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Birth Certificates

Birth Certificate

Certified birth certificates are needed to get a license and other forms of ID.

We offer same-day certified copies of Maryland Birth Certificates for people who were born in Maryland. You can also order them by mail, phone or online.

Please call 410-876-4442 to make an appointment. Read below for more details on how to get a birth certificate.

Why do you need a certified birth certificate?

A certified copy is printed on special paper that cannot be easily duplicated. You need a certified copy to get your driver’s license or passport, and for school enrollment, social services, retirement, and other legal purposes.

Due to the Federal REAL ID Act, documents including a certified birth certificate may be required to apply for and renew your Maryland Driver’s License or Identification Card. For information, visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s Real ID page.

The Birth Registration Notice provided by the hospital when a baby is born is NOT a birth certificate and cannot be used as a proof of identity. Click here to learn more about birth registration notices and birth certificates: Maryland License Renewal Documents.

How Do I Get a Birth Certificate?

In person at the Health Department:

  • Call 410-876-4442 to make an appointment. Appointments are available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • You can print the application and fill it out before coming in, or fill out an application at the Health Department. Application Birth Certificate
  • See below for more information on who can get a birth certificate and what you need to bring to the appointment.
  • We are now able to access birth certificates for people born before 1940, but there may be a longer wait. 
  • The Health Department is located at 290 South Center Street in Westminster.
  • The cost is $20 per certificate. We accept cash, check, and debit and credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Other ways to get a birth certificate:

  • By Mail – Complete and mail the application with your payment, a self-addressed envelope, and a photo copy of your Identification to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 68760, Baltimore, MD 21215-0036. Acceptable forms of payment are check or money order made payable to the Division of Vital Records.​ (Note that expedited shipping is not available when ordering by mail.)
  • By Internet – Visit VitalChek
  • By Phone – Call (410) 764-3038 #2
  • In person, by appointment at the Division of Vital Records in Baltimore

Birth Certificate brochure

You can get a birth certificate if:

  • It is your own birth certificate.
  • It is your child’s birth certificate and your name is listed on it
  • You are the person’s court-appointed guardian. A foster care appointment is not acceptable; original proof of guardianship must be submitted.
  • You are the person’s surviving spouse; proof must be submitted.
  • You are the representative of: (1) the person or a parent named on the certificate; or (2) the court-appointed guardian of the person named on the certificate. The representative must have a notarized letter signed by the person, parent, or guardian, giving the person permission to get the birth certificate.

Note: Your name must be on the child’s birth certificate for you to receive it.

What do I need to get a birth certificate?

You need a valid government-issued photo ID, with an issue date and an expiration date that has not passed (cannot be expired). This includes:

  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration
  • Passport
  • Military ID for active service personnel
  • Prison ID

If you don’t have a photo ID, you must present two different documents, at least one with your current address. Documents we can accept include:

  • Social Security Card
  • Pay stub
  • Car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting the vital record
  • Property deed
  • Utility bill
  • Tax return
  • Copy of a W-2 form
  • School photo ID
  • Lease/rental agreement

Please note: If you do not have a photo ID but present two acceptable documents, you cannot receive the birth certificate the same day. It will be mailed to you.

Special Services

Home Births

If you are planning a home birth or your baby was born at home, the Health Department will work with you to certify the birth. For more information, see our Home Births page.

Changes to a Birth Certificate

The Health Department cannot make changes to your birth certificate. Changes and corrections to birth certificates are done by Maryland’s Division of Vital Records. Call 800-832-3277 or 410-764-3038, or visit the Vital Statistics Administration page.

New Birth Certificate

A person born in Maryland, whose birth was never registered, may apply for a delayed certificate of birth. Contact the Division of Vital Records at 410-764-3038 for further information. A new birth certificate may also be prepared in the case of:

  • Adoption
  • Legitimation
  • Adjudication of paternity
  • Sex change
  • Diagnosis of an intersex condition

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