How to Obtain a Chinese Birth Certificate

by Marcello Viridis

In China there are two types of birth certificates. When a baby is born, the family is issued a medical certificate of birth or the verification record. This is a form that is filled out soon after the child's birth at the hospital and generally only used for domestic household registration purposes. In addition, if the family needs a more formal document of birth, they can apply for a notarial certificate of birth. This is a government certified document issued by the local Notarial Office and is generally the only birth certificate that will be accepted abroad.

Determine where the applicant was born. You will need to be as specific as possible. If the applicant was born in a large town or city, you'll need to find out which district they were born in. Alternatively, if the applicant was born in the countryside, you'll need to determine which county the person was born in. Generally, you'll be able to get this information from the applicant's ID card or household residence card.

Locate the appropriate Notarial Office covering the area where the person was born. For example, if the person was born in the Zhongshan District of Dalian, the appropriate Notarial Office would be the Dalian City, Zhongshan District Notarial Office. If the person was born in Fuzhoucheng village in Pulandian County, the appropriate Notarial Office would be at the Pulandian County Notarial Office.

Apply for the birth certificate at the appropriate Notarial Office. You will be asked to fill out an application form, as well as provide the applicant's ID card, household registration card, birth verification documentation and parents' ID cards. You'll will also be required to pay a processing fee. Processing fees vary among Notarial Offices. Due to the fact that a Notarial Office has to verify the information provided by the applicant, at present there is no ability to complete the process online. All applications for birth certificates must be made in person by the applicant or a representative of the applicant.

Wait. After reviewing the documents the Notarial Office will issue a signed and stamped birth certificate. The time needed to process a birth certificate varies from city to city and county to county. Generally speaking, the smaller the city or county, the more time will be needed for processing.


  • Notarial Offices are a division of the Ministry of Justice. One way to find the appropriate Notarial Office is to contact the local Ministry of Justice. Finding a Ministry of Justice can be done online. Contacting a Ministry of Justice office can be done over the phone or in person. Additionally, the US Embassy in Beijing or the Regional Consulates may be able to direct you to the appropriate Notarial Office.

About the Author

Marcello Viridis has been "working in writing" for the past six years. Since publishing his first article in 2004, he has written on a range topics from working and living overseas for the Wall Street Journal's Black Collegian website to legal essays for the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Viridis has a B.A. from Pomona College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.