A lost birth certificate can pose a huge hassle for anyone trying to apply for a passport, prove citizenship or obtain a driver's license, among other processes that require you to prove your identification. If you were born in Arkansas and have lost your certificate, don't worry; you should be able to get a new one online without much trouble. Birth certificates in Arkansas are available for births from Feb. 1, 1914, to present, with a limited number available before 1914 and a limited number available from 1881 in Little Rock and Fort Smith, specifically.
Ordering a Birth Certificate Online
You can use VitalChek, an official service authorized by Arkansas, to order certified vital records. Your first order costs $12, and each additional copy costs $10. Just head to VitaChek's website and have the following information at hand:
- Location of birth (county, city and hospital name)
- Month, day and year of birth
- Full name
- Reason for ordering the birth certificate
- Parents' names
- Shipping and billing addresses
- Credit card information
- Proof of identification (Social Security number and/or photo identification)
If you choose regular mail, your order will be processed in 20 to 25 business days and be delivered in another seven to 10 days. If you go with express delivery, expect a processing time of 15 to 20 business days, with overnight delivery.
Ordering a Birth Certificate Through the Department of Health
If you're uncomfortable ordering the birth certificate online and would rather do so in person, you can visit the Arkansas Department of Health at 4815 West Markham St. in Little Rock with $12 (the cost of your first copy; subsequent copies are $10) and a completed birth certificate application, available online at the Department of Health's website.
Remember that you'll need photo identification to accompany your application. If you're paying with a check, make it out to Arkansas Department of Health.
Who Can Order a Birth Certificate?
If the lost birth certificate in question isn't actually yours, you should first make sure that you're authorized to order the certificate. You can do so if you meet one of the following qualifications:
- You are the parent or legal guardian of the person in question.
- You are entitled by court order, attorney or a licensed adoption agency to receive the birth certificate.
- You are a law enforcement agent or government agent on official business.
- You are an attorney representing the person in question, his estate or anyone else acting on behalf of the person in question.