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Birth Certificates

Your Pennsylvania birth certificate is an important form of identification used for life events like employment, getting a passport or driver's license, and even enrolling in school or youth sports activities. You can order a copy of your birth certificate from the Department of Health.

Only you, an immediate family member (including grandparents), parent/legal guardian or attorney or legal representative can order a copy of a birth certificate for anyone born after 1906. 

How much does it cost to order a birth certificate?

Copies of birth certificates are $20 each. You must pay by check or money order made out to "VITAL RECORDS" for the exact amount of your order. We do not accept credit cards.

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.

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.

IMPORTANT PAYMENT INFORMATION: All in-person public office transactions and all mailed applications require payment via check or money order made payable to "VITAL RECORDS" for the exact amount of your order. We do not accept cash or credit cards.

Birth Certificate Application

Refer to a birth certificate application for information needed to request a certified 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.

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.

  • 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. 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. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. 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. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle PA, 16103. 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.
    • 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 on BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES above for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. The fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • FORM – The individual requesting the correction must submit a properly completed Change in Civil Status form. 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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.

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 on BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES above 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. Fee may be waived for armed forces members. Click on BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES above 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. 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. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click the BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES bar above 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. 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. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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. 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. Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member. Click the BIRTH CERTIFICATE FEES bar above 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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.  Fee may be waived if the subject is an armed forces member.

  • 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, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. 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.
    • 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. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

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.

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.
  • 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, 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 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.