need a birth certificate

Seven Instances When You’ll Need a Birth Certificate

As the old Joni Mitchell song goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” This is never more true than when it comes to your birth certificate. Sometimes it seems like it stays in your safe deposit box or the old shoebox in the closet without use for years. Then, all of a sudden, you need it for everything! Even if you do not find yourself using it very often, it can make sense to go ahead and make sure to keep a couple of certified copies on file, just in case! After all, you may find yourself facing one of these seven instances where you may need a birth certificate.

  • Registering for School – Many schools have a birth certificate among the requirements for registration. A birth certificate serves as a proof of identity and age. This assures that the student is actually who he or she says she is and is in the correct class based on age.
  • Obtaining a Driver’s License – Most states require a birth certificate to prove identity and age to obtain, and in some cases renew, a driver’s license. You may want to talk with someone at the department of driver services first, but it never hurts to bring along the certificate as proof even if it is not required.
  • Marriage – In some states, the marriage license process may involve proving identity by providing a birth certificate. This only makes sense because the marriage license is a very important document that is used for legal purposes beyond just getting married.
  • Signing Up for Sports – Especially in youth sports, there is often an age requirement. This protects children from accidental injury by older kids. Since it is required, you may have to provide a proof of age, usually in the form of a certified birth certificate.
  • Travel – You’ll need a birth certificate as it’s one of the requirements for obtaining a passport, of course. However, it is often used in other circumstances too. Many cruise lines require that passengers provide a birth certificate upon boarding, especially when a passport may not be required, so they can prove identity.
  • Social Security Card – If you need a new copy of your social security card, you may be asked to furnish a copy of your birth certificate as well as another proof of identity.
  • General Identification – You never know when you may need to provide additional proof of identity for a job, bank related issue or to obtain a mortgage. While you won’t be asked to furnish your certificate on a daily basis, it may surprise you how often it is required.

These are just a few of the reasons why you might need a birth certificate for yourself or family members. Just remember, make sure you have a certified copy that will meet your needs. In most cases, documents needed for official use will need to be a government authorized certified copy. Do some research and avoid a hassle at a very inopportune time!

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