The Division of Vital Records maintains records of births that occurred from 1906 to the present. Certified copies of birth certificates (with a raised seal) are issued and acceptable for various uses, such as:
- Personal identification
- Passport application
- Social Security
There are three ways to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate. Be sure to complete all required information on the application form provided within each link:
*Please note: Processing times vary by site. You may select the links above for additional information on specific processing times in our public offices.
There is a $10 fee for each certified copy. Check or money order should be made payable to Vital Records. This fee may be waived for individuals who served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces or their dependents. The Armed Forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests. An additional fee is charged by Vitalchek for using the online ordering process.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW: Birth certificates maintained by the Division of Vital Records are not public certificates and, therefore, cannot be released under the provisions of Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know-Law. To determine if you are eligible to apply for a certified copy, please review the following:
Who May Request a Birth Certificate?
Only certain people can request a birth certificate. You must be:
- Person named on the birth certificate, who is 18 years of age or older (if under 18, immediate family member must apply)
- Legal representative
- Husband / wife
- Parent / step-parent*
- Brother / sister / half-brother / half-sister
- Son / daughter / stepson* / stepdaughter*
- Grandparent / great grandparent (specify maternal or paternal)
- Grandchild / great grandchild
- Power of Attorney (for person named on birth certificate or immediate family member listed above)
If the person named on the birth certificate is deceased, a family member who is not an immediate family member must submit a copy of the death certificate to be eligible to receive a certified copy of the birth certificate.
*A step-parent or step-child is required to submit parents' marriage record supporting their relationship.
What if the Year of Birth is Unknown?
An applicant may request a multi year birth search .
On December 15, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett approved Senate Bill 361.
This bill amends the Act of June 29, 1953 (P.L. 304, No. 66), known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953, to provide for public access to certain birth and death certificates after a fixed amount of time has passed. This legislation provides that such documents become public records 105 years after the date of birth or 50 years after the date of death.
You may access Pennsylvania birth and death indices to search for birth records from 1906 through 1908 and death records from 1906 through 1963. The original birth and death records for these years are located at the Pennsylvania State Archives . Information on searching the indices is available on the Public Records page.