How to apply for a birth certificate in Virginia?
The very first document we get is our birth certificate. By the time we are born, our parents request it for us because it represents an essential legal document we will need for the rest of our lives.
It is used to evidence essential information about you, such as your full name, date and place of birth, age, citizenship status, and parent’s name, age, and place of birth as well.
Surely, you will be asked to present your birth certificate to get your driver’s license, Social Security benefits, school enrollment, marriage license, and other documents. In this article, we will show you how to get yours in the state of Virginia.
Options to request your birth certificate
Primarily, you need to know that it is possible to get your document in several ways.
Apply in person
You must go to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service center and present your Identification Document (ID), the Virginia Birth Certificate Application form (or DL81), and then pay the fee (generally $12 or $14).
Your ID must meet the requirements of an “acceptable identification”; these are some documents you can show:
- Unexpired driver’s license issued by any U.S state (in case it has already expired, it has to be for less than a year).
- ID card with an updated photo (from your school or job).
- Unexpired U.S passport.
- U.S Certificate of Naturalization.
- U.S Certificate of Citizenship.
- Permanent Resident Card.
Here is the DL81 form required exclusively for birth certificates: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dl81.pdf
In case your vital record cannot be found in the DMV, they will submit your application to the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Vital Records (VDH), for a more in-depth search. Then, you will receive information in a couple of days.
Apply by mail
This is likely the most used way to get a birth certificate, since you will not have to go to the offices. Just send your completed application form to the VDH Division of Vital Records, P. O. Box 1000, Richmond, Virginia 23218, with a copy of your ID and a money order or a check payable to the State Health Department.
By the time you apply, you also need to give the representatives a document explaining the reason you are requesting the certificate, and your phone number.
It takes over three weeks to receive it back in your mail.
It is also very simple. Click here to go to the application portal, fill the form, print it, put your signature and then submit it through mail or go to the customer office service.
The Virginia Department of Health also offers an online service through the Vitalchek Network. It is an independent company dedicated to find and submit certified copies of vital records within 2 or 5 days.
Since the waiting period is shorter, the fees are a little bit more expensive than the normal process.
Just access to their page, fill the form and pay the fee. You can pay with credit cards, like American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard. And you can also estimate the service’s price by introducing the name of your state.
Can I request someone else’s birth certificate?
You are only qualified to ask for a direct relative’s document (parents, children, brothers, and sisters); however, in some specific circumstances, you are allowed to request for someone else’s. You will have to ask for this precise information to your local DMV office.
Important considerations due COVID-19 pandemic
Currently, the DMV’s offices are closed because of the pandemic, but the online services are still available. However, they expect to open 9 offices to the public on May 18, 2020, with new regulations to protect the citizens.
You will probably need to schedule an appointment to request a birth certificate.
In any case, we recommend you to check the Virginia DMV official website for updated information. You may also call them (804) 497-7100, from Monday to Friday (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) and Saturday (8:00 am – 12:00 pm).