A North Carolina certificate of birth is a vital document that includes a child’s name, place and date of birth and the names of his or her parents. However, birth certificates are more than a special keepsake containing information about the birth of a baby. Since an original birth certificate serves as proof of age and identity, a birth record is often a requirement when obtaining government benefits or enrolling in school. For this reason, residents must request a birth certificate copy if they lose, misplace or damage their original record of birth. Residents can get a copy of their birth record online here. To learn more about ordering a replacement birth certificate, review the sections below.
Types of Birth Certificates in North Carolina
A birth record is available as a certified birth certificate or an uncertified copy. When obtaining a certified duplicate of birth certificate in North Carolina, the document will contain a statement certifying it as a true copy of the original record. Additionally, a certified NC birth certificate includes a raised vital record seal and contains a signature from the State Registrar. Furthermore, only eligible applicants may order birth certificate copies of this kind. Original birth certificates are only available to applicants requesting their own birth certificate copies and the spouses, siblings, stepparents, stepchildren or the direct descendants and ancestors of the applicant. Eligible applicants may order a birth record online here.
Other NC birth records include an uncertified copy of birth certificate documents. An unofficial certificate of birth is printed on plain white paper and does not include a raised vital records seal. These records of birth are clearly marked as uncertified and cannot be used to meet certified birth record requirements. As such, anyone may obtain birth certificate documents that are uncertified, as long as no legal restrictions apply. However, uncertified birth certificates are not meant for legal use are strictly for informational purposes.
When do I need an original birth certificate in North Carolina?
There are many reasons to obtain a certified birth certificate, especially if your current certificate of birth acquires damages, goes missing or is stolen from you. As a vital record, your NC birth certificate is a document you will need throughout various walks of life, including marriage, travel or school enrollment. For this reason, it is important to replace your birth certificate if it sustains damages, goes missing or if you wish to keep an extra copy in your home.
For instance, you often need to submit certified birth certificates in North Carolina to prove your identity in situations such as the following:
- Applying for a driver license or state identification card
- Applying for a United States passport
- Obtaining government assistance, including unemployment or retirement benefits
- Applying for a new Social Security card
- Correcting a current Social Security card
- Enrolling in school
- Joining the military
- Applying for a marriage license
To ensure that you get a copy of your NC birth certificate well before you need it, you may conveniently order a copy of your birth record online here.
How to Apply for a Birth Certificate in North Carolina
The North Carolina birth certificate application process is overseen by the Office of Vital Records under the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). As such, customers may order a copy of a record of birth by mail, online here or in person. Additionally, residents may request birth certificates from as early as October 1913. The processing time for birth records from 1971 to the present day is generally between six and eight weeks, unless customers wish to pay an additional fee to expedite the order. The state processes expedited birth certificate applications within three to five days from the date in which the office receives the request. However, the NC Vital Records office in Raleigh offers same-day service if residents live nearby and can submit their request in person. To learn more about obtaining a replacement birth certificate in person, by mail or online, review the following sections.
If applicants wish to order an NC birth certificate in a fast and convenient way, they may submit an online request. Online birth record applications allow customers to make a request from the comfort of their own home without the need to visit an office or submit a request by mail. When residents apply for certificate of birth online, they may pay with a credit card at a time that works best for them. To get started, customers can complete an online application for a birth record here.
If customers wish to obtain a North Carolina certificate of birth in person, they may visit the Office of Vital Records in Raleigh to receive same-day service. However, the hours of operation may be inconvenient for most applicants, as original birth certificate records can only be ordered between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Furthermore, customers may only order a birth certificate if they can present proof of identification, including a driver license, photo ID card or U.S. passport.
As another option, customers may apply for an NC birth certificate in person through the Register of Deeds (ROD) office for the county in which the birth took place. However, the birth record of an adopted child is only available through the Office of Vital Records. Furthermore, Mecklenburg County residents may get a duplicate birth certificate through their local health department.
To apply for a birth certificate by mail, customers must complete and sign a North Carolina birth certificate form (DHHS-VR-B) and submit it to the Mail Service Center in Raleigh. Birth certificate applicants must also enclose a check or money order made payable to NC Vital Records. When completing the birth certificate application, customers must include the full name of the individual on the birth record, as well as the resident’s date and place of birth, gender and the name of his or her parents. Applicants must also include a legible photocopy of their photo ID. Furthermore, vital record applicants who wish to expedite the application must write “expedite” on the outside of the mailing envelope.