Birth Certificate example Certified vs. Uncertified

What is the Difference Between a Certified and Uncertified Birth Certificate?

Birth Certificate example of parent from Italy

A birth certificate is a vital document that records the birth of a child so finding the difference between a certified vs. uncertified birth certificate is important.

The certified birth certificate is an official record made at the time of birth, usually in a hospital setting, and filed with the state’s vital records office. However, there are two types of birth certificates: certified and uncertified, and they serve different purposes.

Certified Birth Certificate

How do you know if the birth certificate copy you get or already possess is an officially certified one?

A certified birth certificate is a copy made by the state agency charged with storing the documents. Agency registrars stamp, emboss or sign the copy to indicate that it is a true and correct copy of the original document in their records. It has an official government seal, which could be embossed, raised, or multicolored. This certified copy must be notarized by the registrar, meaning it must be signed and dated. A certified birth certificate can be used to prove your identity for legal purposes such as claiming insurance benefits, passport applications, and more.

Uncertified Birth Certificate

On the other hand, an uncertified birth certificate is often issued by hospitals as a keepsake for new parents. These are novelty certificates that could have the newborns’ footprints or handprints on them. It will show the newborn’s name, the date and time of birth, and the hospital’s name. However, an uncertified copy does not have an official government seal and does not need to be notarized. Therefore, it cannot be used for legal purposes.

In summary, while both certified and uncertified birth certificates contain similar information about the individual’s birth details, their uses differ significantly. A certified birth certificate is an official document that can be used for legal identification purposes, while an uncertified one is more of a keepsake item with no legal standing.

For more information about certified vs. uncertified birth certificate, you can visit This site provides comprehensive details about these documents and their uses, as well as how to get a birth certificate expedited to you. They have recommendations from worldwide U.S. Embassies.

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