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How to Obtain a Certified International Birth Certificate

by Pamela Raymond

Locating a birth certificate for a U.S. citizen born internationally requires multiple steps and documentation. The U.S. State Department can help you obtain certified, legal copies of birth certificates for births abroad. If a U.S. citizen is born overseas, the birth should be reported to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Timely reporting of overseas births ensures the correct documents are available for future reference.

How to obtain a certified international birth certificate

Obtain a notarized written and signed request from the parent, legal guardian or subject of the inquiry. Along with the notarized request, submit to the U.S. State Department the following information: Facts of Birth • Name (at birth) • Name after adoption (if applicable) • Date of birth • Country of birth • Father's name • Father's date and place (state/country) of birth • Mother's name • Mother's date and place (state/country) of birth Passport Information Passport used to first enter the U.S. • Name of bearer • Date of issuance • Passport number • Date of inclusion (if passport was not issued to the subject) Current passport • Name of bearer • Date of issuance • Passport number General Information • Date of request • Purpose of request • Document Requesting (Certificate of Birth) • Number of documents requesting • Current mailing address and daytime telephone number

Submit the $30 processing fee in U.S. dollars from a U.S. bank. An additional $20 fee applies per copy. Requests can take up to eight weeks to process. For expedited mailing, an additional fee of $16.25 for overnight delivery will apply, or you can supply an air bill for an overnight delivery service of your choice.

Contact the U.S. State Department and request a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. This request can be made if at least one parent is an American citizen. Send the notarized request, supporting documentation and fees to: U.S. Department of State Passport Services Vital Records Section 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510 Washington, DC 20522-1705

To obtain birth certificates if both parents are foreign and the subject of an inquiry was born overseas, contact the foreign consular of the home country. The Bureau of Consular Affairs offers a complete list of foreign consular offices.

Items you will need
  • Name on birth certificate
  • Father's and mother's names
  • Notarized written request
  • Passport for subject of inquiry

About the Author

Pamela Raymond, owner of The Raymond Experience, a firm specializing in public relations and event management, has been a published freelance writer for over 14 years with articles in Sauce Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Vital Voice and ALIVE Magazine and holds an MBA from Maryville University in St. Louis.