Certain types of passport applications must include a birth certificate:
- Child passport (renewals and first time applications)
- Damaged/Mutilated passport
- First time passport
- Lost/stolen passport
How do I get an official certificate of birth?
An official certificate of every birth should be on file in the locality where you were born. The Federal Government does not maintain files or indexes of these records, however. Birth certificates are filed permanently in a state vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office.
To obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, write or go to the vital statistics office in the state or area where the birth occurred. Click on this link to find out where to write for vital records. Please note:
- Fees to obtain a certificate of birth vary by state (typically from $2-50) as do processing times
- If a birth certificate is needed on an expedited basis, VitalChek can assist you with obtaining this document quickly
What type of birth certificate is acceptable for a passport application?
Only a Long Form Birth Certificate is accepted.
- Short form or abstract birth certificates are NOT accepted
- Notarized photocopies of birth certificates are NOT accepted
- Hospital birth records are NOT accepted
What is a long form birth certificate?
A long-form birth certificate is the copy of the actual certificate of birth on file with the locality where the birth took place. The short-form birth certificate is a notarized document stating that the long form certificate exists and is on file. Basically, the long form birth certificate lists all of the information available about the birth, but some of this information is just summarized on the short form.