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Vital Records

 

DCVRD notices

12/11/2018: The social security number data transmission issue has been resolved. If you have delivered a newborn since October 1, 2018 and requested courtesy data transmission to the US Social Security Administration (SSA), your information has been submitted. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the SSA to mail your baby’s social security card. If you would like to instead apply for a social security number at an SSA field office, please access this link for instructions: SSA Brochure.

How to Order Certificates

You can order certificates in person at 899 North Capitol Street, NE First Floor, Washington, DC 20002 (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) or by mail, phone or online through a remote ordering service provider.
You can order certificates online, by phone, by mail, and in person through our full-service office or self-serve kiosk.

Remote ordering service provider

DCVRD does not directly provide remote ordering and application processing. For ordering by mail, phone, or online, orders may be placed through VitalChek.com as noted below. The other remote ordering services listed below process online orders only. Please note that this list may not be exhaustive, and has been presented in order by lowest to highest Application Processing Fee charged by each organization. Once the order application process is completed by the selected organization as noted below, the orders and payments are dispatched to DCVRD and shipped from the DCVRD fulfillment center in Washington, DC.

Standard to all remote ordering services: DC Certificate Fees = $23 (birth) or $18 (death)
Website Known Owner Order Methods Application Processing Fees (+ DC Certificate Fees listed above) Additional Information
Vitalchek LexisNexis Online, Phone, Mail Mail = $6.00; Phone = $15.95; Online = $15.95

Includes electronic identity verification and secure processing via PCI Level 1 Compliant portal. Approved orders are sent directly to the DC Vital Records Division for fulfillment.

Birth Mail-in Application
Death Mail-in Application
Online Order Application
Phone Order – 1-877-572-6332

Fast Birth Certificates Tim Sanner Online Online = $15.95 + additional $39.95 - $99.95 (depending on level of service desired) Company enters your order information into VitalChek.com. The order is then processed as noted above, and subject to all Application Processing Fees noted here.
Express Vitals Express Vitals Online Online = $15.95 + additional $49.00 Company enters your order information into VitalChek.com. The order is then processed as noted above, and subject to all Application Processing Fees noted here.
US Birth Certificate Richard McAdams Online Online = $15.95 + additional $59.00 Company enters your order information into VitalChek.com. The order is then processed as noted above, and subject to all Application Processing Fees noted here.
US Vital Records Express Legal Document Services Online Online = $15.95 + additional $59.87 Company enters your order information into VitalChek.com. The order is then processed as noted above, and subject to all Application Processing Fees noted here.
Birth Certificate State Unknown Online Online = $15.95 + additional $69.95 - $99.95 (depending on level of service desired) Company enters your order information into VitalChek.com. The order is then processed as noted above, and subject to all Application Processing Fees noted here.
 

BEFORE you call or visit, please check the type of certificate you want to order to make sure District of Columbia law allows you access. Review entitlement requirements for birth, death, or domestic partnership certificates (which can also be printed out via this Entitlement Guidelines Information Sheet). Complete guidance regarding these requirements may be reviewed at https://dc.gov/page/laws-regulations-and-courts.

The DC Vital Records Division (DCVRD) maintains birth certificates dating back to August 1874. Birth records become public after 125 years. Death records become public after 75 years. All other birth records are closed, and certified copies may only be obtained if you are legally entitled and present the required personal documentation and fees.

DCVRD does not issue birth, death, or domestic partnership certificates for individuals if those events occurred in another state. Please make these requests directly to the vital records office in the state where the birth, death or domestic partnership occurred. Visit the CDC’s Where to Write for Vital Records page for a listing of agencies. For certificates for US citizens who were born or died abroad, please visit the US Department of State’s Birth Abroad or Death Abroad webpages.

If you need an Apostille (to authenticate a document for use in countries that are part of the Hague Convention), contact the DC Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications or call (202) 727-3117.

Common Questions

What do I need to bring with me to prove my identity?

We recommend that you bring several forms of ID to ensure that DCVRD employees are able to verify your identity.

For a printable version of the below requirements, please review our Identity Guidelines Information Sheet.

During your visit, you will be required to complete an identity verification questionnaire at our self- service kiosks. (Read more under “How do the on-site kiosks work?”)

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present at least ONE of the following forms of primary photo ID (which must be original, valid, unexpired, and undamaged.):

  • State-issued driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • Passport or passport card
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization card
  • Department of State card
  • Military ID Card
  • Law enforcement ID (must also present DC Superior Court subpoena)
  • Government employee ID (applies only to licensed social workers or government representatives with pre-existing approval from the State Registrar)

If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change, like an original marriage certificate or an original sealed legal name change order.

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity but you do not have a primary photo ID, you will be required to present TWO FORMS of alternate identification from the list below (which must show your full name, current address and/or signature where appropriate):

  • Valid, unexpired employment ID card (with photo) WITH a pay stub (dated within last 60 days)
  • Expired (within last 5 years) state-issued driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card or passport
  • Photo ID from a school in a U.S. state or territory (within last 3 years) WITH a report card, transcript or other proof of school enrollment (within last 3 years)
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • U.S. Selective Service card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Federal Census records
  • Court documents
  • Pay stub (within last 30 days)
  • Utility bill (dated within last 60 days)
  • Valid DC ONE card
  • W2 or federal tax return from the previous year
  • DD214 military discharge/separation document
  • Legible printed copy of primary/secondary photo ID

If the kiosk is unable to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present ONE form of primary photo ID and TWO of the documents from the list below. (These options will appear when you present your primary photo ID.)

  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 or filed US tax return from the previous year
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo

How do the on-site kiosks work?

When you order certificates in person at the DCVRD office, you’ll use kiosks (computers with touch screens) to place the order

You’ll choose English or Spanish (or ask staff for assistance if you need another language) and select the certificate you want to purchase.

Then you’ll choose your relationship to the person on the certificate, check if you’re entitled to order that birth, death, or domestic partnership certificate and show proof of this relationship. You’ll answer questions about the certificate holder, like full name, gender, parents’ names, date of birth or death.

The kiosk will ask four to five questions about your identity. Then to further prove your identity, you’ll need to show the required ID as detailed above. If you don’t answer enough of the kiosk questions correctly, you’ll have to present additional ID as detailed above.

Finally, make your payment by credit or debit card, check, cash, money order or voucher payment. Be sure to keep your kiosk receipt. When your number is called, you’ll need to bring it, your ID and any other supporting documents up to the counter to pick up your certificate.

How to I demonstrate that I am entitled to a certificate?

See our birth, death, or domestic partnership pages for information.

If I come to the DCVRD office, can I get a certificate on the same day?

In most cases, yes; however some requests may require a search into DCVRD archives, which are stored off site.

While most of archived records (pre-2009 birth and pre-2005 death) have been digitized, some originals must be ordered from DC Archives or the Federal Records Center. These requests typically take two to three weeks after you clear identity and entitlement verification and pay the associated certificate fee.

A record cannot be identified as available prior to purchase because under District of Columbia statute (D. C. Code § 7-231.27(a)(2)), the fee associated with a certificate is for the DCVRD office to search the records to determine if a record is on file. This non-refundable fee includes one copy of the certificate if the record is found. If the record is not found, you will be issued a Certificate of Search.

Please review our return of fees policy. This information will be helpful should you notice an error on your certificate and wish to immediately amend it.

How do I provide feedback about my experience?

You can complete a survey to provide your feedback. Please follow the link below that applies to your experience.

DC Vital Records Division Survey – Walk-up Customers

DC Vital Records Division Survey – Remote Order Customers ( Coming Soon )

You can provide feedback regarding the service you received from the DCVRD or a data provider (a medical facility, physician or funeral services provider) by clicking here for an Ask the Director form.

To file a complaint with a licensing board regarding the service you received, contact the applicable board via the websites below.

DC Licensed Data Provider Type(s) of Vital Records Services Provided Licensing Board Contact Information
Medical Facility Reports birth, death, and fetal death data to DC Health using an electronic system. These data are used to produce certificates. DC Health – Health Regulation and Licensing Administration
Physician Reports and certifies birth, death and fetal death data to DC Health using an electronic system. These data are used to produce certificates. DC Health – Health Regulation and Licensing Administration
Funeral Services Provider Reports death and fetal death data to DC Health using an electronic system. These data are used to produce certificates. DC Board of Funeral Directors

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) enforces the District of Columbia’s consumer protection laws. If you believe that you have been taken advantage of by an unlawful, deceptive or unethical business, you may file a complaint with the DC Office of the Attorney General – Office of Consumer Protection.

OAG Consumer Complaint Form

 

We take data privacy very seriously, and this includes protecting sensitive personal information that’s not considered a public record in the District of Columbia. Please make sure you have the documents you need to prove your identity and your entitlement to the certificate and that you’re ready to pay the fee. Be prepared for phone and in-person wait times, and allow processing and shipping time for phone, on-line and mail orders. Processing and shipping times vary by vendor.