also need your birth certificate for driver’s licenses, marriage licenses and passports too.

How do you get a certified copy of a birth certificate?

With, we’ve made how to get a replacement birth certificate easy and hassle free. To order birth certificates online all you’ll need is the pertinent information for the certificate of the person for whom you’re looking to order a certified copy. You’ll be prompted to enter dates, reason or need for the certificate, as well as your own personal information like relation to the person on the certificate. Your relation to the person named on the certificate is a primary factor on whether you have the authority to purchase a copy of their certificate. The process to replace lost birth certificates has been streamlined to ensure you are who you say you are. To assist with this, questions that help to verify your identity will be at the end of your order before you’re asked to pay. To order a certified birth certificate for someone else you must have legal authority to do so.

Due to the long standing relationship that has with over 300 state agencies, acquiring your vital documents securely is just a few clicks away. The ease and convenience of being able to replace your vital records online will save you time with the added peace of mind that VitalChek works closely and is authorized to provide these services by the government agencies that produce these valuable documents.


  1. My mother has paid for a birth certificate and your company has charged her credit card in February of 2016. It is now April of 2016. She has yet to receive the birth certificate and she has called numerous times. There are a lot of online complaints about your company not sending documents that people have paid for and I see why. You need to stop taking money from hard working consumers if you are not going to send the documents that they pay for.

    1. Hello Renay and thank you for taking the time to reach out to us.
      We apologize for the experience your mother had while using our service and we would like to assist you further. VitalChek does not send the certificates out the state vital records office locates the certificate and sends it directly to the customer. We provide the authorized, secure online/phone ordering service for the different state and county vital record offices. If you could please send us a direct email including your mothers VitalChek order number we would like to look into this. We will contact the actually state or county office to find out why you still have not received it. You can email us directly at
      Nichole H.

  2. Your a little late Nichole. My mother called the City Of El Dorado in Arkansas who gives out YOUR company’s phone number when people want copies of their birth certificate. YOUR company placed the order over the phone, took my mother’s credit card. My mother has called with her order number and has been given a song and dance about the certificate has been sent. A supervisor was suppose to call her and she waited and waited for a phone call that never arrived. Why are people paying for your services if they are not receiving some kind of paper document? As you know, not all people have or choose to use computers. Unfortunately a government agency has chosen to outsource this job out to your company yet your company has a habit of not providing services. There are quite a few complaints about this company and my mother just wanted a copy of her birth certificate that she needed. Your company had every opportunity to take care of that instead of giving excuses. Use this example as an opportunity to make sure your company takes care of their customers. If phone calls are ignored, what makes you think someone is going to answer an email. No confidence in this company.

  3. My birth certificate. Is wrong. What can i do

    1. Hello Maria and thank you for your question.
      If your certificate has an error you can contact the amendments and corrections department at vital records office that issued the certificate. Depending on the error and the state you were born in the procedures may vary.
      If you need assistance locating the phone number for that specific office let us know and we’ll be happy to assist.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  4. Hello, I dont have time to wait for the processing time. can i walk into any dept of health location and get it there? and I was born in the NYC and now live in Florida, will they still allow me to purchase a replacement? pls help

    1. Hello and thank you for your question.
      You can only use the walk in service in the state you were born. If you born in New York City you will have to go to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Vital Records at 125 Worth Street, CN 4, Room 133 New York, NY 10013-4090 (Walk-in Hours are 9am to 3:30pm EST). If you cannot go in person then the only other people who are entitle to your record would be your mother or father named on the certificate.
      The next fastest option would be using,) we are the authorized service for New York City.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H

  5. I have lived most of my life outside of the US and need to apply for a social security number. I therefore want to get an ‘original’ copy of my birth certificate. However, in order to do that…I need to provide a social security number…that I don’t have.
    How can I apply for the birth certificate? Sounds like a Catch22. Please let me know how I can apply for it?


    1. Hello Ranjan and thank you for your question.

      When ordering a birth certificate a social security number is not typically required. However if you are using the service you may be asked to provide that information once you are at the security verification section of the online application. That is the way that we are able to verify the correct person is ordering the certificate. If we are unable to verify who you are by the social security number, due to you not having one that is fine, we would just need you to provide a copy of your valid government I.D. that meets the states requirements. However, if you were to send your application in to the vital records office by mail you would typically only need to provide your I.D. along with payment (check or money order). If you have any further questions regarding the online ordering process please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-255-2414. We may even be able to place your order over the phone depending on the state you born in.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  6. My mother in law is 88 and always went by Yolanda which appears on her baptism papers but when we tried to get a birth certificate we were told that there are two other names on the cert which we don’t know and even if we did we couldn’t get it without I’d to match. What do we do now?

    1. Hello Michael and thank you for your question.

      This is a problem that occurs quite frequently especially with people around your mothers age. The answer to this question will depend on the state where she was born. If you would like to reply back with her birth state I’ll be happy to look into the other options for her to obtain the certificate. If you’d like you may contact our customer service department at 1-800-255-2414 and explain the situation to them and they can look up the state and the rules for ordering and who all in considered entitle to order for that specific state.
      Hopefully we can help you find a way to obtain your mother certificate.
      Nichole H.

  7. I need the time of birth, will a copy of birth cert dual citizenship work?
    Its a shame i already have a copy of my cert and have to pay just to get time of birth. I need asap and told info cant be given over the phone will have to wait up to 25 business days or longer reading this blog.

    1. Hello JC and thank you for your question.
      Unfortunately not all birth certificates list the time of birth . It is at the discretion of the state or county vital records office to what is included on their records. Usually the time of birth is not a field required for legal use however in your case it sound like it is. I can understand wanting ALL of your birth information to be included on you certificate. Did you order this through the VitalChek service or did you order directly through the state? If you ordered directly from the state please contact there office and let them know this information is required for what you are needing it for. If you need the contact information for that location please let us know and we’ll be happy to look that information up. If you ordered the VitalChek service please send us a direct email at including your VitalChek order number and we’ll be happy to reach out to the vital records office, explaining your situation and see what our fastest option is to get you a birth certificate with the required info.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  8. i ordered a copy of my birth certifate i went in to check status and i says my order was cancelled and i do not know why you took my money and now have cancelled my order????

    1. Hello David and thank you for reaching out to us. Typically if an order is cancelled this means the total money was not charged to the card. Either way we would like to look into this further to find out why your order would’ve been cancelled. If you can please contact our office directly at 1-800-255-2414 or email us directly at, including your VitalChek order number. We would like the opportunity to assist you further.
      Nichole H.

  9. When I go to choose which option I want for getting my birth cirtificate to me, I’m not are if I’m supposed to select the first option, that just says “birth *$16”, or “birth photocopy *$21”? What is the difference between the two? Thanks!


    1. Hello Rachel and thank you for your question.
      Each state can call their certificates something a little different. Depending on the state that you are trying to get the certificate from the meaning could be different. Can you give me the state of birth and I can look into the description for you or you can contact our office at 1-800-255-2414 and we can look it up then.
      Nichole H,

  10. Hello,
    I am not an a Filipino citizen and managed to lose my Filipino birth certificate. What are my options in obtaining another birth certificate without having to go to the Philippines?

    Thank you,

    1. Hello Mary,

      You can contact the consulate’s office for the Philippines to inquire about obtaining a new birth certificate. The will be able to give you all of your options and the requirements.

      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  11. I’m trying to get a birth certificate not a copy a real replacement. I have no I’d and no social security card I’m wondering what it is exactly I would send to get that replacement certificate.

    1. Hi Zach. Thank you for your question. Each state has different identity verification requirements. Please contact us at 800-255-2414 and we will be happy to assist you in determining what documentation is required for the state you were born in.

  12. I lost my wallet and have no ID at all. I need a birth certificate from California so I can get my ID card in Colorado. What are my options?

    1. Hi James. Sorry to hear about your lost wallet. The requirements for obtaining a new birth certificate can vary from county to county. Please email us your birth city and county at and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  13. Hi,
    I didn’t exactly lose mine. My grandmother kept it and we made copies so that’s what I have now. Recently my grandmother passed so we don’t know the whereabouts of the original copies. This is for my birth certificate and the social security card. What should I do? I’m mainly asking because me and my family are planning to move out of the country.

    1. Hello Paige. Thank you for your questions regarding your social security card and birth certificate. We recommend you contact the Social Security Administration to find out what steps you need to take to get a replacement card. Depending on what state you live in currently, you may be able to order a replacement card online. Regarding your birth certificate, if you live in the area where you were born, you may be able to go to the Vital Records office there to get a replacement certificate. If you live elsewhere or just prefer to order it online, you may be able to order a new certificate online through Since you mentioned traveling out of the country, be sure to specify travel as your reason for needing a certified copy of your birth certificate.

  14. My daughter in law’s certificate states her name as Female Rivera. Her mother died and her father’s name is not on the certificate. How can we go about fixing this big problem? She is unable to get an ID because of this problem. Please help.

    1. Thank you for your question, Milagros. The identity verification requirements vary from state to state so we recommend your daughter-in-law seek guidance from the Vital Records agency in the city where she was born. They should be able to tell her the steps she will need to take in order to amend her birth certificate to show her actual first name.

  15. To whom it may concern —

    I am in need of a copy of my birth certificate. I have gone through the steps listed on both the page and the Vitalchek page but my situation doesn’t seem to be addressed — it is in part, but I am loathe to go forward with the request if I do not have all of the necessary documents.

    I am an American citizen currently living in Brazil. My fiancee and I are planning to marry soon and I need a copy of my birth certificate. I have a bank account in the States (I am not allowed to have one here as I have no Brazilian documents) so my debit card lists a California address, where I was living prior to leaving for Brazil (it is my sister’s house so I can receive mail there). I have no utility bills in my name, so the only documents I would be able to provide would be my California Driver’s License (which has a different address than my bank account) and my passport. I have no letters from US Government agencies with me here in Brazil.

    I understand if the birth certificate would need to be sent to the address in California (the one which my bank account also has), but as I stated above, I am living in Brazil and can only provide the two aforementioned documents (driver’s license and passport scans).

    Would these documents be acceptable in order to obtain my birth certificate? It is OK if the document is shipped to the address in California.

    I tried my best to be clear, but if you have any questions, please let me know.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

    1. Hello Adam. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Please email this information to and we will be happy to assist you with finding a solution to your dilemma.

      1. Thanks Larissa, I have forwarded my concerns to the email address you provided.

        1. You’re welcome, Adam. I hope you received the answers you were looking for.

  16. Hello I recently lost my wallet which had my social security and I.D. in it. I currently only have my Applecare insurance number.

    1. Hello Stephan. We are sorry to hear about the loss of your wallet. If you have not done so already, we recommend you notify the Social Security Administration and the Department of Motor Vehicles immediately. If you need to order a certified copy of your birth certificate for identity verification purposes, you may be able to order it at Some states allow for electronic identity verification by having you answer a series of question to confirm your identity. For more information, you can email us at and we’ll be happy to assist you.

  17. I need to order a “Certified” Birth Certificate in order to get my Drivers License. I’m doing it online right now but I am being asked if I want a photocopy certificate or a computer certificate. Which one do I select? What is the difference? I went in with a photocopy of mine and the DMV would not accept it due to it not being a “Certified” Birth Certificate. I want to make sure I order the right one. Please advise. Thanks!

    1. Hello Nathan. Thanks for reaching out. Each state refers to their certificates differently. Most likely, the photocopy certificate is just that…a photocopy of the original certificate on file and would not be a certified copy. Please email your question about this to us at and we’ll be happy to assist you. Be sure to include the city and state where you were born.

  18. Hello:

    I would like to ask a question if possible. I was born in a different country and my parents took us to the US many years ago and we all became US citizens.

    I thought that I did see my foreign birth certificate from that country previously but now I could not locate it and my parents all passed away. So I am not sure where that birth certificate is now. Even if I can find it, the name is different because my original name is not in English.

    I do have my US passport which listed the country I was born and my birthday.

    Please tell me how I can apply for a birth certificate replacement.

    Many thanks for your help!


    1. Hello Edward. Thanks for your question. Since you were born in a foreign country, your original birth certificate and any copies would be issued by that country. For U.S. purposes, you should have naturalization papers that you received when you became a U.S. citizen.

  19. Hello Larissa:

    Thank you for replying to my question but here is the problem. The country that I was born was not the same country. The new regime that took over practically destroyed all the previous records so even if I go back and apply for the certificate, they would not be able to produce one for me.

    I do have US naturalization paper when I became a US citizen.

    I don’t have problem in the US but I need a birth certificate for another reason. I am applying for med school overseas because the tuition is much much less than in the US but this school required me to have a birth certificate which I am unable to provide.

    So please kindly advise, how I can obtain a birth certificate? I do have US passport which listed my birthday and the country where I was born. I also have US naturalization paper. Is there anyway I can get some kind of a birth certificate replica in the US since I do have US passport and naturalization paper?

    Thank you very much in advance!


    1. Hello Edward. Regarding your situation, unfortunately we are only able to assist with the ordering process for people born as U.S. citizens. Since you were born in another country and later became a U.S. citizen, you will still need to address the issue of your birth certificate with your country of origin. There is no process whereby someone born as a citizen of a foreign country can get a U.S. Birth certificate upon becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. You instead get naturalization papers. You may try contacting the med school you wish to attend to see if they can work with the documentation you have. You may also contact U.S. immigration services to see if they can direct you to the proper channels as there are most likely other naturalized U.S. citizens with similar issues. We’re sorry we are not able to assist you but wish you success with your search.

  20. I’m having similar issues as everyone else where you didnt give me my birthcertificate.

    You instead sent me a letter asking for documents that are nearly impossible for me to get in order to have it. Like i wouldn’t need you if i had these documents in the first place.

    It says it only stays on file for 30 days but i need time to get this shit. Are you really gonna charge me another 50 bucks if i dont meet that dead line?

    1. Hello, Shane. We’re sorry you are frustrated with the requirement for additional documentation. Please email us your order number at and we will be happy to assist you.

  21. Hello Larissa:

    Thank you very much for your reply to my question!


    1. You’re welcome, Edward! Hope thee information was helpful.

  22. I am trying to get my birth certificate, so that I can get a new state ID. Without which I cannot get a proper job. The problem is, I no longer have anything that states who I am. I have mental health issues about 3 years ago, and was moved to a relatives. Most of my belongings were thrown out, including the aforementioned document.

    Anyone know how Id go about this?

    1. Hello Haiden. We’re sorry to hear that your vital records were discarded. With regards to your social security card, you may be able to get a replacement using an alternate form of ID such as a school ID, Employee identification card, Health insurance card (not a Medicare card); or U.S. military identification card. For more information, go to: With regards to ordering a new copy of your birth certificate, certain states allow you to verify your identity by answering a series of questions rather than submitting identity documents. Please email us at and we can determine if the state you were born in allows for this form of identity verification.

  23. Hello, my father in law lost his social security card and birth certificate in a fire. My husband apply for his father birth certificate and the send something stating that they could not locate him in the system. So my question is what can we do about that because he don’t have a valid ID card due to his has expired and he don’t have his social security card. He don’t have any form of Identification. It like he almost dont exists. PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Hello Naiesha. We’re sorry to hear about the tough situation your father-in-law is currently in. His birth certificate should be on file with the vital records agency in the county and/or state where he was born. He can contact that vital records agency directly for more information or he may be able to order a certificate directly through us at If he has any questions, he can email us at and we will be happy to assist him.

  24. I went though VitalCheck to get a copy of my birthday certificate. VitalCheck took the money out of my account $15.00 for the certificate and $8.30 to process the certificate. A few days later $15.00 was put back into my checking account and my order had been canceled by VitalCheck and they kept the processing fee. No explication on why the order was canceled no email no nothing just a deposit of $15.00 put back in my account. I really need this copy and an explication on why or what to do next. I have called and sent emails and no one has returned calls or emails. Please advise.

    1. Hello Debrann. Thanks for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear your order was cancelled. Please email us at and we will be happy to look into this for you.

  25. My mom passed away a few years ago, and I don’t know what happened to my birth certificate. I ordered 2 copies, however, I used “self” as the reason. I received a “Certified Transcript of Birth” – is this my actual birth certificate? Can I use this for identification, passport, etc? Why do you have to give a reason when you just want to replace an important document. A birth certificate should be your birth certificate. Now I paid around $45.00 and I don’t know if I have the correct documentation!

    1. Hello Kim and thank you for reaching out to us. Each state varies when it comes to the forms of birth certificates available along with what they call their certificates, “Certified Transcripts of Birth”, “Certificate of Live Birth”, “Birth Certificate” etc.. The vital records offices asks for the reason so they’ll know what version (if they have more than one) will be sufficient for your need. So that we can verify with the state that issued your certificate, please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-255-2414 or you can respond back to this message with the state that your certificate came from and I’ll be happy to look into this further for you.

      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

  26. Thanks Nicole! My birth state is New York.

    1. Good morning Kim!

      The certificate that you received should work for passport, travel, etc. Unless you are currently living in Ohio or Oklahoma, these states would need a copy of the long form certificate from the state of New York.

      Thank you,
      Nichole H

  27. So what “reason” would I state to receive a long form certificate? Thanks!

  28. Can someone please help me? What “reason” would I state to receive a long form certificate? The site doesn’t give examples. I just want my actual birth certificate if possible. Thanks!

    1. Anyone? What “reason” do you need to state to receive a long form birth certificate? Please help!

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