Need a copy of my birth certificate ASAP
October 4, 2011 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I need to find the fastest way to obtain a certified copy of my Ohio birth certificate from out of state (to apply for a passport).

A last minute job possibility has come up that would take me out of the country.

Alas, I long ago lost my old, expired passport, and also can't track down my certified birth certificate.

Sites like Vital Check promise fast turnaround, but don't offer any more specifics as to a timeframe.

Any suggestions? Could I bribe a long lost relative to obtain a copy of the records for me? Is there an online or offline resource that can help me out?
posted by Unsomnambulist to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Three to six weeks.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 3:15 PM on October 4, 2011

I would contact customer service and ask what you need to do in order to designate a representative to go pick it up in person.
posted by Zophi at 3:18 PM on October 4, 2011

Your parents can get a copy still, I think, if they're in state?

Otherwise, I paid extra through vital check to have mine shipped overnight from Az to OK, and got it in under a week (still took a few days to process the order online)
posted by myShanon at 3:28 PM on October 4, 2011

Also, talk to the potential employers to find out when they would expect you to leave... it may take some time to set things up for you taking the job and they may be realistic in giving you a month or so to arrange to break your lease and put stuff in storage and get ready for an out of country move.

If they want you to pack up and move tomorrow, I'd do some research into whether the job is legit.

If its someone in or from nigeria or ghana who contacted you via email about a job opportunity, do some serious research into whether its real... just to be safe. Its a newer addition to the scams that are run from that area (or I've only started hearing about it the last few months)
posted by myShanon at 3:31 PM on October 4, 2011

Call the county clerk's office in the county where you were born, and also the hospital you were born at and ask them, one of them will know.

You can probably fly home tonight and get a birth certificate tomorrow morning if you really want to know *the fastest possible way* to get one, but I would call first. Also, to get rush passport service you can make an appointment at a passport agency (there are about 25 of them around the country).

You can probably have a passport by Friday if you spend the rest of this week doing nothing but trying to get one.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:35 PM on October 4, 2011

Best answer: The Richland County Health Department can issue birth certificate for anyone born anywhere in Ohio. The link says their turnaround is 7-10 days. I got one from them a few years ago and I remember it being pretty quick.

I don't know if this would work, but you could try calling them to see if you could fax your form in. Might cut a few days off the turnaround time.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:54 PM on October 4, 2011

Response by poster: All great thoughts, but marking Serene's because it sounds like the best possible outcome!

BTW, this is for an event/production with fixed dates, so no chance they'll be able to wait for me to pull this together.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 4:03 PM on October 4, 2011

You can apply for a passport without proof of your citizenship. This is done by purchasing a File Search for $150 from the State Department. When you visit the Passport Application Acceptance Facility (like the PO or your local library) to execute your application, tell them that you need a file search and be prepared with appropriate payment (having checks handy is good). A file search won't get you your birth certificate, but if you're really super pressed for time here it'll help you get your pport quicker than if you had to wait for a BC to show up from Ohio.
posted by carsonb at 4:27 PM on October 4, 2011

Also, if you decide to obtain a birth certificate, please make sure that you're getting the full certificate and NOT a "birth abstract", which is insufficient proof of citizenship for the purpose of obtaining a passport.
posted by carsonb at 4:28 PM on October 4, 2011

Response by poster: VitalCheck was the way to go - had the certificate sent overnight, but had to make sure I was ordering through the county, not the state. (the state costs a couple dollars less).
posted by Unsomnambulist at 3:15 PM on October 8, 2011

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