Skip to main content
Skip to page content

Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Records > Certificates

​Birth and Death Certificates

Do you need your birth or death certificate in a hurry? Click on the VitalChek logo for fast and convenient online ordering seven days a week, 24 hours a day. All major credit cards are accepted. Click on Ordering Information for fees, processing times and other important information.

Birth Certificate General Information

  • The Division of Vital Records (DVR) maintains birth records that occurred in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present.
  • For information on public records (births occurring from 1906 to 1910), click on Pennsylvania State Archives or our Genealogy page.
  • Certified copies of birth records (with a raised state seal printed on security paper) are acceptable for various uses such as:
    • personal identification;
    • employment;
    • passport application;
    • social security;
    • school enrollment; and
    • sports enrollment.
  • You can order your birth certificate online, by telephone, by mail or in person. Click Ordering Information for all options.
  • If the year of birth is unknown, you may request a Multi-year Search.
  • If you need to correct your birth certificate, click on Birth Certificate Corrections for more information.
  • If you need information on foreign-born adoption filing, click on the Foreign-born Adoption bar.

Who Can Order a Birth Certificate?

The person named on the birth record if 18 years of age or older can order a certified copy. If the person named on the birth record is under 18 years of age, one of the immediate family members listed below must apply.
  • attorney or legal representative (documentation may be required)
  • spouse
  • parent or step-parent (must submit marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister
  • son or daughter
  • stepson or stepdaughter (must submit parents’ marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • grandparent or great-grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)
  • grandchild or great-grandchild
  • power of attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above)

If the person named on the birth record is deceased, a family member who is not listed above must submit a copy of the death certificate to be eligible to receive a certified copy of the birth record.

Birth Certificate Fees

Birth certified copies are $20 each.

The fee may be waived if the applicant (the person applying) is an armed forces member or related to an armed forces member as stated below:
  • members of the United States armed forces who served or are currently serving
  • legal spouse of an armed forces member and widow/widower, unless he or she is remarried
  • dependent child of an armed forces member age 18 or under (If 18 years of age or over and he or she is unable to provide support for himself or herself or is reported as a dependent on an armed forces member’s federal income tax return; documentation is required to prove dependency, such as a copy of an income tax return or a copy of an insurance waiver).

Note that the fee may be waived for certificates issued of the armed forces member, the legal spouse or the dependent child only. Any other relatives of the armed forces member are not eligible for the fee waiver.

The fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Birth Certificate Application

Refer to a birth certificate application for information needed to request a certified copy. Click Forms to complete an online form or print a copy.

Birth Certificate Corrections

Occasionally errors (such as spelling or typographical errors) are made when reporting newborn birth certificate information to the Division of Vital Records. It is usually easy to correct these minor errors. In other instances an error becomes apparent on a birth certificate that was filed many years ago and it has just been noticed. Correcting these types of errors may require documentation, but the process is straightforward.

If a minor correction is made to a birth certificate within six months of the date the certificate was filed, the Division of Vital Records will reissue a new Certification of Birth after the correction has been finalized.

If a correction is requested for a certificate that is more than six months past the date the certificate was filed, the individual requesting the correction must request a new Certification of Birth by submitting a properly completed birth certificate application with the required fee. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.

Additional information on requesting and processing different types of birth certificate corrections is listed below.

How to Correct Minor Errors on a Newborn Birth Certificate

Minor errors in the newborn or parents’ names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child or day of birth of the child can usually be easily corrected. The Division of Vital Records provides (for most newborns) a free Certification of Birth to the parent(s) shortly after a child’s birth. A corrections form is printed on the reverse side of this certification. List the information to be corrected under the “Corrections Desired” column. The mother/parent must sign in the designated area, however the form does not require notarization if it is returned to the Division of Vital Records within six months of the date filed (top right side of the certificate). If a Certification of Birth is not available, a correction can be requested by using a Birth Correction Form. Click Forms to print a copy.
  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The correction statement must include the signature of the mother/parent.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual who requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct Minor Errors on the Birth Certificate of a Child Over 1 Year of Age

Minor errors in the child or parents’ names, such as spelling and typographical errors, the sex of the child or day of birth of the child can usually be easily corrected. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the “Corrections Desired” column. Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a birth correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received. Click Forms to complete an online form or print a copy.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct the Last Name of a Child from Birth to Age 18

If the name of a minor child has not previously been corrected, the parents listed on the birth certificates may be able to amend the minor child’s last name. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the “Corrections Desired” column. Both parents must sign (unless one parent is listed on the certificate, then only that parent must sign) in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public. No supporting documents are required. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a birth correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The correction statement must include the signature of the mother/parent.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle PA, 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received. Click Forms to complete an online form or print a copy.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct a Child’s Birth Certificate After the Marriage of the Biological Parents

The biological parents of a minor child who marry after the birth of their child may be able to change the child’s last name or add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate, only if the mother did not name someone other than the true biological father at the time of birth. If the person requesting the correction wishes to receive an amended Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must submit a properly completed Change in Civil Status form. Click Forms to print a copy. Be certain to list the complete names of the child and father exactly as you wish them to be recorded on the amended birth certificate. Both parents must sign in the designated areas in the presence of a notary public.

    A photocopy of the parents’ marriage certificate must be submitted. This document will NOT be returned to you.

    Return any Certification(s) of Birth you may have in your possession.

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID – Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-issued Photo ID form with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. This fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click birth certificate fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Add the Father’s Name to a Birth Certificate for a Child Born to an Unmarried Woman

A father cannot be listed on the birth record of a child born to an unmarried woman unless an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed with the Department of Human Services or there has been a court determination of paternity. Contact the Department of Human Services, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, at 800-932-0211, for forms and instructions to list the father on a birth record. If both parents are unable to jointly file an Acknowledgement of Paternity form, a certified court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge that established paternity (i.e., a Waiver of Trial, support order and custody order) could be obtained through their local domestic relations office.

If an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed for a child born after Jan. 1, 1998, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will notify the Division of Vital Records that such form has been filed and accepted. Upon notification from DHS, the father’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.

If an Acknowledgement of Paternity has been filed for a child born prior to Jan. 1, 1998, it is the parents’ responsibility to notify the Division of Vital Records (approximately eight weeks after the Acknowledgement of Paternity form has been filed with DHS) if they wish to amend the paternity item on the child’s birth certificate. The Division of Vital Records will confirm with the DHS that the Acknowledgment of Paternity has been processed and accepted and will amend the paternity section on the child’s birth certificate.

Questions concerning this process can be directed to the Division of Vital Records by telephone at 724-656-3100, prompt number 2; or click on Contact Us at the bottom of this page.

If you wish to receive an amended Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed birth certificate application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM - Return any Certification(s) of Birth you may have in your possession.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include a copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Obtain a Birth Certificate for an Adopted Child

After an adoption is finalized, the court submits a certified order of adoption to the Vital Records office in the state where the child was born. If the child was born in Pennsylvania, you may submit a properly completed and signed birth certificate application with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Upon receipt of your properly completed and signed application and the court order, a Certification of Birth for your adopted child will be mailed to you.
  • List the child’s name and parents’ names, including mother’s maiden name (if applicable), after adoption on the Birth Certificate Application.
  • List the date the adoption was finalized.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Birth Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click birth certificate fees for more information. NOTE THAT CASH IS NOT ACCEPTED. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Adoptions usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process upon receipt of the court order. Once the adoption has been completed, a Certification of Birth reflecting the adoptive names will be mailed to the requesting individual if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct the First Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

An individual who has reached the majority age of 18 may be able to correct the first name on his or her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the “Corrections Desired” column. You must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a Birth Correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The individual must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the first name must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, marriage record, driver’s license or Social Security card.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct the Middle Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

An individual who has reached the majority age of 18 may be able to correct the middle name on his or her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth and wish to correct the spelling of the middle name, add a middle name or change the middle name entirely, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the “Corrections Desired” column. You must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a Birth Correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to the complete online application or print a copy of the birth correction form. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The individual must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary.

    A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the correct middle name must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, marriage record, driver’s license or Social Security card. Photocopies will NOT be returned.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click birth certificate fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct the Last Name on a Birth Certificate for an Individual 18 Years of Age or Older

An individual who has reached the majority age of 18 may be able to correct the last name on his or her birth certificate. If you have an incorrect Certification of Birth, list the information to be corrected on the reverse side under the “Corrections Desired” column. You must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary. If a Certification of Birth form is not available, a correction can be requested using a Birth Correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete the online application or print a copy of the Birth Correction form. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORMS - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed correction statement (either on the reverse side of the Certification of Birth or the Division of Vital Records correction form). The individual must sign in the designated area in the presence of a notary.

    A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the use of the correct last name for at least the last 15 years must be submitted. Acceptable documents include a baptismal record, school record, military record, employment record, marriage record or immunization record (a driver’s license or Social Security card is not an acceptable document to support the correction of a last name).

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct a Birth Certificate with a Court Order

If an individual has obtained a court order changing his or her name, a certified copy of the court order bearing the raised seal of the court and signature of the judge must be submitted. A photocopy or facsimile copy of a court order is not acceptable. If you wish to receive a revised Certification of Birth, a properly completed and signed Birth Certificate Application must be submitted with the required fee. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must submit a certified copy of the court order as specified above. The court order will NOT be returned.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certification of Birth including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

If a Correction to a Birth Certificate is Not Addressed Above

If a correction you require is not listed above or if you need additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at 844-228-3516 or 724-656-3100. Select prompt number 2 and you will be connected to the corrections section.

Birth Certificate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my birth certificate is acceptable for travel out of the country or for proof of age or citizenship?

  • The Division of Vital Records has issued Certification of Births, which is the official document accepted by governmental agencies since 1975 as valid proof of birth. If the file date on the Certification of Birth in your possession is after Jan. 1, 1975, it is an acceptable document, with some limitations.
  • The U.S. Passport agency accepts a Certification of Birth as an acceptable identity document if both parents’ names appear on the document. Some certifications only contain the subject’s name, and that document is not acceptable for passports.
  • Pennsylvania’s Certification of Birth is a yellow-centered, blue-bordered document containing an embossed seal in the lower right corner.
  • Hospital records or birth registration notices are usually not acceptable by government agencies.

Is a raised (embossed) seal required to make a birth certificate official?

  • Yes. All Certifications of Birth issued since 1975 contain a raised (embossed) seal in the lower right corner.

Is the fee for a birth certificate waived for military personnel?

Yes. The fee may be waived if the applicant (the person applying) is an armed forces member or related to an armed forces member as stated below:
  • members of the United States armed forces who served or are currently serving
  • legal spouse of an armed forces member and widow/widower, unless he or she is remarried
  • dependent child of an armed forces member age 18 or under (If 18 years of age or over and he or she is unable to provide support for himself or herself or is reported as a dependent on an armed forces member’s federal income tax return; documentation is required to prove dependency, such as a copy of an income tax return or a copy of an insurance waiver).

Note that the fee may be waived for certificates issued of the armed forces member, the legal spouse or the dependent child only. Any other relatives of the armed forces member are not eligible for the fee waiver.

The fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Can I obtain the time of birth on my certification of birth?

  • Yes. However, the time of birth may only be released by requesting a new Certification of Birth. Click on Ordering Information for specific details.
  • When completing the Birth Certificate Application, check Other in the Intended Use of Certified Copy section of the application and indicate you need the time of birth. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy.
  • Note that requests for time of birth cannot be ordered online or by telephone.

How do I check the status of a request I submitted by mail for a birth certificate?

If you have not received your certified copy within the average processing time of six to eight weeks from the date the application was received, call 724-656-3100 for assistance. If possible, please have your cancelled check information available.

How long after a birth occurs is it filed with the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records?

  • The majority of births occurring in Pennsylvania are filed electronically; therefore, in most cases, the birth certificate is available for issuance within one or two days after the hospital files it.
  • Factors such as adoptions, acknowledgement of paternity or corrections can delay issuance availability.
  • On average, births occurring in a hospital are filed with the Division of Vital Records eight-and-a-half days after the date of birth. Some hospitals can take substantially longer.

What should I do if I have received a No Record Birth Certification?

  • A No Record Birth Certification means that a record could not be located with the information you provided to the Division of Vital Records.
  • You can present the No Record Certification with other supporting documentation to the agency requesting proof of your birth.
  • You can request that a Delayed Birth Certificate be filed with the Division of Vital Records. To proceed with this process, you must return the No Record Birth Certification form you received to the Division of Vital Records and request the forms and instructions to file a Delayed Birth Certificate. Call 724-656-3100 for further information.
  • Note that some agencies will not accept a Delayed Birth Certificate without other supporting documentation.

What information is required to file a Delayed Birth Certificate?

  • The first step is to request a copy of the individual’s birth certificate from the Division of Vital Records. If the requested record cannot be located, a No Record Birth Certification will be issued.
  • Contact the Division of Vital Records at 724-656-3100 to request forms and instructions to file a delayed record. You must return the No Record Birth Certification.
  • Two documents that are at least five years old which include the exact name at birth, date of birth and place of birth must be provided which conclusively establishes the facts of birth. The information must match the information provided on the Delayed Birth Certificate form.

Do foreign governments accept a birth certificate issued by the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records? Must it be further authenticated with an Apostille or Certification?

  • Yes. However, each country has its own requirements regarding the information that is to be listed on a certified copy of a birth certificate that is further authenticated by an Apostille or Certification. It is imperative that the applicant indicate on the Birth Certificate Application (click Forms to complete online form or print a copy) that the intended use of the birth certificate is for an Apostille or Certification. The country requiring the documentation must also be listed to ensure the appropriate certified copy is issued. You must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a properly completed birth application with the required fee or armed forces information. Refer to Ordering Information for specific details.
  • Many foreign governments require that a Certification of Birth also include an Apostille or Certification for legal matters, such as foreign adoptions, international business transactions, marriage and dual citizenship.
  • Once you receive a Certification of Birth from the Division of Vital Records, you must take it to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation at the Pennsylvania Department of State to obtain an Apostille or Certification. Visit the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation website for additional information.

Can we receive a Pennsylvania birth certificate for a child we adopted from a foreign country?

Yes. Click Foreign-born Adoptions for information and instructions.

Can we register the birth of our child who was born in another country with the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records?

Yes. You may register your child’s birth record if he or she was born in another country with the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records if either parent is a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Contact the Division of Vital Records at 724-656-3100 to request the appropriate forms and instructions.

Where can I obtain a copy of a birth certificate if the birth occurred in another state?

Click http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/ for information on where to write for birth certificates that occurred in other states or territories.

Where can I obtain a copy of a birth certificate if the birth occurred before 1906?

Information on birth records that occurred prior to 1906 can be obtained by contacting the appropriate Pennsylvania County Courthouse. Visit www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for a list of county courthouses.

Death Certificate General Information

  • The Division of Vital Records (DVR) maintains death records that occurred in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present.
  • For information on public records (deaths occurring from 1906 to 1965) click on Pennsylvania State Archives or our Genealogy page.
  • Certified copies of death records (with a raised embossed state seal printed on security paper) are acceptable for various uses such as:
    • estate settlement;
    • insurance;
    • pension/retirement;
    • social security;
    • property transfer; and
    • stocks/bonds.
  • You can order your death certificate online, by telephone, by mail or in person. Click Ordering Information for all options.
  • If the year of death is unknown, you may request a Multi-year Search.
  • Do you need to correct a death certificate? Click on Death Certificate Corrections for more information.

Who Can Order a Death Certificate

  • attorney or legal representative of decedent’s estate (documentation may be required);
  • immediate family members (as listed under Who can order a birth or death certificate?);
  • extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent (documentation may be required);
  • power of attorney;
If applicant is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating the purpose for which he/she has been retained by the applicant and identifying the estate that is involved.

Death Certificate Fees

Death certified copies are $9 each.

Fee may be waived if the decedent was an armed forces member or if the applicant (the person applying) is:
  • the decedent’s legal spouse;
  • a dependent child; or
  • the funeral director listed on the death certificate, if the decedent is listed as a veteran.

Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Death Certificate Application

Refer to a death certificate application for information needed to request a certified copy. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy.

Death Certificate Corrections

Occasionally, errors (such as spelling or typographical errors) are made when reporting death certificate information to the Division of Vital Records. It is usually easy to correct these minor errors. The individual requesting the correction must request a new Certificate of Death by submitting a properly completed death certificate application with the required fee. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived for armed forces status. Click on Death Certificate Fees for more information. Information on requesting and processing different types of death certificate corrections are listed below.

How to Correct Personal Information of Decedent if Death Occurred Within the Past Two Years

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the decedent’s name, date of birth, age, mailing address, social security number, etc., the funeral director who signed the original death certificate or the informant listed on the death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a Death Correction Form. Click Forms to print a copy.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate or the informant.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed death certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 10 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the death corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certificate of Death including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct Personal Information of Decedent if Death Occurred More Than Two Years Ago

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the decedent’s name, date of birth, age, mailing address, social security number, etc., the funeral director who signed the original death certificate or the informant listed on the death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a Death Correction form. Click Forms to print a copy. The individual requesting the correction must request a new Certificate of Death by submitting a properly completed Death Certificate Application with the required fee. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy. Fee may be waived for armed forces status. Click on Death Certificate Fees for more information.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate or the Informant. A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the information to be corrected must also be submitted. Acceptable documents include a birth certificate, social security card, marriage record, or life insurance policy. Documents will NOT be returned.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed death certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take between eight to 10 weeks to process from the date the request is received in the death corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certificate of Death including the corrected items will be mailed to the individual that requested the correction if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

Major Changes to Decedent’s Name, Date of Death or Cause of Death

Only the physician, certified registered nurse practitioner or coroner/medical examiner who signed the original death certificate can request a change to these items. You will need to contact them for assistance.

If a Correction to a Certificate of Death is not Addressed Above?

If a correction you require is not listed above, or if you require additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at 844-228-3516 or 724-656-3100.

Death Certificate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the fee for a death certificate waived for military personnel?

Yes, the fee may be waived for death certificates if the decedent was an armed forces member or if the applicant (the person applying) is:
  • The decedent’s legal spouse;
  • A dependent child; or
  • The funeral director listed on the death certificate (if the decedent is listed as a veteran).

Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

How do I check the status of a request I submitted by mail for a death certificate?

If you have not received your certified copy within the average processing time of six to eight weeks from the date the application was received, call 724-656-3100 for assistance. If possible, please have your cancelled check information available.

How do I find a cemetery plot, burial place or place of cremation?

  • A death certificate should indicate the name and location of the cemetery where an individual is buried or the place of cremation; however, you must contact the cemetery official to obtain the exact location.
  • Refer to Ordering Information for specific details.

Do foreign governments accept a death certificate issued by the Pennsylvanian Division of Vital Records? Must it be further authenticated with an Apostille or Certification?

  • Yes. Many foreign governments require a Certificate of Death that is further authenticated by an Apostille or Certification for legal matters such as international business transactions, dual citizenship or overseas dispositions.
  • You must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a properly completed Death Certificate Application with the required fee or armed forces information. Click Forms to complete the online form or print a copy.
  • Click on Ordering Information for instructions.
  • Once you receive a Certification of Death from the Division of Vital Records, you must take it to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation at the Pennsylvania Department of State to obtain an Apostille or Certification. Visit the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation website for additional information on fees and processing.

Where can I obtain a copy of a death certificate if the death occurred in another state?

Click http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/ for information on where to write for death certificates that occurred in other states or territories.

Where can I obtain a copy of a death certificate if the death occurred before 1906?

Information on death records that occurred prior to 1906 can be obtained by contacting the appropriate Pennsylvania County Courthouse. Visit www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for a list of county courthouses.

Who can order a birth or death certificate?

Birth Certificates
  • person named on the birth certificate, if 18 years of age or older (If under 18, immediate family member listed below must apply.)
  • attorney or legal representative (documentation may be required)
  • spouse
  • parent or step-parent (must submit marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister
  • son or daughter;
  • stepson or stepdaughter (must submit parents’ marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • grandparent or great-grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)
  • grandchild or great-grandchild
  • power of attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above).

If the person named on the birth certificate is deceased, a family member who is not listed above must submit a copy of the death certificate to be eligible to receive a certified copy of the birth certificate.

Death Certificates
  • representative of decedent’s estate (documentation may be required)
  • immediate family members (as listed above under birth certificates)
  • extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent (documentation may be required)
  • power of attorney

If applicant is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating the purpose for which he/she has been retained by the applicate and identify the estate that is involved.

Power of Attorney (POA) Information

A Power of Attorney (POA) document should only be submitted when an individual or eligible family member is unable to apply for a birth certificate, a death certificate or a fetal death certificate. If, as POA, you cannot comply with the following instructions, the individual or eligible requestor must apply for the certificate.

  • An explanation must be included with the application as to why the individual or eligible family member is unable to apply.
  • Applicants submitting a POA document should review the applicable code for the state or country where the POA document was executed to ensure validity prior to submission with the application for a birth certificate, a death certificate or a fetal death certificate.
  • If you have been granted POA for the person named on a birth certificate, you must submit a notarized POA document that contains the original signatures of the parties involved, including the original notary’s signature and seal. Your original document will be returned to you.
  • If you have been granted POA for an individual who is eligible to request a death certificate or a fetal death certificate, you must submit a notarized POA document that contains the original signatures of the parties involved, including the original notary’s signature and seal. Your original document will be returned to you.
  • If you do not wish to send the original POA document, you may file the original notarized POA with the Clerk of Orphan’s Court division of the Court of Common Pleas (usually in the county where the person granting the power of attorney resides) to obtain a certified copy of the POA document issued by the court. The certified copy of the POA document that includes the seal of the court may be submitted to our office in lieu of the original document. The document will be returned to you.
  • Note that a Power of Attorney (POA) document is no longer valid upon the death of an individual.

Certificate Ordering Information

For our customers who wish to use a credit card, the Division of Vital Records has recognized the VitalChek Network as our only authorized vendor. Click here to go directly to the online order site.

If you have ordered through another internet vendor and have experienced a problem in obtaining information, you will need to contact that vendor directly for resolution. If you believe an internet vendor’s website provides inaccurate information about our services or fees, you may wish to consider contacting the consumer protection office in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office or the consumer protection agency in the state where you reside or the state where the vendor is located.

The Division of Vital Records offers four options to order birth or death certificates. See below for specific information.

Online Ordering

For our customers who wish to use a credit card, the Division of Vital Records has recognized the VitalChek Network as our only authorized vendor.

If you have ordered through another internet vendor and have experienced a problem in obtaining information, you will need to contact that vendor directly for resolution. If you believe an internet vendor’s website provides inaccurate information about our services or fees, you may wish to consider contacting the consumer protection office in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office or the consumer protection agency in the state where you reside or the state where the vendor is located.

  • Take advantage of fast, convenient internet ordering seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • All major credit cards are accepted.
  • Processing times are between two to four weeks, excluding delivery time. Shipping times/fees vary based on customer selection.
  • Delivery options may incur additional fees, based on customer selection.
  • Additional transaction fees apply for both births and deaths (in addition to standard certificate fees).
  • ID – Proof of requestor’s identity is required.
  • The status of an online request cannot be verified until after two business days from the date the request was submitted.

Online ordering is available for most requests. If the reason for your request does not appear in the online ordering drop-down box options, you are not eligible to order the certificate online. If you cannot apply via online ordering, you can order by mail, by telephone or in person. Note that the fee can be waived for armed forces members; however processing and shipping fees will apply.

Exceptions include:
  • time of birth added to the certified copy;
  • birth occurred in another country and was registered in Pennsylvania;
  • certificate requested for genealogy purposes;
  • Fetal Death Certificate; and
  • Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

Online Ordering Disclaimer: Credit card transactions are not handled directly by the Department of Health but are transacted through a third party. Any third party must meet Department of Health criteria. The requestor’s use of a credit card constitutes a transaction between the requestor and the third party and it is not a transaction between the requestor using a credit card and the department. The requestor, in utilizing a credit card, specifically agrees that the department shall not be liable to requestor, cardholder, or anyone else in regard to requestor’s submission or use of a credit card to pay for services or goods provided by the department.

By continuing, I agree that I understand the above disclaimer. Click here to order online.

Order a Certificate by Telephone

  • Call 866-712-8238 for fast, convenient ordering seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • All major credit cards are accepted. Have your card ready when you place your call.
  • Processing times are between two to four weeks. Shipping times/fees vary based on customer selection.
  • Delivery options may incur additional fees, based on customer selection.
  • Additional transaction fees apply for both births and deaths (in addition to standard certificate fees).
  • Have certificate information ready when you call. Refer to birth certificate application or death certificate application for pertinent information. Click Forms to complete online forms or print a copy.
  • ID – Proof of requestor’s identity is required.
  • The status of a telephone request cannot be verified until after two business days from the date the request was submitted.

Telephone ordering is available for most requests. If telephone ordering is not available for your specific reason, please apply by mail or in person. Note that the fee can be waived for armed forces members; however processing and shipping fees will apply.

Exceptions include:
  • time of birth added to the certified copy;
  • birth occurred in another country and was registered in Pennsylvania;
  • certificate requested for genealogy purposes;
  • Fetal Death Certificate; and
  • Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

Order a Certificate by Mail

  • Complete a birth certificate application or death certificate application. Click Forms to complete online forms or print a copy.
  • Completed and signed applications with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., Room 401, New Castle, PA 16101. Fee may be waived for birth certificates if the applicant (the person applying) is an armed forces member or related to the armed forces member; or, for death certificates, if the decedent was an armed forces member or related to the armed forces member. Click on Certificate Fees for more information.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned causing additional delays.
  • Include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
  • Average processing time is six to eight weeks from the date the application was received and does not include delivery time.
  • Note that the registration process for recent deaths can take up to 30 business days. Please allow an additional 30 business days to compete the registration process and issue the certified copy of a death that recently occurred.

Order a Certificate In Person

Visit one of our six public offices located throughout the state. Click here for public office information.
  • Office hours at all locations are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on state holidays).
  • A Birth Certificate Application or Death Certificate Application is available at each location, or you can click on Forms to complete the online form or print an application prior to visiting the office.
    • ID – Bring a legible photocopy of your valid government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, bring copy of the update card. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, an eligible requestor possessing a valid government-issued photo ID may apply; otherwise you may bring a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying your current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Bring a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Note that cash is not accepted.
  • Processing times vary based on individual office and current order volume. Click Public Offices for more information.

Birth/Death Certificate Fees

Birth certified copies are $20 each.

Fee may be waived if the applicant (the person applying) is an armed forces member or related to the armed forces member as stated below:
  • Members of the United States armed forces who served or are currently serving.
  • Legal spouse of the armed forces member and widow/widower (unless he or she is remarried).
  • Dependent child of the armed forces member age 18 or under. If 18 years of age or over and he or she is unable to provide support for herself or himself or is reported as a dependent on the armed forces member’s federal income tax return, documentation is required to prove dependency (example: copy of income tax return, copy of insurance waiver).
  • Note that the fee may be waived for certificates issued of the armed forces member, the legal spouse or the dependent child only. Any other relatives of the armed forces member are not eligible for the fee waiver.
  • Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Death Certified copies are $9 each.

Fee may be waived if the decedent was an armed forces member or if the applicant (the person applying) is:
  • The decedent’s legal spouse;
  • A dependent child ;
  • The funeral director listed on the death certificate, if the decedent is listed as a veteran.

Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Public Offices

  • The office hours for all locations are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays.
  • Click on the office you are planning to visit to check for unexpected office closings, office walk-in services and directions to each office.

Walk-in Service – General Information

  • Availability varies by location. Click on the appropriate bar for the office you are planning to visit for specific information.
  • You must present a completed birth certificate application or death certificate application with photo ID to obtain a certified copy. Click Forms to print a copy of the application; blank forms are available at each location. Bring a legible photocopy of your valid government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, an eligible requestor possessing a valid government issued photo ID may apply; otherwise you may complete a Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying your current address. Click Forms to print a copy of this form.
  • Blank applications are available at each location.
  • Click Forms to complete the online applications or print a Birth Certificate Application or Death Certificate Application beforehand.

Applications

  • You must present a completed Birth Certificate Application or Death Certificate Application with photo ID to obtain a certified copy. Click Forms to print a copy of the application; blank forms are available at each location. Bring a legible photocopy of your valid government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If address has been changed, include copy of update card. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, an eligible requestor possessing a valid government-issued photo ID may apply; otherwise you may complete a Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying your current address. Click Forms to print a copy of this form.
  • Blank applications are available at each location.
  • Click Forms to complete the online applications or print a Birth Certificate Application or Death Certificate Application beforehand.

Who Can Order a Certificate

Refer to the lists below to be certain you can apply for a certified copy before you visit one of our locations.

Birth Certificates
  • person named on the birth certificate, if 18 years of age or older (If under 18, immediate family member listed below must apply.)
  • attorney or legal representative (documentation may be required)
  • spouse
  • parent or step-parent (must submit marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • brother, bister, half-brother, half-sister
  • son or daughter;
  • stepson or stepdaughter (must submit parents’ marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • grandparent or great-grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)
  • grandchild or great-grandchild
  • power of attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above).

If the person named on the birth certificate is deceased, a family member who is not listed above must submit a copy of the death certificate to be eligible to receive a certified copy of the birth certificate.

Death Certificates
  • attorney or legal representative of decedent’s estate (documentation may be required)
  • immediate family members (as listed above under Birth Certificates)
  • extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent (documentation may be required)
  • power of attorney;

If applicant is retained by a city/county/state office who has assumed administration of an estate, a letter signed by an official of the city/county/state office is required indicating the purpose for which he/she has been retained by the applicant and identify the estate that is involved.

Certificate Fees

Birth certified copies are $20 each.
Fee may be waived if the applicant (the person applying) is an armed forces member or related to the armed forces member as stated below:
  • Members of the United States armed forces who served or are currently serving.
  • Legal spouse of the armed forces member and widow/widower (unless he or she is remarried).
  • Dependent child of the armed forces member age 18 or under. If 18 years of age or over and he or she is unable to provide support for herself or himself or is reported as a dependent on the armed forces member’s federal income tax return, documentation is required to prove dependency (example: copy of income tax return, copy of insurance waiver).
  • Note that the fee may be waived for certificates issued for the armed forces member, the legal spouse or the dependent child only. Any other relatives of the armed forces member are not eligible for the fee waiver.
  • Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Death certified copies are $9 each.
Fee may be waived if the decedent was an armed forces member or if the applicant (the person applying) is:
  • the decedent’s legal spouse;
  • a dependent child;
  • the funeral director listed on the death certificate (if the decedent is listed as a veteran).

Fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. Click on Genealogy for more information.

Fetal Death Certified Copies
Although you can make a request in person, the certified copy will be issued and mailed from our main office located in New Castle.
Click on Fetal Death Certificates for more information.

Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Certified Copies
Although you can make a request in person, the certified copy will be issued and mailed from our main office located in New Castle.
Click on Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for more information.

Erie Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is available if applicant is at the counter before 11:30 a.m.
  • Applications received at the counter after 11:30 a.m. will be available for pick-up the following morning after 10 a.m.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
1910 W. 26th St.
Erie, PA 16508-1148

Telephone 814-871-4261

Driving Directions

Harrisburg Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is not available.
  • Next-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be picked up.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
Forum Place Building
555 Walnut St., First Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1914

Telephone 717-772-3480

Driving Directions

New Castle Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is available if applicant is at the counter before 11:30 a.m.
  • Applications received at the counter after 11:30 a.m. will be available for pick-up the following morning after 10 a.m.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
Central Building, Room 401
101 S. Mercer St.
New Castle, PA 16101

Telephone 724-656-3100

Driving Directions

Pittsburgh Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is not available.
  • Next-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be picked up.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
411 Seventh Ave., Suite 360
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1973

Telephone 412-565-5113

Driving Directions

Scranton Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is available if applicant is at the counter before 11:30 a.m.
  • Applications received at the counter after 11:30 a.m. will be available for pick-up the following morning after 10 a.m.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
Scranton State Office Building, Room 112
100 Lackawanna Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503-1928
Telephone 570-963-4595

Driving Directions

Philadelphia Public Office

Walk-in Services
  • Same-day counter service is not available.
  • Three-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be mailed to the applicant.
  • Five-day processing (after application is received at the counter) is available if certified copy is to be picked up.
  • Additional processing time is necessary for genealogical requests or any subpoenas, court orders or power of attorney requests.

Location
Division of Vital Records
110 N. Eighth St., Suite 108
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2412

Telephone 201-560-3054

Driving Directions

Fetal Death Certificate General Information

The Division of Vital Records maintains fetal death records that occurred in Pennsylvania from 1950 to the present. Certified copies of fetal death records (with a raised state seal printed on security paper) are acceptable for various legal uses.

If the year of fetal death is unknown click Multi-Year Searches and follow the instructions for multi-year death searches.

Who Can Order a Fetal Death Certificate

  • brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister
  • grandparent or great-grandparent (Specify maternal or paternal)
  • parent or step-parent (Must submit marriage record supporting the relationship)
  • extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent (Documentation may be required.)
  • power of attorney

Fetal Death Certificate Fees

Certified copies are $9 each. This fee may be waived for the dependent of an individual who served or who is currently serving in the armed forces.

Fetal Death Ordering Information

Certified copies of fetal death certificates are only issued from our main office located in New Castle; however, you can request a copy in person at a public office. See below for ordering information.

  • BY MAIL – Click Death Certificate Application to print an application to request a copy of a fetal death certificate. Click Forms to complete the online death application or print a copy of the death application to complete manually. Completed and signed applications with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - include a legible photocopy of your valid government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, an eligible requestor possessing a valid government-issued photo ID may apply; otherwise you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying your current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces status. See Fetal Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
    • PROCESSING - Average processing time is six to eight weeks from the date the application was received and does not include delivery time.
  • IN PERSON at a public office. Although you can make the request in person, the certified copy will be issued and mailed from our main office located in New Castle. Click on Public Offices for locations and other information.

Fetal Death Corrections

Occasionally, errors (such as spelling or typographical errors) are made when reporting fetal death certificate information to the Division of Vital Records. It is usually easy to correct these minor errors. The individual requesting the correction must request a new Certificate of Fetal Death by submitting a properly completed Death Certificate Application with the required fee or Armed Forces information. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy. Information on requesting and processing different types of fetal death certificate corrections are listed below.

How to Correct Personal Information on a Fetal Death Certificate When Delivery Occurred Within the Past Two Years

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the name of the stillborn fetus or parent’s information, the funeral director who signed the original fetal death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a death correction form. Click Forms to print a copy.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application (click Forms to complete the online form or to print a blank application) with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Click Fetal Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take two weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certificate of Fetal Death, including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual who requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

How to Correct Personal Information on a Fetal Death Certificate When Delivery Occurred More Than Two Years Ago

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the name of the stillborn fetus or parent’s information, the funeral director who signed the original fetal death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a death correction form. Click Forms to print a copy.
  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate. A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the information to be corrected must also be submitted. Acceptable documents include a hospital or physician's record. Documents will NOT be returned.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application (click Forms to complete the online form or to print a blank application) with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Click Fetal Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Corrections usually take two weeks to process from the date the request is received in the corrections unit. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certificate of Fetal Death, including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual who requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

If a Correction to a Fetal Death Certificate is Not Addressed Above

If a correction you require is not listed above, follow the instructions below or, if you require additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at 844-228-3516 or 724-656-3100.
  • FORM - A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the information to be corrected must be submitted for review. Acceptable documents include a hospital or physician's record. Documents will NOT be returned.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application (click Forms to complete the online form or to print a blank application) with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Click Fetal Death Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Timing cannot be estimated without knowing the full extent of the correction being requested. Once the correction has been completed, a new Certificate of Fetal Death, including the corrected items, will be mailed to the individual who requested the correction, if an application and fee or armed forces information were submitted.

Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth General Information

Names of the stillborn fetus were not included on the Certificate of Fetal Death until 2006; therefore, the mother/parent or father/parent listed on the record may indicate on the Death Application form the name to be added on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, provided that, if a name is indicated, it must be the same as the name on file with the department, if any. If the names are different, the name originally filed with the department will be printed on the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

Who can order a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth?

A parent may obtain a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth by completing and signing a death certificate application. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy. The notation “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth” should be written in Part 2, Intended Use of Certified Copy.

Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Fees

  • The first certificate is available at no charge.
  • There is a $9 fee for each additional copy requested.
  • The fee may be waived for the dependent of an individual who served or is currently serving in the armed forces.

Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Ordering Information

Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth are only issued from our main office located in New Castle; however, you can request a copy in person, following the instructions below.

  • BY MAIL – Click Forms to complete an online Death Certificate Application or to print a Death Certificate Application to request a copy of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. The notation “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth” should be written in Part 2, Intended Use of Certified Copy. Completed and signed applications with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St., New Castle, PA 16101. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click on Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Fees for more information. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - include a legible photocopy of your valid government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, an eligible requestor possessing a valid government-issued photo ID may apply; otherwise, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying your current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Click Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
    • PROCESSING - Average processing time is six to eight weeks from the date the application was received and does not include delivery time.
  • IN PERSON at a public office. Although you can make the request in person, the certified copy will be issued and mailed from our main office located in New Castle. Click on Public Offices for locations and other information.

Genealogy Requests

DVR maintains birth and death records registered in Pennsylvania from 1906 to the present. Legislation allows public access to birth and death records after a fixed amount of time has passed. Click on Public Access to Records for more information.

  • Self-search of records housed at the Division of Vital Records (DVR) is not permitted. DVR staff must conduct all searches.
  • Information on birth or death records that occurred prior to 1906 can be obtained by contacting the appropriate Pennsylvania County Courthouse. Visit www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for a list of county courthouses.
  • All certified copies of birth and death records are issued by the Division of Vital Records, regardless if they are public records or not. Refer to the Ordering Information for specific details.
  • The armed forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests.

Public Access to Records (non-certified copies)

Certified Copies of Public Records

  • All certified copies of birth and death records are issued by the Division of Vital Records, regardless if they are public records or not. Refer to Ordering Information for specific details.
  • The armed forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests.
  • Be sure to indicate on the Birth Certificate Application or Death Certificate Application that the intended use of the certified copy is for genealogical research. Click Forms to complete online form or print a copy.
  • Applicants may provide additional information not requested on the application form on a separate sheet of paper attached to the application.
  • Searches of multiple years can be requested. Click on Multi-Year Searches for more information.

Additional Suggestions

  • There are a variety of websites available that offer genealogy resources. Search the Internet for “genealogy.”
  • Research material such as wills, deeds, mortgages, marriage and divorce records, tax records, and even military records is available at county courthouses.
  • Some libraries have information available on individual county and state historical societies. Libraries can also house a wide variety of references for genealogical research, including maps for the area of interest.
  • Some foreign countries have agencies that maintain records of interest. Addresses for these agencies can be found in the public library or by searching the Internet.
  • Question family, friends or old neighbors who may be able to provide valuable information. Photographs in family albums could also be a source of information. Family members may be able to identify unknown individuals in the photographs.

Multi-Year Searches

A multi-year search request is a request from an applicant to search more than one year to locate an event. Occasionally, the Division of Vital Records receives requests to search files for a birth or death certificate without specific information such as the subject’s first and last name, the exact spelling of the names or the place of the event. Because of the way the records are filed, especially in the earlier years, it is literally impossible to search for a certificate without that basic information. An applicant should access other resources to attempt to obtain this basic information before requesting a multi-year search request. This service is only to be used when all other information is available (name and place), except for the exact year of birth or death.

Birth Certificate Multi-Year Searches

  • Fee is $45 for a search of two to 10 years and includes the fee for one certified copy, if located.
  • Additional years may be searched at a rate of $25 for a search of two to 10 additional years.
  • Click Forms to print a copy of the application for multi-year search of birth record. If you cannot provide sufficient information, your request will not be processed.
    • Pay close attention when designating a 10-year span. For example, 1955 through 1965 is an eleven-year span. If you want your search to be limited to 10 years, you must choose 1955 through 1964 or 1954 through 1963.
    • A minimum of the subject’s first and last name is required to conduct a multi-year search; however, if you know the subject’s middle name or suffix, please include that information.
    • List only one spelling of the first and last name. If there are variations to the spelling of these names, indicate such names in the entry for “Additional Information” located at the bottom of the application form. This information will only be used to determine if the appropriate birth record has been located, not to conduct a search based on the different name. A request for another name would require an additional application with the appropriate fee.
    • If the subject has a common name, it may not be possible to determine if the appropriate birth record has been located.
    • Provide at least the county of birth.
  • Certain birth certificates are considered public records after a fixed amount of time has passed. You may access Pennsylvania birth indices for public birth records for events occurring in 1906 through 1910. Click on Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) for more information.
  • Requests are processed approximately 15 weeks from the date of receipt.

Death Certificate Multi-Year Searches

  • Fee is $34 for a search of two to 10 years and includes the fee for one certified copy, if located.
  • Additional years may be searched at a rate of $25 for a search of two to 10 additional years.
  • Click Forms to print a copy of the application for multi-year search of death record. If you cannot provide sufficient information, your request will not be processed.
    • Pay close attention when designating a 10-year span. For example, 1963 through 1973 is an eleven-year span. If you want your search to be limited to 10 years, you must choose 1963 through 1972 or 1962 through 1971.
    • A minimum of the subject’s first and last name is required to conduct a multi-year search; however, if you know the subject’s middle name or suffix, include that information.
    • Be sure to include the married name for a female decedent when applicable.
    • List only one spelling of the first and last name. If there are variations to the spelling of these names, indicate such names in the entry for “Additional Information” located at the bottom of the application form. This information will only be used to determine if the appropriate death record has been located, not to conduct a search based on the different name. A request for another name (even a maiden name) would require an additional application with the appropriate fee.
    • If the subject has a common name, it may not be possible to determine if the appropriate birth record has been located.
    • Provide at least the county of death.
  • Certain death certificates are considered public records after a fixed amount of time has passed. You may access Pennsylvania death indices for public death records for events occurring in 1906 through 1965. Click on Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) for more information.
  • Requests are processed approximately 15 weeks from the date of receipt.

Foreign-Born Adoptions

You may register the birth of your child (who was born in a country other than the United States) with the Division of Vital Records (DVR) if either adoptive parent is a citizen of the United States and a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, AFTER filing the necessary paperwork with the Pennsylvania court system. Visit the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts website for detailed filing information or contact your county courthouse at http://www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for assistance and to obtain the appropriate forms. After you have filed the appropriate forms with the court system, the court will forward a final adoption decree and any other required documents to the Division of Vital Records to register the birth of your child. Note that you must file two forms with a county courthouse to begin the adoption filing process. These forms are 1) Certificate of Adoption of a Foreign-Born Child (Form HD01273F) that includes certification of the court (pursuant to 23 Pa. C. S. § 2908); and 2) Statement of Citizenship and Residency (Form HD01275F). These forms can be obtained from the courthouse.

In order to show evidence of U.S. Citizenship, a document that verifies the child’s name as it appears on the Certificate of Adoption must be provided to the Division of Vital Records. If such documentation cannot be provided, a notation that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship will appear on each certified copy issued. Even if the foreign born child satisfies the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1431 or § 1433, one of the documents listed below must be provided to DVR to prove U.S. citizenship. If available at the time the adoption is filed, the court will provide either or both of the following documents to the DVR upon completion of the Certificate of Adoption. If the court does not provide the necessary documentation to show evidence of U.S. citizenship, documentation may be submitted to DVR at a later date by an eligible requestor so that a new certified copy of the child’s birth certificate can be issued without the notation of non-U.S. citizenship.

  • copy of the adopted child’s U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560)
  • copy of the adopted child’s U.S. passport

To obtain a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate once the Certificate of Adoption has been filed with the courts, submit the following documentation to the Division of Vital Records. If you did not submit the child’s U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560) or the adopted child’s U.S. passport to the court filing the adoption, you can submit a copy of either document with the birth certificate application. The documents will be returned to you.

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – You must submit a completed birth certificate application with photo ID and the required fee to obtain a certified copy of the birth record. Click Forms to complete online application or print a copy. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the applicant’s valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – This usually takes two weeks after the receipt of the final decree to process. Once the birth has been registered, a Certification of Birth will be mailed to the individual that requested the foreign-born registration, if an application and fee were submitted.

Marriage and Divorce Certificates

Marriage and divorce certificates filed in Pennsylvania are not available from the Division of Vital Records.

Contact the courthouse in the county where the marriage license was issued or the divorce decree was granted to obtain certified copies of these documents. Visit www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for courthouse contact information.

Birth/Death Occurred in Another State

Were you not born in Pennsylvania? Do you need a death certificate from a state other than Pennsylvania? Click http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/ for information on where to write for birth or death certificates for births/deaths that occurred in other states or territories.

Birth/Death Occurred Prior to 1906

Information on birth or death records that occurred prior to 1906 can be obtained by contacting the appropriate Pennsylvania County Courthouse. Visit www.pacourts.us/courts/courts-of-common-pleas/orphans-court-clerks for a list of county courthouses.

Right-to-Know Law

Birth and death certificates maintained by the Division of Vital Records are not public certificates and, therefore, cannot be released under the provisions of Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. To determine if you are eligible to apply for a certified copy, click Who can order a birth or death certificate.

Forms

Submit a Question to the Division of Vital Records

Before submitting your question about birth or death certified copies, visit Birth Certificate FAQ or Death Certificate FAQ or browse our website. Click here to access the online contact form.

Contact Us

Division of Vital Records Main Office
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

or

101 S. Mercer St., Room 401
New Castle, PA 16101

Telephone 724-656-3100 or toll-free 844-228-3516

Email Division of Vital Records

Adoption Registries

Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry

The Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families, maintains and operates the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry (PAIR) that enables birth parents to share their family medical history with the child they placed for adoption.

Visit the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network website for information or contact the PAIR office at

Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry (PAIR)
PO Box 4379
Harrisburg, PA 17111-0379

Toll-free 1-800-227-0225

Biological Parent Consent Registry

The Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, maintains and operates the Biological Parent Consent Registry that enables parents to file consent forms to authorize the release of their current contact information to the child they placed for adoption.

  • A biological parent whose child was born in Pennsylvania may file a Biological Parent Registration Identification form with the Division of Vital Records. Click Forms to view or print a copy of the form.
  • The form cannot be submitted electronically because it must be notarized. Completed forms should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records at the address listed on the form.
  • You may also request a copy of the form by calling the Division of Vital Records at 877-PA-HEALTH or 724-656-3100.
  • There is no filing fee associated with this form.

Biological Parent Consent Registry Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

May a Biological Parent Registration form be updated?

No. If a name or address has changed, a new form must be completed, notarized and submitted to the Division of Vital Records.

Can a biological parent withdraw his or her consent once a Biological Parent Registration form has been filed?

Yes. To withdraw consent, a biological parent must complete a Withdrawal of Biological Parent Consent form. Click Forms to view or print a copy of the form, or you can request a copy of this form by mail at the address listed below or by calling the Division of Vital Records at 877-PA-HEALTH or 724-656-3100.

Division of Vital Records
ATTN: Adoption Registry
101 S Mercer St., Room 401
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16101

Who may obtain information regarding biological parents?

A request may be submitted by an adoptee who is at least 18 years of age. The adoptive parent or legal guardian of an adoptee who is less than 18 years of age may also submit a request.

How can I determine if my biological parent(s) completed a Biological Parent Registration Identification form?

The only way to make that determination is to submit a request on a birth certificate application. Click Forms to complete online application or print a copy. You will receive a letter from the Division of Vital Records containing the results of the search.
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed birth certificate application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, Adoption Registry, 101 S. Mercer St., Room 401, New Castle, PA 16101. Include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • SPECIAL REQUIREMENT - Note in Part 2, Intended Use of Certified Copy that you are requesting if the biological parent(s) has/have filed a consent form. Also be sure to include the adoptive parent(s) name(s) in Part 3.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual’s (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address. Click Forms to print a copy.
    • PAYMENT – There is a $10 fee to conduct this search. Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click Birth Certificate Fees for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Average processing time is eight to 10 weeks from the date the request is received and does not include delivery time.

What information is returned to the applicant?

Both biological parents filed Biological Parent Registration Identification Form
  • The requestor will receive a letter from the Division of Vital Records containing the current names and addresses of both biological parents and instructions on how to receive a certified copy of the original birth record prior to adoption.

Only one biological parent files a Biological Parent Registration Identification Form
  • The requestor will receive a letter from the Division of Vital Records containing the name and address of the consenting parent only, as it was reported on the Biological Parent Registration Identification form.
  • A certified copy of the original birth record prior to adoption cannot be released.

Neither biological parent files a Biological Parent Registration Identification Form
  • The requestor will receive a letter from the Division of Vital Records stating that no form has been filed. The letter will include a referral to the court that filed the adoption for further assistance.
  • A certified copy of the original birth record prior to adoption cannot be released.

What happens if a biological parent files a consent form after the Division of Vital Records processes a request?

No information can be provided if a consent form is filed after a request has been processed. There is no limit on the number of times a person can request a search; therefore, an adoptee may wish to submit a request periodically.

Act 127 of 2016 - Adoption Records (Formerly known as House Bill 162)

On Nov. 3, 2016, House Bill 162 was signed by Governor Wolf as Act 127 of 2016 (Act). This Act outlines the process and requirements for adoptees to receive a non-certified copy of their original birth records. The Act takes effect on Nov. 3, 2017, and the Department of Health is required to establish procedures and policies within 210 days of the date of passage. In accordance with the statutory timeline, the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries will have forms and procedures posted on this website by June 1, 2017. Please check back for future updates.