How to Obtain a Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate Immediately

To obtain a certified copy of a United States birth certificate immediately, you need to have the proper information at hand, and money to pay a minimum fee for one.

All states require birth certificates filed for each birth and keep updated, permanent records at their vital statistics office. The health department or county clerk’s office of the area where the birth took place also keep certified records.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers online links to each state's health department for quick access to important birth record information 13. The National Vital Statistics System works with states to provide birth data for national use 2.

Gather the following information to obtain the birth certificate: complete name of the person you need the birth record for, person’s sex, parents' names as well as mother’s maiden name, year, month and day of birth, state and city or county of birth, hospital name (not mandatory), reason for the certificate request, relationship to person whose certificate is requested and daytime phone number.

Go to the health department or county clerk’s office in the city or county where the birth took place, along with your verification documents to obtain the certified birth certificate copy. Check their hours of business, birth record fee and method of payment online or by phone before you go there. These offices provide the best way to get a certificate immediately or on the same day, unless complications arise.

Go to a state's vital statistics office to obtain a birth certificate when you can’t get to the health department or county clerk’s office 2. Inquire online for the address, hours and specific fees for the certified birth record. Health department websites also provide resources for mail delivery of a birth certificate. The mailing option does not include immediate access to a birth document, but does offer quick shipping methods.


Some states require a legal photo identification document to obtain a birth certificate.