In many cases, you may be required to obtain a birth certificate in the process of obtaining a US passport. It is important that you submit an acceptable birth certificate, and sometimes it can be tricky determining the details. Please consider the following
Long Form Vs Short Form Birth Certificates
- The long form will list the actual hospital or other facility of birth, the short form does not
- The long form will have a file number, and a date that the birth certificate was filed, the short form does not
- The long form lists the nationality of the parents, a short form does not
- The long form will list the parent(s), names and birthdays, the short form often does not
- The long form is often times 81/2 x 11inches, a short form is often half that size or smaller
- The long form will never have a baby’s foot prints on it!
- Long form will have the name and signature of the attendant
Obtaining a New Birth Certificate
- Vital Records Online: Google Vital Records in the State that you were born. Most States have an online system you can use to order a birth certificate in 10 minutes. The website should indicate how long it will take for the birth certificate to be delivered to your door- the timing is different from state to state.
- Call Vital Records: Google Vital Records in the State that you were born. You should able to connect with a person who can tell you your options. In some cases, the mail out service may take several weeks, but if you go in person, you can get it faster. Sometimes they will allow a parent or family member to come in person and pick one up on your behalf. Each state is different, so express the urgency, and ask what your options are.
- Vitalchek.com: Vitalcheck is a third party service that can get your birth certificate for you. Processing times vary, but the website is user-friendly, and you should have a good idea on how long it will take before you make payment.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.