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Old 06-16-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
kilee

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How To Tell If A Birth Certificate Is The Original

My husband needs to apply for an enhanced license to enter Canada w/ for his new job. He needs his original birth certificate of a certified copy. He needs to get the license ASAP.

I found what I think is his original birth certificate, he doesn't think it is because it doesn't have a raised seal.

However mine does not have a raised seal and I know for a fact it's the original. His is falling apart at the seams but so is mine. We were born in 1974. Now my son's has a raised seal, but I don't think ours did.

We can go get a certified copy but it will require driving to Pittsburgh (from Buffalo) and back. I really don't want to waste a whole day doing that plus the gas money if I have his original, which I think it is.

So, does anyone know how to tell if it's original?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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I just recently had to get an "original" birth certificate (somewhere along the line mine got lost) and it cost me a whopping $74..

I was born in 1949 - and the original I just received does in fact have a raised seal on it..

Can you call the place where you would have to go to get one and find out if the one you have is considered "original"?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
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Who issued it? If it was issued by the hospital, it is not a certified copy. I don't believe all certified copies have a raised seal. You might contact the agency that issued it to inquire.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Ann View Post
I just recently had to get an "original" birth certificate (somewhere along the line mine got lost) and it cost me a whopping $74..

I was born in 1949 - and the original I just received does in fact have a raised seal on it..

Can you call the place where you would have to go to get one and find out if the one you have is considered "original"?
Yikes! Why so expensive. I think Ct. is about $10 each. I went to city hall and I bought two each for all of the DSs....one always ends up getting lost.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:39 PM   #5
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A certified copy always has an original seal. Which is what you got C.Ann. Since we'd make the trip on Friday, I think I'm going to send him to the DMV tomorrow and have him just go see if they will accept it or not.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DawnCt1 View Post
Yikes! Why so expensive. I think Ct. is about $10 each. I went to city hall and I bought two each for all of the DSs....one always ends up getting lost.
Good question.. If that didn't give me a massive coronary, nothing will..
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:46 PM   #7
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Depending on "how" quickly he needs it, I was able to get copies expedited from NY Dept of Vital Statistics in my case and they were overnighted to me. It was an asap thing, too.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:01 PM   #8
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I work for a mutual fund transfer agency, and we only accept original, certified birth certificates (b/c) for certain transactions.

A certified birth certificate will have an original signature, original stamp or a raised seal from the the issuing body. As posted previously, not all originals have a raised seal.

If a b/c lacks a raised seal, it may have a disclaimer that says that only an original will have an original signature by the issuing body.

One that I looked at today had the issuing person's signature in red ink. The disclaimer stated that the signature must be in red ink to be an original, certified copy.

Hope that helps and hope you get your hubby's b/c quickly. Usually, the cost for a certified b/c is $10-20.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:12 PM   #9
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Looking at it, the more I don't even think it's a birth certificate. It says Birth Registration Notice.

Oh well, the good news is that in my research I found out we only have to go to Erie (about 90 minutes away) instead of all the way down to Pittsburgh. That will be a huge cost and time saver.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilee View Post
We can go get a certified copy but it will require driving to Pittsburgh (from Buffalo) and back. I really don't want to waste a whole day doing that plus the gas money if I have his original, which I think it is.

So, does anyone know how to tell if it's original?
Are you sure you have to drive to Pittsburgh & back? Have you called to someone in the office? What if you lived in Hawaii? I can't believe that that is the only way to get a copy of a BC.

I had what was considered an "original" birth certificate with a raised seal. Only it was the hospital's original birth certificate, and not the certified STATE copy. I had to plop down $25 for a certified state copy. It wasn't listed on the web site, but when I called up the Department of Records for the city I was born, they said I could simply write them a letter, providing notarized proof who I was, plus driver's license ID, maybe something else, too, like proof of residence, and state the reason I needed the certified copy of the BC. They would mail the BC only to the address on the driver's license - to guard against identity theft.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:21 PM   #11
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He could do it by mail, but he needs it sooner than later. If we go in person, he fits in the birth year range to get it immediately. I did find though that it looks like we only have to go as far as Erie, I'm going to have him call tomorrow to check on that.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilee View Post
He could do it by mail, but he needs it sooner than later. If we go in person, he fits in the birth year range to get it immediately. I did find though that it looks like we only have to go as far as Erie, I'm going to have him call tomorrow to check on that.
If it doesn't work out in Erie, call & see if he can Fed-ex all the required info, plus a Fedex, pre-paid, pre-stamped return Fedex envelope, that they could simply stuff the BC in and send it back. If you are able to get through to someone who says yes, make sure you get her name and address the Fedex envelope & letter reminding her about the situation, so she can be the one to handle it all.

ETA: Also, make sure the person putting it in a return Fedex envelope places it in an a Fedex drop box, or that a Fedex person picks it up. Provide the 800 number for it, or say, you will arrange it, if need be. There will be a delay if it gets dropped off in a regular postal mailbox, and a postal worker finally spots it. I would imagine government buildings usually have a Fedex drop box in the lobby or mailroom.

Good luck!
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Last edited by Imzadi; 06-16-2010 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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The state of PA has a mail order service for vital records, I used it when I needed to get a copy of my dad's death certificate. You order over the internet with a credit card and it comes in the mail pretty quick.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...ificates/14121

I couldn't find my birth certificate when I needed to get my passport so I went to the State Office building in Pittsburgh and they printed it out right there. If he needs it ASAP, I would go to the office in Erie.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:17 PM   #14
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Glad you don't have to drive all day!

I was googling, and found on a PA county page info on getting a passport, and it states "Certificates titled “Notification of Birth Registration” or “Notice of Birth”, as well as Hospital Certificates and Baptismal Certificates are not acceptable."

So it looks like this piece of paper wouldn't acceptable for the enhanced DL, since it isn't OK for a passport... Of course you'd already figured that out, and I'm glad you did!
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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I'm guessing he was born in PA? I'm sure it's different everywhere but in Md, we can just go to the closest health dept and get a certified copy. And I'm pretty sure that's only if you were born in the state, but it sure is an easy way to get one! Costs $20 and just takes a few minutes. I was able to get one for my adult daughter last year so she could apply for a passport, which kind of surprised me. I didn't have to really prove relationship or explain why I wanted it or anything.
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