January 27

Where Is The Birth Certificate Number Located?

Do you need your birth certificate number but aren’t sure where it is located? Perhaps you have never heard about a birth certificate number and want to know more about it?

Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

When it comes to our birth certificates, they can be a little confusing. There is often information or sections on them that are unclear, meaning when people ask for things like our birth certificate number, we start to panic. 

We start to wonder what our birth certificate number is, where it is located, and what it is used for. These questions haunt us, and no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get the answers that we need. 

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to find out where your birth certificate number is located and everything else you need to know about it! 

What Is A Birth Certificate Number?

Before we dive in, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! A birth certificate number is an 11-digit identification number on all US birth certificates.

The number is written in an XXX-XX-XXXXXX. While all numbers are unique, they follow the same format. Each birth certificate number will use the following format: 

  1. The first 3 digits are the area code number. 
  2. Followed by 2 digits for the year of registration, usually the year of birth.
  3. And a six-digit serial registration number which is assigned sequentially. 

While there might be some similarities in the first half of birth certificate numbers for those born in the same year and area, the final six digits will set the number apart from other birth certificate numbers.

For example, a group of school friends in the same area might have the same area code and year of birth as the first five digits of their birth certificate number, but the remaining six digits would be completely different. 

This system of labeling birth certificates this way was adopted by all states in 1948, making it uniform across the country.

If you have a birth certificate from before 1948, then the number might look a little different.

Before this point, each state was labeling birth certificates differently, which means the number might look a little different. 

If you have any questions about birth certificates or births registered before 1948, it is best to speak directly with your Department of Vital Records in your state.

They will have the most accurate information about the birth certificates or births you are trying to track down.

You might also have some luck with independent ancestry companies or individuals who specialize in family trees.

They can help complete any gaps on your family tree and tend to be well versed in dealing with older birth certificates. 

Now that we have covered what a birth certificate number is, let’s move on to see where it is located and when you might need the number! 

Where Is The Birth Certificate Number Located?

Let’s get straight into it! The birth certificate number is stated on your birth certificate. Usually, it is in the top right-hand corner of your birth certificate.

The number will be listed on the original certificate and any copies you might have.

If you make any changes to the information on your birth certificate, the number will also be printed on any new certificates that you have sent to you. 

This might vary on birth certificates created before 1948, as we mentioned earlier, they tend to have a different number and process for being registered.

If you run into any difficulties with these, be sure to speak to your local Department of Vital Records. They can offer you tailored advice on the birth certificate and number you are trying to obtain and help you where possible. 

It is worth noting that this information relates to birth certificates for those whose births are registered in the US. If your birth was registered in a different country, then your birth certificate would follow their layout.

You would need to find out from the relevant authorities there where your birth certificate number, if any, is located on the birth certificate. 

How Do I Find My Birth Certificate Number If I Don’t Have The Certificate? 

If you don’t have your birth certificate, then you might find yourself wondering what your birth certificate number is and how you can find this out.

For example, if you have lost your birth certificate, or if your parents have it, it can be tricky to know your number. Thankfully, you can still find out your birth certificate number!

Where Is The Birth Certificate Number Located?

The easiest way to do this is to first check if there is a copy of your birth certificate anywhere. It could be stashed in some boxes in your parent’s attic or under a pile of papers in your study.

Be sure to conduct a thorough search for your birth certificate. An original or copy will have your birth certificate number and provide you with the answers that you need. 

If you cannot find a copy of your birth certificate, then you can probably figure out the first half of your number yourself.

You would simply need the area code of where you were born and the year of your birth. You can find out the area codes by searching online too.

There are plenty of sites that list these codes, simply scroll through and find the code, for example, 104 if you were born in California.

The next two digits are the year of your birth (the last two). So if you were born in 1990, the first half of your birth certificate number would be 104-90. 

Unfortunately, as the final six digits are a serial registration number assigned sequentially by the state, it can be impossible to work out what your entire birth certificate number would be. 

To do this, you would need to see your birth certificate. Thankfully, you can request a copy of your birth certificate with ease.

It is quite common to request a copy of your birth certificate, whether it is required by an employer, for a loan, or to prove your identity. And as it is so common, it is fairly easy to get a copy of your birth certificate. 

How to obtain your birth certificate varies from state to state, so be sure to check how to do this beforehand.

You can find out what the procedure is by contacting your local Department of Vital Records. They can walk you through the process and offer any help when needed. 

These days, most states use a service called VitalChek that allows you to get a copy of their birth certificate. To do this, you will need the following information: 

  • The name on the birth certificate
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth

For those that want an authorized certificate, which you usually need as proof of identification, you will need the above information and a few more details. You will also need the following: 

  • To be the person listed on the birth certificate 
  • A parent of the person listed on the birth certificate
  • Someone authorized to get the certificate under law

You will also need to pay a processing fee to get the certificate. This can be quite expensive, so be sure to find out the exact cost of this beforehand.

Due to the cost, we recommend that you spend some time beforehand searching for the original copy of your birth certificate. The last thing you want is to fork out for a certificate to find out it was in the house after all! 

While this service is used by most states, some will provide you with birth certificates through their vital records office.

States like Pennsylvania, for example, allow you to order birth or death certificates online using their authorized vendor.

This can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers you access to the certificates that you need. It is also far cheaper than VitalChek and can be paid by credit card. 

Other states allow you to seek replacements of your birth certificate in person or the mail. Be sure to contact your local Department of Vital Records office to find out how you can get a new birth certificate in your state. 

When the certificate arrives, you should find the birth certificate number in the top right-hand corner. 

When Would I Need My Birth Certificate Number?

Your birth certificate number on its own can be used to track down a copy of your birth certificate online, or sometimes as proof of identification.

However, most places will want your whole birth certificate as proof of identification.

Sure, a bank could use your birth certificate number to look you up and find out more information, but they tend to ask for the whole birth certificate. 

This is because the full birth certificate will contain other information they need such as your date of birth.

So while your birth certificate number is useful to have, ideally you want the whole document if you require it to provide proof of identification. 

Thankfully, it is quite easy to get hold of a new copy of your birth certificate when needed, so you don’t need to worry about going without it. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! You can find your birth certificate number in the top right-hand corner of your birth certificate.

If you do not have your birth certificate, you can gain a copy from your state’s Department of Vital Records office.

Here, they can offer you tailored advice and walk you through the process of getting a new birth certificate. 

Remember, there will be a cost with this, so be sure to check everywhere beforehand to see if you can find the certificate. 



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