Last Updated: April 28, 2022

A birth certificate can usually help you prove your age and citizenship (if you were born in the United States), and is very useful when you are trying to get a state-issued photo ID. To get a new copy of your birth certificate, contact the Department of Vital Records of the state in which you were born.

How do I order a birth certificate if I was born in Washington?

In Washington, the Department of Health issues certified copies of vital records (or “certificates”) for births, deaths, marriages and divorces that took place in the state of Washington. If you are still incarcerated, talk to your counselor to determine the best way to start the process from your facility. If you apply by mail, you will need a copy of the order form, which is called Washington State Department of Health Birth / Death Certificate Mail Order Form. Your counselor may also be able to help you get a copy.

Additionally, it is helpful to know that Washington is a public records state by law. This means that a loved one or family member is able to use any of the options detailed in the chart above to order a birth certificate for you, as long as that they are able to fill out the order form with your complete and accurate information. Your loved one or family member will need the following information about you in order to order your birth certificate:

  • Your full name as it appears on your birth certificate
  • Your date of birth (Month/Date/Year)
  • Your city or county of birth
  • Your parents’ full names at the time of your birth

How do I order a birth certificate if I was born in a different state?

The process for ordering birth certificates varies from state to state. If you were born outside of Washington, you will need to research how to order a birth certificate directly from the state or country in which you were born.

Unless you have internet access, or can ask for help from someone who does, you may need to wait until you are released to find this information. However, it is a good idea to also talk to your counselor and see if he or she can provide you with any assistance.

If you are able to have someone assist you with finding this information while you are incarcerated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website contains information on locating vital records and includes links to information and guidelines for ordering birth certificates from various states and US territories.

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