how to find a birth certificate for free

Can I Download and Print a Birth Certificate?

There are plenty of reasons someone might need a copy of their vital records; buying a home, a new job, estate settlements after a loved one has passed, school enrollments…the list goes on. While all of these official and legal matters will usually require certified copies of vital records issued by a state, county or township vital records office, they aren’t the only reason for wanting to get ahold of certain marriage, birth, death or divorce records. Genealogy projects are becoming more and more popular. Family projects attempting to trace a person’s heritage back as far as possible often means going through old marriage and birth records online. If you’ve found yourself asking “Can I download and print a birth certificate or other vital record at home?”, it’s important you understand that the reason you need these vital records will dictate whether a simple copy or an official certified copy is necessary.

Official vital records contain important personal identity information that should only be accessible by the individual or immediate family. This is why finding a free, printable copy of your current vital records online is not possible. Be wary when submitting personal information to any site that is not a government authorized agent.

Can I Download and Print a Birth Certificate?

If trying to obtain vital records for yourself or a loved one is a new venture for you, it’s easy to see how it could be difficult to understand the difference between wanting a free birth certificate online and actually obtaining an official copy. When it comes to verifying identity, usually in employment, financial or other legal situations, it’s important that the vital records you provide are official, certified copies. Only authorized government vital records offices are able to issue these official vital records These records are issued in the city, county or state in which the marriage, birth, death or divorce took place and are not available to download and print online.

For example, if you’ve just had a new baby, you’ll fill out a birth registration form which will be submitted to the vital records office. This has your child’s pertinent identity information – their birth certificate is the first, official, and complete form of identification they have. Due to the importance of the information on this official vital records document and to ensure your identity is not easily obtained or used illegally, most states require all vital records for living people remain confidential – for your personal protection. This is why finding a free birth certificate online and printing it at home will not suffice for official and legal purposes, not to mention, most vital records that are publicly available online don’t contain the pertinent information that a current, official copy will have. Marriage, death and divorce records are equally important in other legal and official situations, so they are securely handled and kept confidential as well.

Vital records like marriage, death, birth and divorce certificates can be misplaced or lost throughout a person’s life. If you’re looking to obtain official copies for legal matters, be sure you’re ordering through a government authorized service like VitalChek.com

It is not uncommon for these important vital records to be misplaced, and in some cases may not have been obtained at the time of the life event. Not having official copies of these vital records on hand can be problematic if you find yourself in need of one for official or legal purposes. It’s also extremely important that you know what to look for when wanting to obtain an official certified copy of your birth certificate. An official certified copy should have an individual’s full name, date and place of birth as well as several other important details. When looking to obtain certified copies of your vital records, going directly to the vital record agency in person will be the fastest option as you can generally receive your copy that day. However, if that’s not feasible – and for many of us it’s not – utilizing an authorized ordering service like VitalChek.com is one of the safest and most convenient methods available. VitalChek is the only authorized online ordering service for hundreds of government vital records agencies across the nation.

Genealogy Projects – How to Find a Birth Certificate For Free

While laws and timeframes vary from state to state when it comes to accessibility of public vital records, you generally won’t be able to access actual complete current vital records for yourself online anywhere. When it comes to genealogy projects and researching family history, public vital records access is typically the best way to start tracking down your ancestors. In these situations, you can check state by state to see what historical vital records are available online, and which states require a little more leg work to see into your family’s documents. Sites like Ancestry.com can help get you access to historical online vital records for your family history projects!

For genealogy projects, having access to public vital records helps complete those family trees. In these cases, free printable vital records may be appropriate.

In genealogy cases, printable vital records may be available online, which are ok and acceptable to be printed. If you’re looking for current vital records for you or your loved one’s however, it’s important that you take caution and only utilize secure and safe ordering methods, like the government agency’s website or their authorized ordering service like VitalChek.com. Also, remember to be mindful of submitting personal information to any site unless it is secure and an authorized online ordering service for government vital records.

30 Comments

  1. Do not use! Comments about expedited service is not true. You can pay for 1 day postal service but it still is 20 to 28
    days for company to assemble records. Expedited means 21 to 29 days! Not to quick for cost. This is the same as all
    other companies so don’t believe their comments..NOT TRUE will be going into more detail on Twitter and FB.

    1. We are sorry to hear about your frustrations with your ordering experience. Processing times can vary from vital records agency to vital records agency and while most agencies process their orders and ship them in a matter of days, a handful of agencies are backlogged on their order processing. Unfortunately, VitalChek has no control over an agencies processing times. Please contact us so we can assist you. We can be reached at 800-255-2414, vitals.research@vitalchek.com or by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek.

    2. I agree! I ordered my birth certificate on October 30, 2018, and it is now December 19, 2018, and I still do not have my birth certificate. I need my birth certificate to renew my drivers license, and I need a current drivers license to get my medication. I am a senior citizen with extensive health needs and now only have 2 days of meds left before I will be hospitalized. What can I do? I have tried working with the company via email for the last month and still now birth certificate.

      1. Hello Richard. We are sorry to hear that you have not received your order yet. As I mentioned to the previous person, processing times can vary from vital records agency to vital records agency and while most agencies process their orders and ship them in a matter of days, some agencies are backlogged for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, VitalChek has no control over an agency’s processing time. 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 can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

        1. We ordered our adopted daughter birth certificate and they said 20 days and it’s now passed 4 months

          1. Hello Carrie. We are sorry to hear that you have not received your daughter’s birth certificate. 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.

  2. To whom itmay concern
    My name is Mauro Salvatore and I was born in the US ON aPRIL **, 1975. I now live in Italy and for personal reasons I need my social security number.
    I was told at the US Embassy in Naples to apply for my birth certificate through you and then they will give me the social security number but as soon as I click on the SEND button
    to sendthe application, for security reasons they ask the last four digits of my social security nu,ber which I do not have and which is
    the reason why I am applying for the birth certificate.
    Please tell me what I can do since I need the certificate asap.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    S. Mauro

    1. Thank you for your question Mauro. Given your specific situation, we will have one of our Customer Support Specialists reach out to you directly – likely via the email address you provided – to assist you with how best to obtain your birth certificate. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. Best Regards.

  3. My name is Mauro Salvatore and I was born in the US 4.**.75. I now live in Italy and I need my social security number.
    I was told at the US Embassy in Naples to apply for my birth certificate through you and then they will give me the social security number but as soon as I click on the SEND button
    to send the application, for security reasons they ask the last four digits of my social security number..
    Please tell me what I can do since I need the certificate asap.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    S. Mauro

    1. Thank you for your question Mauro. Given your specific situation, we will have one of our Customer Support Specialists reach out to you directly – likely via the email address you provided – to assist you with how best to obtain your birth certificate. Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. Best Regards.

  4. I ordered a copy of my birth certificate for the purpose of applying for a passport since I couldn’t find my original.. I received the copy but when presented to the US Post Office in Monroe, WA. I was told it wasn’t a valid birth certificate.
    I presented the birth certificate to Monroe, WA. City hall and they said the same thing, that the certificate I presented from “VitalChek King County Vital Statistics was not legitimate.
    City Hall mentioned that was only the second birth certificate of that kind that they had ever seen.
    Sounds like both places need to be educated in the new certificate look and that it is an acceptable certificate. The copy I showed them was the original one sent from VitalChek with the Washington State Seal that changes color when heat is applied, Located at the bottom left corner on the back page of the certificate.
    How can I convince them that it is an official legitimate copy of my birth certificate.
    Need your help.
    Thanks, Gary

    1. Hello Gary. We’re sorry to hear about your dilemma. Please contact us with your order number so we can assist you. The quickest way to get assistance is by sending us a private message on Facebook at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  5. Why do you ask a person that was born
    in Puerto Rico to include both last names?
    I’ve been living in Florida for five years and
    when I fill out a job application or so my
    taxes people think that my first last name is
    my middle name and that my second last
    name is my first last name. I know this is
    going to get me trouble. Can I order a birth
    certificate only with my first last name?

    1. Hello Mina. Thanks for reaching out with you question. The application requirements to include both last names are set by the Puerto Rico Department of Health rather than >VitalChek. If you need assistance, please contact us. The quickest way to reach us is via private message through our Facebook page – Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also reach us by phone at 800-255-2414 or by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  6. my birth certificate does not have my first and middle name on it,what do i do?

    1. Hello Monty. We suggest you contact the vital records agency in the state where you were born. They should be able to provide you with information about their requirements for amending your birth certificate to include your first and middle name.

  7. I just tried to obtain a copy of my birth certificate via this online method (VitalChek). I went through all the steps and was swilling to pay the extra fee (getting it directly from the State would be cheaper but is not convenient based on location) because I need it for a passport. At what I’m assuming was the final (or near) step of the process – after entering credit card info, etc. – I was asked 5 more questions to “further protect my identity”. I had the answer to 4 of them. One question asked about an address (city) I use or have used. There were 5 choices. Rochester, Albany, Mount Vernon, Medford and some other New York City. I’ve never lived in (or used as addresses) any of these. If I didn’t make a selection it wouldn’t let me advance. I called to ask for help and was told that the questions came directly from the state I live in – which was totally untrue (upon calling the state to verify). The operator I talked to also said the website was owned by my state (another lie, as VitalChek is owned by a corporation and their website domains are NOT registered to any government entity. This level of incompetence is unforgivable when entrusted with this type of process. Having a 3rd-party involvement seems to be much more of a hindrance than solution. Very frustrated with this sort of thing. I had a 24-year career as an executive and was a corporate officer for a multi-million dollar manufacturer. I know when the person I am talking to for this sort of thing has no idea what they are talking about. She seemed offended that I was “talking over her” in asking specific questions but she was not answering them correctly or properly. I asked to speak to someone who would be able to help and she put me on hold for a few minutes and then disconnected me. Very unprofessional.

    1. Hello Jon. We apologize for the unsatisfactory level of service you received when trying to place your order. I have passed your comments on to a customer service specialist and a supervisor for review. Please contact us so we can further look into this matter for you. The quickest way to reach us is by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  8. Warning! This business sounds like it is a scam! From reading comments above you would be wiser to move hell and high water to get to your local statistics office and pick up your own paperwork. If for some reason you are unable, hire a trusted friend to do it with the fee you pay here. They will probably get the birth certificate faster!

    1. Hello Kim. For more than 30 years, VitalChek has provided secure remote ordering, payment processing, order tracking, 24/7 customer support, identity verification and authentication services for orders going to vital records agencies across the country. There are several different ways you can obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate or other vital record:
      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 – which will most likely be processed while you wait.
      Order By Mail: The Agency’s website will generally have the application form you will need to download, complete and mail in along with a check or money order and, if necessary proof of your identity. This tends to be the slowest ordering method, taking anywhere between 2-6 weeks depending on the agency.
      Order By Phone: If the agency accepts phone orders, calling in your order can be a convenient way of obtaining your certificate. To make the process as smooth as possible, you should have all the pertinent information readily available before placing the call.
      Order Online: Ordering vital records online, from the Agency’s website or their authorized online ordering service (like VitalChek) is fast and convenient, available 24/7, 365 days a year, and generally ensures you receive your vital records quickly – in some cases within just a few days. Online orders are typically handled in an expedited manner, ensuring your order is processed before any non-expedited requests (like those by mail). We hope this has been helpful, and thank you for choosing VitalChek for your official certificate needs.

  9. Does anybody know how my mother in law can obtain a marriage certificate even tho her & her now deceased husband was actually legally seperated but still living together at the time of his death 2 years ago. Shes needing it for retirement reasons. If anybody can help with any information its appreciated thank u!!

    1. Hello Jessica. She can more than likely obtain a copy of her marriage certificate online through VitalChek. She can also contact the vital records agency in the state where the marriage took place for information about obtaining it.

  10. On April 9 my bank card was charged $47.00 for 3
    certified copies of Tennessee birth certificates.
    I have no order as the email is lost. I do have the
    transaction on a statement.
    I understood 8-10 weeks…but it is August 6. I
    Need to apply for social security… i
    could have been recieving a check by now.
    ..I ordered from you years ago….and had
    certificate in hand within 2 weeks
    I dont have retirement to live on… I dont need
    Apologies and excuses…i need what i paid for…
    in good faith 4MONTHS AGO! im in tears with
    frustration…and hunger…
    .PLEASE HELP ME?!
    .
    .

    1. Hello Marsha. I am sorry you never received your order. I have forwarded your post on to one of our Customer Relations Specialists who will try to locate your order based on the information you have provided here. If he is able to locate the order, he will contact you. You can also contact us by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek, by phone at 800-255-2414 or by email at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  11. I ordered my birth certificate back in February 2019 and it’s now late August 2019 and I still haven’t received my birth certificate!

    1. Hello Jeremy. We are sorry to hear that you have not received your order yet. If you ordered through VitalChek, please contact us with your order number so we can look into this for you. The quickest way to reach us is by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek. You can also call us at 800-255-2414 or email us at vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

  12. If you get a confirmation# starting with state for example Arkansas AR THEN A #’S IT FRAUD DO NOT DO IT. VITALCHEK.COM GIVES YOU A CONFIRMATION NUMBER PLUS A PIN NUMBER .

    1. Hello Stephanie. Thank you for your feedback. VitalChek.com is indeed a legitimate business that has been servicing orders for vital records agencies across the country for more than 30 years. It is tre that when you place an order with VitalChek, you will receive a confirmation email with an 8-digit order number(numbers only…no letters) and a pin number.

  13. Hello i applied for my birth certificate online and its been 5 months now and i havent got it whats happening

    1. Hello Cynthia. We are sorry to hear that you have not received your birth certificate order. If you ordered through VitalChek you would have received a confirmation email with an order number and pin number. Please contact us with that information so we can assist you. The quickest way to reach us is by private message at Facebook.com/VitalChek where you will usually get a response in a matter of minutes. You can also call 800-255-2414 or email vitals.research@vitalchek.com.

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