Ordering Birth Certificates Online: What You Need to Know

Uh oh! Are you enrolling your child in school, signing them up for a sports team, or getting the family passports for your overseas trip and just found out that you need an official birth certificate? If you live in the state where you or your family member was born, you may be able to visit the health department and pick up the certificate yourself. However, in many cases this is impractical or even impossible. Luckily, there are now options for securely ordering a birth certificate on the internet with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Ordering your birth certificate online is not difficult, but it does require a little more care and consideration than purchasing a book or DVD. Before you jump in and order that necessary document, learn more about the process. Consider these “need to know” details about requesting your certificate online:

  • Choose an Official Copy- Not every birth certificate you can order online is an official copy. Make sure you choose to purchase a copy from a firm that works directly with the government to provide a genuine copy that meets all requirements.
  • Security – Make sure your information will be kept secure. Since you have to provide personal information to obtain your certificate, you want to work with a company that takes security very seriously.
  • Plan ahead – When you order a certificate online there may be a wait time—especially if your information is incomplete. Do not wait for the last minute or you may not get the certificate back in time.
  • Shipment – Birth certificates cannot be sent via fax or email, they must be mailed via US mail or express courier. Because of this, you will need a valid address for delivery.
  • Be Careful – Be careful when you enter your information online. A typo on your part could delay the processing of your birth certificate order.
  • Do Your Research – While ordering a certificate for yourself is relatively easy, there may be more detailed requirements in place when ordering a certificate for someone else. Find out what information you will need ahead of time so you are prepared for the process.

Ordering a birth certificate online requires a little bit of planning and some careful consideration, but you can save time and reduce your stress level by avoiding the long lines at the health department. The most important thing is to make certain you order from a reputable firm, either directly from the government agency issuing the certificate or an organization they recommend is best. By doing this, you can rest assured you are getting an official certificate and will not run into any problems down the road.



  1. Hi! I am wondering if these re-order birth certificates include time of birth? I was born in in San Francisco California

    1. Hello Adrienne and thank you for your question.
      The information that the vital records office includes on the record is typically at their discretion & each state & county is different. However to find out what they all information will be released you can contact the vital records office directly. Here is the number to the San Francisco Vital records office: 415-554-4962
      Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
      Nichole H.

  2. Hi in my birth certificate there is a mistake related to time of birth how we do correction and where we do it very easly.

    1. Good morning, Akash. Each state has their own guidelines for corrections and amendments to vital records. Therefore, we suggest you contact the Vital Records agency that issued your certificate originally for more information on how to make a correction. (This would more than likely be a clerk’s office or Health Department in the city where you were born.)

  3. How long would it take for a certified birth certificate to be mailed to North Carolina. I was born in Alabama if that matters. Just wondering if it would be faster to get someone from home to try and maybe find the old one.

    1. Hello Hannah. Processing times can vary from agency to agency. Alabama currently lists an average processing time of 1-3 days plus shipping time depending on which shipping method you select.

  4. Can I pay for my boyfriends birth certificate online? It says the name of the card has to be his name. Is there no way around that? Since I would need to use my card.

    1. Hello Allison. Thanks for reaching out with your question. It is possible that you may be able to use a prepaid visa or mastercard type gift card as payment. It would need to be registered with his name and address. The ability to use this form of payment may vary from state to state so please contact us to verify. The quickest way to reach us is through private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  5. An elderly friend of mine who was born in Pennsylvania has asked me to order an official birth certificate for her so she can renew her California ID with the CA DMV. She ordered one previously, but they send her a “Certification of Birth.” The CA DMV won’t accept it. How can she order an official birth certificate from Pennsylvania that the CA DMV will accept?

    1. Hello Millie. Thanks for reaching out with your question. If your friend orders her birth certificate online through VitalChek, she will be prompted to provide a reason for the order request. She would need to select “Drivers License” from the drop down menu. She should then receive from Pennsylvania Vital Records a certified copy of her birth certificate that is appropriate for getting a Driver’s License.

    2. My mom was born by midwife, and has never had a birth certificate. Can I order the birth certificate for her being that she doesn’t have a valid ID

      1. Hello Tracie. When you order a birth certificate online, you are ordering a certified copy of a record that already exists. The only way you would be able to use this process to order your mother’s birth certificate would be if the midwife submitted the paperwork to the county or state to register your mother’s birth. Then there should be a record on file. If, on the other hand, you are saying that the midwife never registered your mom’s birth, you will not be able to order a certificate for her. You may want to contact the vital records office in the area where she was born to determine if it is possible to register her now but it will more than likely require some sort of documentation.

  6. Will Vitalchek mail my NJ certified birth certificate overseas? I was born in NJ, USA and am living abroad now. I lost my passport and would need a certified birth certificate in order to apply for another one (that is valid for more than three months) at a US embassy abroad.

    Otherwise I will have to return to the USA on a limited validity passport (valid only three months, for travel only to my home country), to apply for a new passport (or maybe technically “renew” the limited validity passport).

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hello Alex. Thanks for reaching out with your question. While VitalChek does ship overseas and we have affiliate relationships with some NJ municipalities, we do not have one at the state level. Since you need your birth certificate for passport replacement purposes, your best bet will probably to order directly from the State of New Jersey Department of Health.

  7. hi. i entered the incorrect city when requesting a copy of my birth certificate (a nearby city to the original). is this going to cause issues? or will the problem be corrected on its own?– all the other information was entered correctly.

    1. Hello Kelly. You will more than likely need to correct the information. If you ordered through VitalChek, please contact us with your order number so we can assist you. The quickest way to reach us is by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You will usually get a response in a matter of minutes. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  8. I have recently lost my original birth certificate due to retiring and throwing 30 years of papers away. I’m afraid that it was thrown out. Anyway I have a Xeroxed copy. Can I upload a picture of the certificate to make it easier to find?

    1. Hello Sharon. We are sorry to hear you cannot locate your birth certificate. You can order a certified copy of the certificate in person by visiting the vital records office in the area where you were born or online at VitalChek by filling out an application and, if requested, by providing copies of identity verifying documents such as a driver’s license, etc.

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