Birth Certificate

A certified (official) birth certificate is often required when applying for a State ID, driver’s license, marriage license, passport, school enrollment, or to access other benefits. A certified birth certificate will generally have a raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal. Non-certified copies are not acceptable for legal purposes.

Ohio Birth Certificates can be obtained by visiting any vital statistics office in the state. Often these offices will be part of the health department, but not always. Fees vary, but in Ohio, you can expect to pay around $15-20. If you cannot pay for this, a social service agency may be able to help. If you are already working with an agency, ask them for assistance.

There are some places that may help you get your birth certificate even if you are not working with them, but the availability may change from month to month. You can call United Way 2-1-1 to see what help is available.

County and local offices usually process requests quicker than the state offices. The fastest way to obtain a birth certificate is in person (same-day). If you request it by mail, it may take 3-8 weeks from the time the request is received. Some offices may allow requests by phone with a credit card.

Services on the Internet such as can expedite delivery (7-10 business days) and can help you get out-of-state birth certificates, but you must pay by credit card and the cost is higher.

Be prepared with the following information to get your birth certificate:
  • Your full name
  • Your mother’s maiden name
  • Your father’s full name (if available)
  • Your month, day and year of birth
  • Telephone number
  • Place of birth - city/county/state; name of hospital (not needed if born in Ohio)
  • Address where it will be sent (if mailed)
  • Notarized sworn statement (California only)
  • Photocopy of picture ID, if necessary (not required in Ohio)

If You were Born in Ohio:

You can go to any Vital Statistics Office in the state. In Cleveland:
Cleveland Dept. of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
601 Lakeside Ave. Rm. 122
Cleveland, OH 44114
Open M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm; Cost: $25
  If You were Born Elsewhere in the United States:

US Department of Health and Human Services
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Rd.
Hyattsville, MD 20782
For information on contacting the vital statistics office in the area where you were born. Only available through website. Cost varies by state.
If You are an American Citizen Born Abroad:

US Department of State Passport Vital Records Section
44132 Mercure Cir.
PO Box 1213
Sterling, VA 20166-1213