A birth record holds much of the information collected about the mother and child at the time of birth. A birth certificate is official documentation of a person’s birth.
Minnesota law lists who may obtain birth documents and the law limits who can buy certain birth documents.
You may buy a birth certificate for a person born in Minnesota from any Minnesota county vital records office. Or you may order a birth certificate from the state vital records office. For births before 1900, make your request to the county in which the birth occurred or the state vital records office.
If you have a parent notice, you can use it as your application form to request the birth certificate(s). You can also use the parent notice to correct the birth certificate before you buy it.
If you need to change the birth certificate after you buy one, you must request an amendment. And you must request an amendment if you need to change the certificate after the child’s first birthday. See our Birth Record Amendments webpage.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 1, 2023. When you apply for your REAL ID, you must provide documents required by federal law. One document you can use is a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you were born in Minnesota, request your birth certificate now, and avoid the rush.
If you were born in another state, see Where to Write for Vital Records on the CDC website.
For the fastest service, make your request in person or by mail at a Minnesota county vital records office.You may buy a birth certificate from:
- From any Minnesota county vital records office.
Check with the county office close to you about how they offer their services. County offices may print a birth certificate order while you wait.
- From the Office of Vital Records at the Minnesota Department of Health.
The Office of Vital Records does not have walk-in service. We accept applications by mail or fax. You must sign and date the application in front of a notary public before you send it.
Certified birth certificates
A birth certificate is an official legal document. It shows the subject’s name, sex, date and place of birth and parent information.
One certified copy of a birth certificate costs $26.
Fill out one of the birth certificate request forms below to order a certificate.
If the birth record is confidential, you may not be able to get the certificate. The law specifies who may buy confidential birth certificates. For more information, see our Certificate Eligibility webpage.
Homeless Youth Birth Certificate
A Homeless Youth Birth Certificate is an official legal document. It expires six months from the date issued. A homeless youth 24 years of age or younger and born in Minnesota may request this certificate at no cost from any Minnesota vital records office.
The youth must complete the application found in the Youth Experiencing Homelessness Birth Certificate (PDF) and provide identification. The youth may provide acceptable identification or submit a Statement to Identify or an original or a copy of a signed Affidavit of Homeless Status form. The Affidavit of Homeless Status is valid for six months after it is signed.See the Birth certificate for homeless youth fact sheet (PDF) for more information.
VA birth certificates
A VA birth certificate is an official legal document. Use a VA birth certificate to present a claim to the United States Veterans Administration. Or use it in connection with any veteran's organization or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Fill out the Birth Certificate Application (PDF) and on page two, complete Section F.
- The veteran named on the record
- The surviving spouse or next of kin of a veteran
- Service officers of veteran's organizations chartered by the U.S. Congress or the Department of Veterans Affairs
- Representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Birth certificate request forms
- Birth Certificate Application (PDF)
- Solicitud de copia certificada del acta de nacimiento - Spanish (PDF)
- Codsiga Shahaadada Dhalshada - Somali (PDF)
- Daim Ntawv Thov Ntawv Pov Thawj Yug - Hmong (PDF)
- Birth Certificate Application in the Karen Language (PDF)
- Youth Experiencing Homelessness Birth Certificate (PDF)
If you want a certificate for your stillborn child, see the Birth Resulting in Stillbirth webpage.
Office of Vital Records processing timesAs of January 25, 2022, the Office of Vital Records is mailing birth certificates from applications received on or before:
- January 21, 2022 - regular processing
- January 25, 2022 - rush processing
The Office of Vital Records deposits fees the day it receives them; this is before we review and process your request.