{short description of image} Contact Us
 
Birth Records

<< BACK  
   

Frequently Asked Questions

Birth Records Birth Records Birth Records

Birth Records

    {short description of image}

FORMS

Application for Search of Birth Record Files

Application for Search of Birth Record Files of a Deceased Individual

Application for Search of Birth Record Files of a Deceased Infant
Fillable/Savable PDF
(Works best with Reader 7.0)


Application for Gender Reassignment

Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request

Ordering Information
     
 

Birth Records

  How do I get a birth certificate? Top of Page

A person 18 or older, a parent shown on the record, or a guardian/legal representative of the child (written evidence of guardianship or legal representation required) can obtain his/her birth record or the birth record of his/her child or ward from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Division of Vital Records or from the county clerk in the county where the birth occurred. (List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses) Birth certificates filed prior to 1916 must be obtained from the county clerk's office.

You can order a certified copy of the birth certificate for $15 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time; a certification for $10 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time; or a commemorative birth certificate for $40 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time.

Records can be ordered online, by mail, by fax or in person.

Please note: Current processing time on mailed requests for CERTIFIED COPIES ONLY is approximately three to four weeks from the date the request is received. (This does not include mail delivery time to and from this office.)

  Who is entitled to receive a birth certificate? Top of Page

Birth records are not public records and only the following are eligible to receive certified copies:

  • The person named on the record if 18 years or older;
  • The parent(s) shown on the record; or
  • A legal guardian or legal representative of the child. Written evidence of guardianship or legal representation is required.

Uncertified copies of birth records for genealogical purposes are available to individuals who may not otherwise be entitled to receive a certified copy, if the person's date of birth precedes the current date by 75 years or more. Birth certificates filed before 1916 must be obtained from the county clerk. (List of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses)

A CERTIFIED copy of a birth record of a deceased individual, which occurred less than 75 years ago, may be available to eligible parties upon completion of a special application form and showing proof of death. A GENEALOGICAL copy of a birth record of a deceased individual, which occurred more than 75 years ago, may be available to eligible parties upon completion of a special application form and showing of proof of death. Eligibility will be determined upon receipt and review of the documentation submitted. You may request this special application form at dph.vitalrec@illinois.gov or by writing to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

  What can I use if I don't have a current/valid photo ID? Top of Page

If you do not have a valid photo id, such as a drivers license or state issued photo identification (ID), we need TWO pieces of documentation with your name, one of which must show your current address, to prove your identity.  ONE piece of documentation can be a bill or other mail.  The OTHER piece of documentation must be one of the following items listed below:

  • Medical/car insurance card
  • Car registration paperwork
  • Credit card statement
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck stub with imprinted information
  • Public assistance card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Active duty military ID with issued and expiration dates

Matricula Consular card issued after October 2006 is acceptable on its own.  However, if issued prior to October 2006, we need ONE additional documentation showing current address as noted above.  If you do not have any of the items listed above, please submit a copy of a current utility bill (electricity, cellular phone, water, etc) showing your name and your current address.

If your driver’s license is expired and you have an extension sticker on the back, you must submit a copy of both sides.

If you have an expired driver’s license that is no more than six months expired, we need ONE additional documentation showing your name and your current address.

If you are currently incarcerated, you can submit a dated copy of your prison intake/offender summary sheet containing your photo.  If you have been released from prison within the last six months, we will accept a copy of the release papers along with the prison photo ID.

If you are writing from a state or federal agency, you can submit a copy of your photo work badge.

If you are writing from a hospital, you can submit a copy of your photo work badge.

SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  I have custody of a child. Can I get copies of the birth records? Is there a difference between guardianship and custody? Top of Page

Custody broadly means the physical care of a child or adult. Unless you are the child's parent or have some other legal authority to represent the child, you would not be entitled to the birth certificate. Guardianship is an appointment made by a court and would entitle you to a copy of the birth certificate.

  How much will a birth certificate cost? Top of Page

A certified copy of the birth certificate costs $15 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time.

A certification costs $10 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time.

A commemorative birth certificate costs $40 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time.

  Can I pay with a credit card and is there an additional fee? Top of Page

Yes, you can use a credit card. There is an additional $10 handling charge for credit card transactions. Requests being sent via overnight mail will be assessed a $19.50 UPS fee in the United States only -- for out of country requests an additional fee will be assessed. A $3 fee will be applied for each additional person in a group order. Records can be ordered online and by fax.

  Is the fee waived for military personnel or for any other reason? Top of Page

There is no fee waiver specifically for military personnel. Illinois law only permits a fee waiver for certified copies of records needed for veteran benefits. The request for these copies must be submitted by the United States Veterans Administration or by any accredited veterans organization to be used in determining the eligibility of any person to participate in benefits available from such organization, or proof of their need must be submitted with your application.

  Are there different types of birth records or certificates? Top of Page

Yes, the following three types of birth records are available:

  • A certified copy or "long form," the most readily recognizable birth record, is an exact copy of your birth certificate as prepared by the hospital.
  • A certification or "short form" is a computer abstract (summary) of your birth information in an 8 " X 7" size. The certification may include parent information depending on your year of birth.
  • A commemorative birth certificate is a beautiful 9" wide x 20" long document signed by the governor and state registrar and intended as a keepsake to mark the beginning of a new life.

  Can I get the birth certificate online? Top of Page

Yes. Click here for more information about online ordering.

  How can I expedite the processing of the birth certificate request? Top of Page

If you need fast service, you can order online or by fax. There is an extra charge for using a credit card and for UPS next day return delivery.

  What should I do if I can't download a form? Top of Page

The forms in this Web site are in PDF format. To view PDF documents, you need a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader Software. If after downloading the Adobe Acrobat Reader Software you continue to have problems downloading the form and you do not want to order online, you can request the record by writing to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

The letter must include the following information:

  • The child's full name at birth;
  • Date of birth;
  • City and county where the birth occurred (including hospital, if known);
  • The name of the parent(s) shown on the record, including the mother's maiden name;
  • An indication of whether you are requesting a certified copy, certification or commemorative birth certificate;
  • A money order or check made the "Illinois Department of Public Health" for the appropriate fee for the records requested (If you want to pay by credit card, please include your credit card number and expiration date; and a daytime phone number, including area code, should it be necessary to contact you about the request);
  • Your return address;
  • Your written signature; and
  • A legible/readable copy of your valid photo identification card. If not provided, unreadable or expired, the request will be returned unprocessed.

  Can you fax or e-mail me a copy of the birth certificate? Top of Page

No, a fax or e-mail record is not valid. Birth records can only be picked up in person or sent to you by regular mail or by UPS next day return delivery (separate charges apply). An adult signature is required for UPS deliveries. We can UPS packages to your place of work. UPS deliveries cannot be made to post office boxes.

  How do I get a birth certificate with an apostille? Top of Page

After you obtain the birth certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health, or from the county clerk in the county where the birth occurred (list of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses) it needs to be sent to the Illinois Secretary of State, Index Department to receive an apostille, which serves as a specific authenticating certificate required by certain countries to verify the legitimacy of a document.

Information about obtaining an apostille is available on the Illinois Secretary of State's website or by calling 800-252-8980.

  Why doesn't my birth certificate have a raised state seal on it? Top of Page

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records has not used a raised seal since 1985. All certified copies of records issued by this office are affixed with the state and department seals. They are embossed in the lower right and left hand corners. The texture can be felt when running your fingers over them. These certified copies are good for all legal purposes.

  How do I get a birth certificate when I'm told that there is no record of my birth? Top of Page

If there is no record of your birth at the county or state level, a delayed record of birth can be created. This process normally starts with a request for a birth search. An application for search of birth record files is completed or a written request with your birth information, as you know it, is sent to IDPH along with a check or money order made the "Illinois Department of Public Health" (Do not send cash) for the $15 search fee. Staff will search the indexes for your birth certificate and if unable to locate it, will forward a "Certification that Record was not Found."

  What is a Certification that Record was not Found? Top of Page

“Certification that Record was not Found” is a (certified) document issued from our office, with the raised seal of the State of Illinois, indicating that our office was unable to locate the birth record requested.

  Can I use this document to obtain an ID or a passport? Top of Page

Many agencies will accept this Certification along with an additional piece of documentation, such as: baptismal records, high school transcripts, social security applications, etc. It may be more beneficial to provide the agency with the oldest document, e.g. childhood records, instead of more recent documents (marriage license).

Please see below suggested documents as guide in providing another agency with additional documents to prove the birth facts.

Please note: We cannot guarantee that any agency will accept the State of Illinois “Certification that Record was not Found.”

  What if the agency does not accept this Certification? Top of Page

If the “Certification that Record was not Found” is unacceptable for the intended purpose, please return it to our office within one year of the date of issuance, and contact us about other options that may be available.

  What happens if I come back at a later date (more than one year from the original request)? Top of Page

You will have to submit a new request with the fee and documentation as proof of your birth facts.

  How does a delayed record of birth get established? Top of Page

Establishing the delayed record involves providing several forms of documentary evidence to verify the information included in each item on the birth certificate. These documents must be at least five years old, if the person is over seven years of age at the time of the request, in order to be used. The following documents may be used.

  • Hospital record of the delivery
  • Attending physician's or licensed midwife's record of the delivery
  • Baptismal, cradle roll or other church record
  • Birth announcement
  • Life insurance or burial insurance application
  • Hospital or clinic admission record
  • School enrollment or school census record
  • Federal census record
  • Marriage license application (not the certificate)
  • Voting registration application (not the card)
  • Social Security application (Numident printout) (not the card)
  • Military record (DD214)
  • Your child's birth certificate

  I didn't get what I wanted. How can I get a refund? Top of Page

Search fees are not refundable. Most refunds result when customers are unable to supply the documentation necessary to complete the request. If you believe you qualify for a refund, you can write to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

  How do I request a birth certificate if the birth occurred in another state or country? Top of Page

Vital Records has certificates only for births that occurred in Illinois or for foreign-born children who were adopted in Illinois. You can find information on obtaining certificates from other states or U.S. territories on the Internet from the National Center for Health Statistics.

For information on obtaining certificates from other countries, contact the embassy or the nearest consulate in the U.S. for the country in which the birth occurred. Addresses and telephone numbers for consular offices in the U.S. can be found on the U.S. State Department's Web site.

  I'm doing research. How do I get copies of multiple birth certificates? Top of Page

All requests by bonafide researchers seeking confidential vital records data or certificates must be submitted in writing to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records and approved by the state registrar (the director of Public Health). The request must include a study protocol that contains objectives of the research; rationale for the research, including scientific literature justifying the current proposal; overall study methods, including copies of forms, questionnaires and consent forms used to contact facilities, physicians or study subjects; methods for the processing of data; storage and security measures taken to insure confidentiality of the registrant and parental identifying information; time frame of the study; description of the funding source of the study (e.g., federal contract); and the curriculum vitae of the principal investigator and a list of collaborators. In addition, the research request must specify what identifying information is needed and how the information will be used. Birth certificates or identifying information cannot be released without informed consent of the mother to whom the record relates.

  Can you tell me if someone gave birth to a child without ordering a record? Top of Page

No, a search fee is required in advance of any processing of a request. There are also eligibility requirements that have to be met in instances of birth and death information.

  All I want to know is the time on my birth record. Can you tell me that? Is it daylight savings time? Top of Page

Staff are not allowed to look up your birth record to give you this information. You will need to submit a request to receive your birth certificate.

Note: Prior to July 1, 1959, births and deaths were to be recorded on standard time, even though the community in which the birth or death took place was observing daylight savings time. On July 1, 1959, a new law became effective legalizing daylight savings time as being state standard time between the last Sunday in April at 2 a.m. and the last Sunday in October at 2 a.m. Since July 1, 1959, all births and deaths are recorded using the current time.

Corrections


  How do I correct an error on my birth certificate? Top of Page

You can indicate the desired changes on the Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request and send it to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, 925 East Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702-2737, along with the required $15 fee, which entitles you to one certification of your birth record (a computer summary of your birth information) at no additional charge. Please make your check or money order payable to the "Illinois Department of Public Health" (Do not send cash). Additional copies of the corrected record are $2 each, when requested at the same time.

Major corrections in the record will require documentary proof to ensure the integrity of the certificate. More than one document may be required in some instances. Examples of available documents that substantiate facts are:

  • baptismal or confirmation records;
  • cradle roll certificates;
  • first grade school records;
  • applicant's marriage record;
  • military records;
  • Social Security records;
  • child's birth record;
  • parents' marriage record;
  • parents' birth record(s);
  • immunization or clinic records;
  • insurance policies;
  • parents' naturalization certificate; or
  • census records.

If you have trouble downloading the Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request, you can send a written request to the Division of Vital Records. Include the name at birth, date of birth and place of birth. Then indicate what items need to be corrected.

Please note: Current processing time on mailed requests for ANY CORRECTIONS OR CHANGES to birth records, that contain the appropriate fee and ID is between 8 to 10 weeks from the date the request is received.


  Why are the corrections on my birth certificate done by drawing a line through the errors with the new information typed above? Can I get a clean copy of the corrected birth certificate? Top of Page

The Vital Records Act requires us to correct all vital records by drawing a line through the incomplete or incorrect information. This is called "interlineation." The correct information is then inserted above or adjacent to the item corrected. The purpose of this process is to clearly identify changes in the record to preserve the integrity of the certificate.

A certification of your birth record (a computer summary of your birth information) does not contain interlineation. It only shows the correct information and the date the record was amended. One certification of your birth record is provided as part of the correction process.

A certification can be purchased for $10. Additional copies of the certification are $2 each, when requested at the same time.


  Is my child's last name automatically changed when I add the father to the birth record? Top of Page

No, the child's surname is not automatically changed. If the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity forms are used, there is a space on the form to change the child's name. If the legitimation forms are used, again there is a space on the form to change the name. If the parents get an administrative or judicial paternity order, the parents will need a separate written request signed by both parents asking that the child's name be changed. The parents only have one year from the date paternity was established by the Courts or administratively. If the parents get a court order that indicates a name change, then the parents do not need to also sign a written request for the name change. The parent's written request or court order must show how the child's name is to appear on the new birth record.


  How do you change the child's name on the birth certificate? Top of Page

Last name changes to reflect the father's surname may be done through the legitimation or paternity process. The legitimation form used to add a biological father who has married the mother after the birth of the child contains a space to indicate a desire to change the child's surname. Click here for more information on legitimations.

There is also a space to indicate a desire to change the child's surname on the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, when paternity is established in this manner. If paternity is established by either an administrative order or a court order, you will need a separate written request signed by both parents asking that the child's name be changed within one year form the date paternity was established through the Courts or adminstratively. The statement must show how the child's name is to appear on the new birth record and must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records with the administrative order or a certified copy of the court order.

Name changes due to errors must be done through the corrections process. The following question addresses name changes due to court order.


  I've legally changed my name. How do I get my birth certificate corrected? Top of Page

If your name has been legally changed, then you will need to send a certified copy of the final court order of legal name change, a completed Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request, a copy of your non-expired government issued photo ID and a check or money order payable to the "Illinois Department of Public Health" (Do not send cash) for the required $15 fee. Additional copies of the birth certificate are $2 each if requested at the same time the amendment is being done. Please note: Current processing time on mailed requests for ANY CORRECTIONS OR CHANGES to birth records, that contain the appropriate fee and ID is between 8 to 10 weeks from the date the request is received. The mailing address is:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

If you do not have a certified copy of the final order from the court, you can obtain one from the circuit clerk of the county where the change was granted. (Click here for a list of circuit court clerks) (PLEASE NOTE: the record will be corrected by interlineation. See (Why are the corrections on my birth certificate done by drawing a line through the errors with the new information typed above?)


  What do I need to do to change my birth certificate to reflect a gender change due to an operation? Top of Page

Refer to information concerning this subject at www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/gender.htm.

Commemorative Birth Certificate

  What is a commemorative birth certificate? Top of Page

The commemorative birth certificate is a 9" wide x 20" official birth record signed by the governor and state registrar designed to be given as a keepsake to mark the beginning of a new life. The governor and the General Assembly have directed that the proceeds from the sale of these documents will be equally divided between the Illinois Child Abuse Prevention Fund and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  How do I obtain one? Top of Page

Under Illinois law, individuals eligible to receive a copy of a birth certificate are a person 18 or older, a parent shown on the record, or a guardian/legal representative of the child (written evidence of guardianship or legal representation required). Commemorative birth certificates are not available for individuals whose records were filed prior to 1916.

If you are ordering the certificate as a gift, but are not eligible to receive the record, the Division of Vital Records will forward the certificate to the eligible recipient. You must supply the recipient's name and address.

Download this application, PDF format, fill in the information requested and print it out.

The fee for a commemorative birth certificate is $40 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time. Make checks or money orders payable to the "Illinois Department of Public Health" (Do not send cash) and send the application and fee to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

*Be sure to include a legible/readable copy of your valid photo identification. If not provided, unreadable or expired, the request will be returned unprocessed.

Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery.

Paternity/Legitimations

  How do I get the father's name on (or off) the birth record? Top of Page

Because of the different factors involved, please contact us by e-mail at dph.vitalrec@illinois.gov or in writing to:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737

with the specifics of your situation.

  Is my child's last name automatically changed when I add the father to the birth record? Top of Page

No, the child's surname is not automatically changed. If the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity forms are used, there is a space on the form to change the child's name. If the legitimation forms are used, again there is a space on the form to change the name. If the parents get an administrative or judicial paternity order, the parents will need a separate written request signed by both parents asking that the child's name be changed within one year from the date paternity was established through the Courts or administratively. If the parents get a court order that indicates a name change, then the parents do not need to also sign a written request for the name change. The parent's written request or court order must show how the child's name is to appear on the new birth record.

  How do I get a copy of the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form that I filled out? Top of Page

A certified copy of the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form can be obtained by calling 800-447-4278 for a certified copy. There is no charge for the copy.


  What is a legitimation? Top of Page

A legitimation is when the biological parents marry after the birth of a child and they wish to add the father's name to a birth record. This requires the parents to send the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records a completed legitimation form (obtained from Vital Records); a certified copy of their marriage record (which is obtainable from the county clerks' office in the county where the marriage occurred; (click here for list of local county clerk offices); and a check or money order (Do not send cash) for the required $15. Please make your personal check or money order payable to the "Illinois Department of Public Health". Please note: Current processing time on mailed requests for legitimations and paternities, that contain the appropriate fee and ID is between 5 to 6 weeks from the date the request is received. The mailing address is:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737


  How do I get a copy of the legitimation forms I have already filled out? Top of Page

This requires a court order as these forms are impounded.

 

 
925 East Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702