How to Get a Birth Certificate for Your Newborn

New parents are usually filled with excitement and joy when they welcome a new baby into the world. However, the birth of a baby can also be a stressful time. Caring for a newborn is overwhelming at first, and many other tasks and responsibilities are forgotten or put off for a while.


But, one important task that shouldn’t be postponed is registering the baby’s birth. You must register the birth in order to get a birth certificate for your newborn. This is a vital document that they will need throughout their lives. So, we’re going to cover why it’s so important and how you can get one.


Why You Need a Birth Certificate for Your Newborn

A birth certificate is an important document that individuals can use to prove their identity, citizenship, and age. So, you may need a certified birth certificate copy to do things like apply for a passport or driver’s license, enroll in school, and open a bank account.


Of course, your newborn baby is not going to be doing any of those things anytime soon. However, you may also need a birth certificate for your newborn in order to add them to your health insurance plan or sign them up for government benefits.


In addition, you must register your baby’s birth before their first birthday. Otherwise, the process to get a birth certificate becomes much more difficult. You will have to apply for a delayed birth certificate instead, which requires more paperwork and supporting documents. It is much easier to apply right after they are born.


How to Apply for a Birth Certificate for Your Newborn

If you give birth at a hospital or birthing facility, the staff there will usually provide you with a Certificate of Live Birth form. This is the official, government form that you or the medical staff will fill out and submit to the state to register the baby’s birth. If you choose to do a home birth, the midwife can typically provide you with this form as well.


Keep in mind that the Certificate of Live Birth is not the same as a birth certificate. It simply verifies that a child was born medically alive and contains details about the birth. After you submit the completed form, the state vital records office will use it to create a brand new birth certificate for your newborn.


When the new birth certificate has been created, the vital records office will mail you an official, certified copy. The original birth certificate remains securely filed away at the vital records office where it was created.


How to Get Additional Copies of Your Newborn’s Birth Certificate

Since birth certificates are needed so often, it’s a good idea to keep multiple, certified copies on hand and available for when you need them. You can’t just make photocopies of the first one you receive. While this is not illegal, photocopies are not valid for official use.


So, if you need to submit a copy to your health insurance company to add your child to your policy, you must provide an official certified copy. Certified birth certificate copies will always have a raised or embossed seal, the registrar’s signature, and the date the original was created.


If you need more certified copies of your newborn’s birth certificate, there are different ways you can apply. You can go in-person to a vital records office in your child’s birth state. When you visit, you must bring a completed application form, as well as proof that you are the child’s parent.


However, the long lines and confusing application process make this an inconvenient method for many people, especially new parents trying to care for a newborn. So, you also have the option to apply online, using a verified application assistance service, like Vital Records Online. This is a more convenient way to apply, and the vital records office will mail the certified copies to your home.

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