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BIRTH CERTIFICATES

The Following Persons May Apply:

  • An individual requesting his/her own birth certificate.
  • A parent named on the certificate.
  • A court-appointed guardian of the individual named on the certificate. A foster care appointment is not acceptable; proof of guardianship must be submitted.
  • A surviving spouse of the individual named on the certificate.
  • A representative of: (1) the individual or a parent named on the certificate; or (2) the court-appointed guardian of the individual named on the certificate. The representative must have a letter signed by the individual, parent, or guardian, and certified by a notary public, stating that the representative has permission to obtain a copy of the certificate.

The Following Identification is Required:

An applicant is required to present valid, unexpired, government-issued photo identification. The identification must have a date issued and an expiration date.

Applicants who are unable to supply valid photo identification must present two (2) pieces of alternative documentation. The two pieces of alternative documentation must be different types, i.e., a pay stub and a telephone bill—not two pay stubs or two telephone bills. At least one of these documents must contain the applicant’s current mailing address. The certificates will be mailed to the address displayed on the document(s) provided for identification. Acceptable documents are:

  • Pay stub
  • Current car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form

TO APPLY BY MAIL:

Download an application for a copy of a Birth Certificate

Download in Word format  (needs Microsoft Word - the information in this form can be saved and printed)
Download in PDF format   (needs Adobe Reader - free download)
Descargue el formulario bilingüe (Inglés / Español) PDF (necesita Adobe Reader - descárgelo gratis - la información en este formulario se puede guardar e imprimir)

Please mail the application, photocopies of required identification, fee, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. box 68760, Baltimore, MD 21215-0036.

Other Ways to Obtain Birth Certificates:

Birth certificates for individuals with valid, government-issued photo identification who were born in Maryland are available for same day service at the Division of Vital Records in Baltimore located at 6550 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21215. Same day service is also available at local health departments in all jurisdictions except Montgomery County, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County for individuals born after 1939.

Online service:

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene does not accept credit cards or online orders; however, for your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service; VitalChek Network, Inc. VitalChek can be reached either through its website, www.vitalchek.com, or through the Division of Vital Records by telephone at 410-764-3170.  An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®. 

You Will Receive:

A certified copy of the birth certificate which may be used for retirement purposes, passports, social services, school enrollment, and other legal reasons. If the search provides no record, a Certification of Record Search will be provided.

Corrections to an Existing Birth Certificate:

If there are errors on an existing birth certificate, call the Division of Vital Records for information on how to request corrections.

Creating A New Birth Certificate:

A person born in Maryland, whose birth was never registered, may receive a birth certificate when the Division of Vital Records receives the necessary proof. New birth certificates may also be created in cases of:

  • Adoption
  • Legitimation
  • Adjudication of paternity

Length of Wait:

The turnaround time for mail received is 3-4 weeks.

The turnaround time for processing birth certificate changes is 6-8 weeks.

The turnaround time for processing adoptions is also 6-8 weeks and customers applying in person will not receive a certificate the same day.

In order to receive same day service when applying in person for a certified copy of a birth certificate, an applicant is required to present valid, unexpired, government-issued photo identification. The identification must have a date issued and an expiration date.
Applicants unable to supply valid photo identification must present two (2) pieces of alternative documentation. The two pieces of alternative documentation must be different types; at least one of these documents must contain a current mailing address. The requested certificate(s) will be mailed to the address displayed on the document(s) provided for identification. Acceptable documents are social security card, pay stub, current car registration, bank statement, letter from a government agency requesting a vital record, lease/rental agreement, utility bill with current address, or copy of income tax return/W-2 form.

Exceptions:

Records of births that took place in Baltimore City from 1875 through 1910 are not available for same day service. Copies of these records can only be mailed and take approximately two weeks to process. Birth records over 100 years are available through the Maryland State Archives located at 350 Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis. Telephone number 410-260-6400. 

Commemorative birth certificates suitable for framing are available. Proceeds from these certificates benefit the Children's Trust Fund. Click here for more information.