How Do I Obtain a Birth Certificate in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania?

by Tiffany Raiford

Birth certificate records in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, are kept in two different places, separated by the year of the birth. Allegheny birth certificates for births from 1870 to 1905 are kept in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Birth records from 1906 to the present date for Allegheny County births are recorded by the Division of Vital Records, which is a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. You can obtain a copy of a birth certificate from either location, provided you know either the name, date of birth, year of birth or the listed parents on the birth certificates. The more information you have, the easier it will be to locate the certificate.

Carnegie Library

Compose a letter to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Include your name, address, contact information and any information you have about the birth certificate. Ideally, you should provide the name on the certificate, the date of birth, the year of birth and the names of the parent or parents listed on the record. If you don't have all of that information, include what you do have.

Write a check payable to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for your order. The fee for one birth certificate is $5, as of 2010. Additional certificates are $4 each; you can only request four birth certificates per letter. Mastercard and Visa are also accepted if you provide the name on the card, the card number, the expiration date and your zip code in your letter.

Mail your letter of inquiry and your payment to: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Department, Records Research 4400 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Your letter will be answered in the order it is received by the Carnegie Library. Expect to wait two to three weeks to receive your documents or a response from the library.

Department of Health Division of Vital Records

Determine whether or not you are eligible to order a birth certificate for an Allegheny County birth from 1906 through the present day. You must be the person listed on the birth certificate, a relative or a legal representative of the person listed on the certificate or you must hold power of attorney for the person listed on the certificate.

Request a copy of the birth certificate online by following the link on the Division of Vital Records website, which will take you to a third-party site called VitalChek. Follow the prompts on the VitalChek site to order a birth certificate. Fees and processing times differ for online orders.

Click on the link entitled "Request by Mail" to be directed to the Application for a Certified Copy of Birth Record, which you need to fill out. Mail the application along with a copy of your photo ID and a check for the cost of the birth certificate, which is $10 for each copy, to: Division of Vital Records P.O. Box 1528 New Castle, PA 16103 Your records will be mailed to you five to six weeks after your letter is received.

Visit any of the locations of the Division of Vital Records to request a copy of a birth certificate in person. Simply ask the representatives at any branch of the office to locate a birth certificate for you, give them the information on the certificate and pay the $10 fee.

Items you will need

  • Name on birth certificate
  • Date of birth

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

Photo Credits

  • birth of a baby image by Steve Lovegrove from