What is the general process for getting a copy of my birth certificate?
It depends on what STATE you were born in. Each U.S. state maintains its own birth records. The federal government does not keep records or issue copies of birth certificates. Thus, the requirements and procedures for getting official copies of birth certificates vary from state to state.
If you were born in the U.S., here is the general process:
- For the state where you were born, find out which government agency in that state manages birth records;
- Get a request form from that government agency, fill it out, and send it in; OR write a request letter to the agency;
- Have the form or letter notarized (if requesting by mail) (learn how to notarize a document in on PG. 32);
- Present a photo ID or swear an oath (if requesting in person);
- Pay the fee.
See PG. 33 for more information on each step.