How to Get an Emergency Copy of Your Birth Certificate

By Holland Ember
Contact the state where you were born to obtain an emergency birth certificate.

Each state distributes birth certificates, and each state has different policies and procedures that you must follow to obtain an emergency copy of your birth certificate. The federal government does not distribute birth certificates. The fastest way to obtain a birth certificate is to go in person to the vital records office in the state where you were born. Bring all required information such as Social Security numbers, official forms of identification and payment options such as a check or credit card.

Call the vital records office in your birth state to ask specific questions about how to obtain an emergency birth certificate.

Collect the following information about the person whose record you are requesting: full name; sex; parents' names (including maiden name of mother); month, day, and year of birth; place of birth (city or town, county and state; name of hospital, if known); purpose for which you need the copy; relationship to person whose record you are requesting; daytime telephone number with area code.

Go to the vital records office and fill out the birth certificate information. Pay for each copy of the birth certificate. Some states will give you the birth certificate right away, but other states require a waiting period.

Call the vital records office in your birth state to ask specific questions about how to obtain an emergency birth certificate. Provide any information they may ask, such as the purpose for the emergency birth certificate.

Collect the following information about the person whose record you are requesting: full name; sex; parents' names (including maiden name of mother); month, day, and year of birth; place of birth (city or town, county and state; name of hospital, if known); purpose for which you need the copy; relationship to person whose record you are requesting; daytime telephone number with area code.

Follow the directions the vital records office of your birth state provides. Some states will provide overnight shipping service for an emergency birth certificate request, but some will take longer.

Tip

If you need an emergency birth certificate for travelling abroad, contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778. They may be able to provide further assistance.

About the Author

Holland Ember has been a writer for eight years focusing on technical writing and specializing in environment, health and social sciences. She has a Bachelors of Arts in journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. Ember has written for eHow and also edits academic and scientific journal articles.