Birth Certificates – Essential Documents

Considered as vital records, birth certificates are documents containing information about the birth of an individual, including the name at birth, the date, time and place of birth, a birth registration number and the name of the birth parents. All newborn children are required to get a birth certificate, but this is usually obtained after the doctor handling the childbirth submits the forms to the proper government agency. Aside from recording live births, birth documents also record still births that occur within certain vicinities.

People acquire their own birth records for a number of very important reasons. It is usually one of the requirements when applying for a visa or for a passport. In fact travel between the US, Canada and Mexico will require birth certificates by the year 2007.

You can also use birth documents to prove your nationality. In some countries, the citizenship of an individual is highly dependent on where you were born so birth certificates become particularly helpful. In determining your genealogy, birth records are valuable since they also indicate the maiden name of your birth mother.

Birth certificates are also fundamental requirements when getting a social security number, enrolling in school or applying for an insurance plan. For parents, getting the birth records of their children is essential when submitting claims for child benefits as well as tax benefits. Voting, obtaining work permits, entering the military service and qualifying for pension are other instances in which birth certificates are considered required documentation.

Birth records also hold valuable in determining the statistics and demographics related to a particular location since they are used as the basis for computations. For countries that have a national identification system, birth certificates are the foundations of the allocation of the digits assigned to individuals.

Keep in mind, however, that the original copy of the birth certificate stays with the registrar in your locale, but you can request for copies of birth certificates at any time. Just make sure that the copies you acquire are certified or authenticated to prove that they are faithful copies of the original.

Most registrars have two kinds of birth certificates, namely the long forms and the short forms. Long forms, which are usually photocopies, contain all the information from the original, including data about the birth parents. Short forms, on the other hand, contain limited information. Short forms, also called computer certifications, are oftentimes cheaper than the photocopies.

Birth certificates in the form of computer certifications have now been made available online for a minimal fee. Acquiring birth certificates online allows you the anonymity of requesting for birth certificates belonging to other people whether for purposes of tracing your ancestry or conducting research on an individual.

As with any request for public records, you will need basic information such as the name of the individual and the place where the birth took place for any requests. Depending on the service you are using, you will be able to receive copies of birth certificates in as little as 24 hours.

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