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.[11] The federal government does not keep records or issue copies of birth certificates.[12] Thus, the requirements and procedures for getting official copies of birth certificates vary from state to state.[13]

If you were born in the U.S., here is the general process:[14]

    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[15] (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.

Helpful Hint

  1. 11

    See Cal. Health & Safety Code § 102230.

  2. 12

    See Cal. Health & Safety Code § 102230.

  3. 13

    See Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 102200, 102205.

  4. 14

    See Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 103525, 103526.

  5. 15

    See the complete state rules for notarization procedures in Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1185 et seq.