How to Replace a Lost Birth Certificate

Losing vital records can be a real pain. Not only are these documents often used as a form of identification or proof of birth in the United States, but they can also be difficult to replace. The good news is, there is a way to replace a lost birth certificate. If you’ve recently lost your birth certificate, check out this helpful guide on how to get a birth certificate replacement.

Born in the U.S.

If you were born in the United States, you’ll have a pretty easy time getting a replacement copy of your birth certificate. All you need to do is get ahold of the vital records office for the state in which you were born and ask them about getting a copy of your birth certificate. If for some reason, you need your birth certificate as soon as possible, you can always choose a more expensive shipping method for faster delivery.

Born Abroad

Some people are born abroad while their parents are on a vacation or away at a military base. If this is the case for you, the process for how to get a birth certificate replacement will be slightly different. If you were born abroad, your parents should have registered that with the U.S. Embassy in that country. If that’s the case, you can get a copy of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad from the U.S. Department of State. If you were born abroad and your parents didn’t happen to register your birth with a U.S. Embassy, you’ll need to get in touch with the hospital where you were born to see if they have a copy of your birth record on file.

Born Abroad and Adopted

Children who are born abroad and then adopted by a U.S. citizen don’t actually receive a U.S. birth certificate. Instead, you will have to get your birth record from the foreign embassy or consulate for the country in which you were born. In cases where your country of birth speaks a language other than English, you should also ask the foreign embassy to help you translate the document into English so it’s usable in the U.S.

If you lose citizenship forms for a child who was adopted, you will need to get in touch with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to get things sorted out. You will also need to fill out an application for replacement of naturalization/citizenship form.