• Birth certificates for newborns are obtained through the Office of Vital Records in the state in which the baby was born. The federal government does not distribute identifying information for vital records.


    Shortly after birth, the hospital in which a baby is delivered will provide the parents or legal guardians of the child with forms to fill out. These forms request detailed information on the birth parents, including Social Security numbers, as well as the legal name and birth date of the child. In some states, the forms are available online.


    Hospitals automatically submit forms requesting birth certificates to the Office of Vital Records on behalf of the children born there at no additional cost.

    Time Frame

    A birth certificate will arrive at the child's home address in four to six weeks after the proper forms have been completed and mailed to the Office of Vital Records.


    If a duplicate copy of a birth certificate is needed, parents or legal guardians can contact the Office of Vital Records in their home state directly to obtain a copy for an additional fee. The service costs roughly $40 to $50, although it varies depending on state.


    Corrections can also be made to a newborn's birth certificate by contacting the state Office of Vital Records.


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Where to Write for Vital Records

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