The process of getting a copy of your birth certificate is much easier today than it was in the past. Today, all you have to do is request the copy of the birth certificate online. You fill out an application form, provide a few details and, a few clicks later, your birth certificate request is processed. In the past, depending on when you were born, things could be much more challenging and time-consuming.
A Very Brief History of Birth Certificates
Did you know that the use of birth certificates did not become a normal process until after World War II? Prior to 1946, about a third of the U.S. population had no record of birth. This was largely due to these births not taking place in a hospital, but rather at home, where they were not always documented and recorded.
Once the practice was standardized, the number of people without birth certificates declined. By 1963, birth certificates were the norm and also became a standard legal document to prove citizenship.1
Obtaining a Copy of a Birth Certificate Then
In order to get a copy of an original birth certificate in the past, it required making a trip to your local country records office. Once there, you had to fill out an application form, then stand in long lines waiting to see a clerk. When it was your turn to see the clerk, they had to verify you had proper documentation for you to request a copy of the birth certificate.
Typical documentation that one could use included:
Most of the time, you would have to provide at least two forms of acceptable documentation. If you arrived at the clerk’s office without the right documentation, you had to get out of line, go get it, and then wait in line all over again.
Once you had everything in order, you paid a fee to request a copy of the birth certificate. However, you did not get it right that minute. You had to wait for weeks, sometimes months, before the birth certificate was sent to you in the mail.
The county clerk would have to process the request manually, which meant sitting down and going through files and looking for the original birth certificate. As technology advanced, birth certificates were recorded onto microfiche (microfilm). Yet, it was still a manual process of sitting down and going through frame after frame of film looking for the requested birth certificate.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Birth Certificate Now
Once computers and scanning technology came about, things became much more efficient and easier. While you still have to wait to get your birth certificate in the mail, the process is much faster. Birth certificates are now scanned and stored electronically. This makes searching for and finding the record of your birth much simpler.
Technology also makes it possible for you to go online and fill out the application form without having to visit your local county records office. There are no long lines to wait in anymore. You just fill out the form, provide the proper documentation, and pay the fee. You can even request expedited delivery of your birth certificate, and you can often have it within a few days.
To order a copy of your birth certificate online, submit your application at FastBirthCertificates.com. If you have further questions or need assistance, please feel free to use our online contact form or call us at (415) 528-2585 today!