FAQs About Texas Birth Certificates

Birth certificates are filled with valuable information such as date of birth, location of birth, parent’s names, sex, race, and so on. This information is used to verify identification, for government and family personal records, and obtain many government-issued documents, such as social security cards. Because this document is so important for many different reasons, it is essential always to have a copy. Below are the most common questions about obtaining a birth certificate copy.

Q: Why should I use TX-DPS.com to order my birth certificate?

A. We have been in business since 2004 and have a birth certificate specialist on hand to help you through the process of applying for a copy of your birth certificate. This is not always the easiest process, and only one small mistake can cause an applicant to get a rejection letter. Our specialists review all applications to ensure all information is supplied correctly. Additionally, we review the birth certificates received from the state to ensure they are correct based on the applications that are submitted. If not, we work directly we the state vitals office to remedy the situation.

Q: What birth certificates are available?

A: There are three types of birth certificate records:


The certificate is frequently used for obtaining a passport or renewing a driver’s license in all states, applying for dual citizenship, and other citizenship and immigration services.


This type of certificate is the most common, as it can register a child for school or youth sports. It comes in landscape-orientation without hospital or birth time information; it is not as detailed as some others.


The certificate is engraved with an intaglio border, is made of heirloom-quality paper, has a gold embossed seal, and is surrounded by security features.

Q: What is the difference between a short-form and a long-form birth certificate?

Long-Form Birth Certificate

A: This is the most comprehensive birth certificate. This is a record of the original birth certificate. Additionally, it provides a history of any corrections made to birth records.

You need a long-form birth certificate to obtain:

  • Driver’s license (in most U.S. states)
  • U.S. Passport
  • Dual citizenship

Short-Form Birth Certificate

This is a certified abstract of the birth record. These birth certificates only show an individual’s name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, and parent’s name. History of corrections will not appear on the document.

You can use a short-form birth certificate to:

  • Register for school and sports
  • Obtain insurance
  • Meet work requirements

Q: What is a certified copy?

A: A certified copy of a birth certificate issued by the Vital Records Office will have a raised, embossed, or impressed seal over the signature block. 

A certified birth certificate is necessary when applying for things like the Transportation Safety Administration’s (TSA) PreCheck program, which allows frequent travelers to expedite security screening at U.S. airports.

Q: Is there any difference between a certified copy and a regular copy?

A: Both types of birth certificates are authorized copies. A certified copy will have an official stamp, whereas a regular copy will have no stamp. The stamp means that the copy has been officially verified. It is a good idea to ask for a certified copy if you are concerned about the legitimacy of the copy. 

With the implementation of the Real ID Act, certified copies of birth certificates have become even more important, especially for U.S. air travelers. Under the new law, states must issue certified copies of their birth certificates to applicants seeking federal identification cards. These cards are needed to board domestic flights.

Q: Who can request a certified copy of a birth certificate?

A: Only immediate family members to the person whose name is on the birth certificate are eligible to request a copy for births within the past 75 years. If you have any other relationship with the person you are requesting records, you must provide legal documentation to request birth and death certificates.

Q: Who is considered an immediate family member?

A: The following relationships by blood or marriage are considered immediate family members who can obtain vital records: self, child, parent, sister, brother, grandparent, spouse, or individual with legal representation of a person on record.

Q: For obtaining a passport, what type of birth certificate do I need?

A: A long-form birth certificate is required to apply for a U.S. passport. The application requires a complete set of documents, including a certified copy of the birth certificate. 

Q: What is a valid form of identification?

A: To order your birth certificate, you will need to provide one of the following: state-issued driver’s license, state/city/county ID card, student ID, government employment badge or card, prison ID, or a military ID (front and back).

Q: What information is included on a Texas birth certificate?

A: There are several pieces of information on a typical Texas birth certificate, including:

  • Name (First, Middle, Last)
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Date and Time of Birth
  • Location of Birth
  • Birth Hospital
  • Mother’s Full Name, including Maiden Name
  • Mother’s Race, Age, Occupation, Birth Place, Residence, Marital Status
  • Number of Children from Mother, Living and Deceased
  • Fathers Full Name
  • Father’s Race, Age, Occupation, Birth Place

Q: How do I start to order a birth certificate?

A: Before ordering a birth certificate, there are some pieces of information that you’ll need to gather, including:

  • The individual’s full name on the birth certificate 
  • The individual’s date of birth
  • The name of the city or county in which the individual was born
  • The full name of the father, if listed on the birth certificate
  • The full maiden name of the mother, if listed on the birth certificate

Birth certificates with a date of birth within the past 75 years are protected records that require the following additional information to process a request:

  • Your current driver’s license or state-issued identification card
  • Your address

After 75 years, the birth and death record are considered open records.

Q: What is the quickest way to order a death certificate?

A: The quickest way to obtain a birth or death certificate is order online at TX-DPS.com.

Q: How long will it take to receive my birth certificate?

A: It depends on your location. However, all birth certificates are processed at the state within 24 hours (unless the state has imposed a longer process time) after the notarized application and identification are received to expedite processing. After processing, depending on your shipping selection, your delivery time could be 2–4 days or overnight with UPS Express Shipping. We have processed and delivered many orders using our Rapid/Express option within two days.

Note: The State of Texas limits you to receiving only ten birth certificates in a lifetime.

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