How to Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate From Mexico

by Teo Spengler ; Updated March 15, 2018

Many of the millions of Mexican immigrants living in the United States don't have the birth documents they need to apply for residency. Some left them behind while traveling north or lost them along the way. Others came from small towns and never got birth certificates. In yesteryear, people seeking a Mexican birth certificate would have to return to Mexico to track down and get copies of their certificates from government agencies. Today, you can get your birth certificate at any one of the 50 Mexican embassies and consulates across the United States. The agents can print it from a digital database and certify it as you wait.

Easiest Way to Get Mexico Birth Certificates

Before 2015, people born in Mexico but living in the United States had a hard time getting their birth certificates. They were available only from government offices in Mexico. That meant that you had to head back across the border to get a certified birth certificate or else persuade family or friends to attempt to get the certified documents for you.

In 2015, Mexico decided to make it easier for Mexican nationals living in the U.S. to get their birth documents. They created a master database of birth certificates containing nearly all birthplaces in Mexico and provided it to the 50 different Mexican consulates in the United States. Now, if you were born in Mexico, you can go into any Mexican consulate, fill out a simple application asking for your identification and pay a fee of less than $20. In return, you'll get a certified Mexican birth certificate, and you'll get it the same day.

Traditional Way to Get Mexican Birth Certificates

To get a birth certificate from Mexico in the more traditional way, it can involve a trip to Mexico. You can still use the standard method of obtaining your birth certificate from the office of civil registry in the state in Mexico in which you were born.

Since leaving the United States is so complicated for some Mexican nationals living in the states, some offices of civil registry in Mexico allow you to place an order for a birth certificate by telephone or even through the internet. You can also ask a relative or friend in Mexico to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate and send it to you. In Mexico, birth certificates are public documents, and anybody can get a certified copy of any birth certificate. Still, the process takes up to two months.


About the Author

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. World traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.