How Do I Get a Replacement Birth Certificate in Maryland?

Your birth certificate is one of the most important documents in your possession, but many people lose track of them since they were first created at birth. After all, you probably weren’t even aware that you had a birth certificate until you were in your teens because your parents handled most of your documentation for you. 

In some cases, it’s easy for your birth certificate to get misplaced or lost because you aren’t responsible for it. That being said, there are times that you’ll want your birth certificate, such as when you are looking to claim retirement benefits, get a new passport, or even determine eligibility for school. If you were born in Maryland and need a replacement birth certificate, here are some steps to follow.

Who Can Request A Birth Certificate?

In the state of Maryland, there are only a few types of people who can legally request a new, certified copy of your birth certificate. The first type of person, and most common, is the person named on the certificate. However, a parent named on the certificate may also request a copy, and so can a guardian appointed by the court or a surviving spouse of the named individual. For this person to make the request, they will need to present a valid, government-issued ID featuring their full name and photo. If you don’t have access to a photo ID, you’ll need to present a pay stub, car registration, bank statement, utility, or a letter from the government requesting important information. Generally, you’ll want two of these types of documents, since you don’t have a photo ID to prove your likeness.

How Do You Request A Birth Certificate In Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, there are four different ways to request a replacement birth certificate. The first option is to send in your application via mail, which requires filling out a paper version of the birth certificate application and mailing it, along with payment and a copy of your photo ID the Maryland Division of Vital Records. 

A much simpler process is to order online or over-the-phone. You may also receive same-day service if you go in-person to the Department of Vital records with a valid, government-issued photo ID. Many Maryland local health departments are also able to provide same-day service as long as you were born after 1939. 

If requesting via telephone or online, it can take up to 12 days to process your request. If you are applying for a replacement birth certificate by mail it will take three to four weeks.

What Does A Replacement Cost?

A birth certificate only costs $10 to replace, which is the same fee for a domestic adoption certificate, although foreign adoption certificates cost $12. While you can pay using a debit or credit card, this will add a fee of $2.75 to your cost. If ordering in person, there will be a $4 service charge incurred for using the kiosk at the Division of Vital Records. As such, as you are wanting to replace your birth certificate for the lowest cost possible, the best method is to mail a check, cash, or money order to the Division of Vital Records in Baltimore. 

Even though online databases exist like GoLookUp which give you the date someone was born, legally you will need your Maryland birth certificate to apply for some of the aforementioned documents or services. The ironic thing is that your birth certificate itself is the public record that online records databases use to source information about your date of birth; however, legally you will need to be able to present a certified document rather than just confirm your information online or with a copy of your certificate. In those sorts of situations, you’ll want to keep the above steps in mind so that you can get the proper documentation of your birth.