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Birth Certificate

Certified copies of birth certificates and other personal vital records can only be obtained from the state or U.S. possession where the documents were originally filed. Most states provide a centralized source from which birth certificates and other vital records can be ordered.

Each state and U.S. possession has its own set of rules and fees for ordering certified birth certificates. Rules, ordering instructions, and fees for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. possessions can be found on the Where to Write for Vital Records web page, maintained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Important: When ordering, be sure to order only the full, certified copy of the original birth certificate bearing the registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office. Shortened (abstract) versions of birth certificates offered by some states are NOT acceptable for proof of U.S. Citizenship.

Puerto Rico

Note: We only accept Puerto Rican birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010 as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship. (The Puerto Rican government passed a law that went into effect on October 30, 2010, invalidating all Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010.)