Whether you need a certified copy of your own birth certificate or a loved one’s birth certificate, there are different ways to order one. You can request a birth certificate from the state or county’s Vital Records department, which involves providing certain information, paying a fee and waiting for it to be mailed to you. When you need to order a birth certificate within a shorter timeframe, you can order one online.

 Ordering Through Vital Records

Going through the Vital Records department provides you with a certified, government-issued birth certificate for your own records or for specific purposes, such as obtaining a passport. When you get a birth certificate this way, you will need to complete an application, provide proof of your identity with photo ID and pay a processing fee. Keep in mind that fees for these documents vary, so you will need to check the current processing fees for the state or county department you’re ordering from.

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 Depending on how busy the department currently is, you might end up having to wait weeks to get the birth certificate. If there has been an increase in the number of requests or orders for birth certificates and other vital records, you will have to wait longer to receive yours in the mail. If you need to check on the status of your order, this can also take time if the department is busy.

 Ordering Online

In some cases, you can’t wait weeks to receive a birth certificate. When you have limited time to order a birth certificate, such as when you need to obtain travel documents or when you need to enroll in school by a certain date, you can get it faster by ordering online. You will still need to provide certain types of information, such as your full name and whether or not the birth certificate is your own or a loved one’s. If you are ordering a birth certificate that is not yours, you will need to make sure that you are eligible to do so.

 After completing a short web form with the requested information, you can submit your payment and provide your signature if needed. Since your application is directly filed with government processing agencies, this ends up saving you time, so you can receive the birth certificate you ordered sooner. You can also count on getting updates about the processing time, which helps you know when the birth certificate should be arriving in the mail.

 Although there are different ways to get a birth certificate, ordering online offers important advantages. Consider placing an online order rather than ordering through the Vital Records department, especially if you need a birth certificate fast.

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