The importance of possessing a certified copy of your birth certificate cannot be overemphasized. This is the Mount Everest of personal identification. Not only does a birth record prove your identity, but also your citizenship and even qualifies you for a Social Security card.
Birth certificates are viewed by the government as one of four Vital Records, making them easily accessible.
Birth Records Needed for DMV
In the wake of pressing security threats, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices now place a premium on applicants providing proper identification. This applies to commercial and non-commercial driver licenses, permits, identification cards and voter registration.
In most instances, you'll be required to provide the DMV with an original or certified birth record. Photographed copies will not be accepted.
Apply for a Duplicate Birth Certificate
If you have lost your original birth certificate, you can order a certified copy through the state or country where you were born or through a third-party company that expedites the process.
In most instances, you will apply for a duplicate birth record through your state of birth's Vital Records office. The application requirements vary by state, but in general you'll need to provide:
- A completed application. Most Vital Records websites will allow you to download this form.
- Proper identification. The specific needed documents will depend on your state.
- Proper payment for duplicate birth certificate fees.
When ordering, you may be given the option for an abstract (shortened) birth certificate. Most DMV offices will accept this version. However, it's recommended to play it safe and opt for the full, certified copy that includes the registrar's official seal that's either raised or embossed, the registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed.