Options for Getting a Pennsylvania Birth Certificate Copy

When you need a copy of your birth certificate or a family member’s, there are different ways to get it. The method you choose depends on how quickly you need this copy and how much effort you want to put into it. Find out more about a couple of different options for obtaining a Pennsylvania birth certificate copy.


Before you try to get a birth certificate copy, you should be aware that only certain individuals can do so. If the birth certificate is yours, you will need to show proof of age and identity. If you are trying to get a Pennsylvania birth certificate copy for someone else, such as a family member, you can only do so if you are a legal representative, power of attorney, spouse, parent, sibling, child, stepparent or stepchild, grandparent or great-grandparent of the individual in question.

Method 1: Pennsylvania Department of Health

You can go through the Pennsylvania Department of Health in order to get a copy of a birth certificate. This is the traditional way to do so. You’ll need to print out an application form, complete it, include the right documentation and money order and check, and mail it to the Division of Vital Records. The documentation you’ll need to provide includes a copy of your driver’s license, passport or another government-issued photo ID. The check or money order you send should be $20 made payable to Vital Records.

Method 2: Online Ordering

You can order a Pennsylvania birth certificate copy online, which provides an easier and faster way to obtain it. When you choose this method, you don’t have to worry about printing out an application, filling it out and sending it in the mail. Instead, you fill out an online application and email, text, fax or mail in your documentation. Depending on the type of processing you choose, you can have your birth certificate copy processed in as little as four to six business days. If you’re not in a rush, you can expect it to take about 20 to 30 business days to process.

Benefits of Online Ordering

Why should you consider using online ordering for your Pennsylvania birth certificate copy? This option allows you to receive your copy in a much shorter amount of time, especially if the Vital Records department is experiencing higher processing times. Ordering online is also more convenient and much easier to do than going through the traditional way of ordering a birth certificate copy.