If you've ordered a birth certificate, waiting for it to arrive can be a nerve-wracking process. You might need the certificate to move forward with obtaining a driver's license, or perhaps you're on a time crunch with a passport application. To calm your nerves and help you plan, learn how to get status updates on your birth certificate order.
VitalChek Records Orders
Many people who need to replace or obtain copies of vital records opt to do so online, either through VitalChek or their state's online ordering platform. Many state governments authorize VitalChek to handle online orders of vital records, including birth, death and marriage certificates. If your state uses VitalChek, all you need is your eight-digit order number and six-digit PIN number to check on the status of your birth certificate delivery. Head to VitalChek's website and enter those numbers to manage your order and view its processing status.
Keep in mind that VitalChek's processing times vary among its different locations. On average, most locations process vital records orders in three to five business days, though the process can range from one to 18 business days for express delivery orders, or from three to 60 business days for standard mail orders, depending on the delivery method you selected at checkout.
You should have received information about how long your specific order should take when you placed the order online. If you need to refresh your memory, take a look at your confirmation email from VitalChek for information on your order's estimated processing and shipping time frames.
Other Ordering Methods
If your state doesn't utilize VitalChek, and you ordered your birth certificate online through a different platform, you'll have to return to that platform to check on the status of your order. New Jersey, for example, offers its own online records-ordering system through its Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. If you've ordered a New Jersey birth certificate online, check its status by heading to the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry's website and inputting your order's confirmation number.
If you ordered your birth certificate in-person at your state's vital statistics office, you might have received it on the spot. It often takes only five minutes or so to process vital records requests in-person. However, if you placed your birth certificate order in-person but opted to have it mailed to you, you can expect to wait about four weeks, unless you paid extra for expedited or overnight delivery. In those cases, you can check on the status of your order by calling your state's vital statistics office. The National Center for Health Statistics' website offers contact information for the vital records offices for each state.
- Some states will generate a birth certificate on the same day if you visit the office in person. However, other states will provide you with a phone number or a URL to track your certificate status.
- If you need to obtain a copy of a birth certificate quickly, use the Vital Chek services to receive expedited service.
Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She covers topics including environment, education, agriculture, travel, immigration and religion. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, Calif., and holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University. Swanston is an avid traveler and loves jazz, yoga and craft beer.