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Vital Records FAQs

Who can obtain my birth certificate?

State law is very specific about who may obtain a birth certificate. Only you, your parent/guardian, or attorney can obtain your birth certificate. State and federal agencies may also request your certificate on your behalf for official purposes. While these rules may be inconvenient, they are done to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft and other fraudulent practices.

Why can’t my birth certificate from the hospital be used?

Many people attempt to use a birth certificate issued by the hospital as proof of identity. Unfortunately these hospital certificates, which usually contain footprints and decorative lettering, are meant for commemorative purposes only. An official certified copy bearing a raised seal and the County Clerk’s signature is required for most official purposes.

Can I make my own copies from the one you provide?

No. Official certified copies bear an original signature of the County Clerk and a raised certification seal. All certified original copies are printed on security paper which will show the word “Void” if photocopied.

What if I was born outside the area?

You must obtain your birth certificate from the jurisdiction where you were born. We can assist by providing the appropriate contact information.

What if no birth certificate can be found for me?

In the days when home births were common, some parents inadvertently overlooked registering the birth. Individuals can have a delayed birth certificate issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health by completing an application signed by the County Clerk and providing other documentation about their identity.

What about correcting misspellings or inaccurate information?

Typographical errors, illegible handwriting and other factors can lead to erroneous information on some birth certificates. If the inaccuracies are minor, there may be no need to correct them. If they are more serious, the individual can apply for a corrected certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health. We can assist you in obtaining a corrected copy from the state.The County Clerk’s office can not change or correct any information on the records filed here.