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Birth Certificates

Photo of a set of diverse babies

The Vital Records Division maintains open and closed birth certificates dating back to August 1874.  Closed birth records date less than 100 years from the date of birth. Open birth records date more than 100 years from the date of birth.  Click on the Approval Guidelines for more details on how to obtain a closed birth record.

The following individuals may retrieve closed birth records.

  • An Individual requesting his/her own birth certificate.
  • A parent named on the certificate.
  • An immediate family member (mother, father, sister and brother)*; proof of familial Relationship must be submitted.
  • A court-appointed guardian of the individual named on the certificate. A foster care appointment is not acceptable; court-certified proof of guardianship must be submitted.
  • Social workers who present 1). a valid unexpired Government-issued photo ID, 2). a valid, current work ID and 3). a letter of authorization signed by the parent or legal guardian, a certified court order, or a letter signed by their supervisor on letterhead explaining the reason for the request.

*Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other relatives cannot obtain a birth certificate from Vital Records prior to the record becoming open, unless the Approval Guidelines are met.

Walk-in Application Requests

A walk-in application request can be made for a certified copy of a birth certificate by visiting the Vital Records Division located at:

Department of Health
Vital Records Division
899 North Capitol Street, NE - First Floor
Washington, DC 20002

The hours of operations are 8:30 am- 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday and the office is closed on major holidays. 

Birth Certificate Services

Description Fee
Birth Certificate - Certified $23.00
Foreign and Domestic Adoptions $28.00
Gender Designation Processing $28.00
Delayed Birth Certificate $23.00
Correction/Amendment to a Birth Certificate $23.00
Administrative Copies (not for public use)* $10.00 per request
Verifications (not for public use)* $5.00 per request
Acknowledgment of Parentage Verification $5.00 per request
Certificate of Search (3 Consecutive Years)** $23.00 - Births

*The Vital Records Division (VRD) provides vital event data and administrative copies of vital records for events occurring in the District of Columbia to Federal and State and Local Government entities.  Administrative copies of vital records and vital event data may only be used for administrative, research or statistical purposes.

**The VRD will perform a search with the information you provide in your application.  If we are unable to locate a record with the information provided, you will receive a Certificate of Search.  If within three years from issuance of the original Certificate of Search you are able to provide additional information with which we are able to locate the record, VRD will provide the vital record to you at no additional charge.  Please note, however, that you will be required to return to the VRD all Certificates of Search issued to you in association with that order prior to receiving the vital record.

If you are visiting our office to receive services and have general questions, call us at (877) 572-6332 – Option #1.

Mail-in Application Requests

For your convenience, you can request a birth certificate to which you are entitled through VitalChek Network, Inc., an independent company that we have partnered with to provide this service. VitalChek can be reached through their website, VitalChek.com.

An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service; all major credit cards are accepted.

Please complete your mail-in request for a certified copy of a birth certificate by completing the following form: 

Birth Certificate Application

Please allow 36-48 hours for mail-in applications to be received prior to calling the customer service department with questions about your application. Once the order is received, processing time for mail orders is 7-10 business days. Based on the shipping selected in the application, you should receive your record 12-15 days after your application is received by the Vital Records Division.  The contact phone number to call for an order status is (877) 572-6332 – Option #4.

Mail-in Application Fees

Description Fee
Birth Certificate $23
Mail order Processing $6
Shipping -
UPS Next Day Air $20.00
UPS to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico $40.00
UPS to Canada or Mexico $26.00
UPS Worldwide Expedited $36.50
U.S. Postal Service- Regular Mail $0.00

Gender Designation Requests

Gender Designation Instructions, Application Form, and Model Letter

If you have any questions about Gender Designation, please call us at (877) 572-6332- option #5.

Online and Telephone-Order Requests 

For your convenience, you can make your requests online or over the telephone through VitalChek Network, Inc., an independent company that we have partnered with to provide this service. VitalChek can be reached through their website, VitalChek.com, or by phone at (877) 572-6332 - Option #2.  

An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service; all major credit cards are accepted.

If you would like to know the status of an existing order please call (877) 572-6332 - Option #4.

Online/Phone Application Fees

Description Fee
Birth Certificate $23
Online/Phone order Processing $15.95
Shipping -
UPS Next Day Air $20.00
UPS to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico $40.00
UPS to Canada or Mexico $26.00
UPS Worldwide Expedited $36.50
U.S. Postal Service- Regular Mail $0.00

Corrections/Amendments

There are several provisions in the District of Columbia statue whereby corrections, amendments and/or changes may be made to birth and death certificates. Vital Records encourages you to mail your correction requests or call Vital Record’s Customer Service line at (877) 572-6332 - Option #5.  Vital Records Division will gladly explain and forward all the necessary information to you on how to make corrections and amendments.

Genealogy/Legacy Requests

Important Information Regarding Genealogy/Legacy Record Requests

If you would like to know the status of your genealogy/legacy order placed via mail, phone or online, please call (877) 572-6332 - Option #4.

If you have general questions regarding genealogy/legacy searches, please call (877) 572-6332 - Option #3.

Related Links

Related Services: 
Service Contact: 
Center for Policy Planning and Evaluation, Vital Records Division
Contact Phone: 
(202) 442-9303
Contact Fax: 
(202) 442-4848
Contact TTY: 
711
Contact Suite #: 
First Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm