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How to Find a Birth Record in New Jersey?
What Are Birth Records in New Jersey?
A New Jersey birth record is an official record detailing birth-related information about a child born in New Jersey and other important information about the parents. It is considered a vital record kept under governmental authority serving as a base for public health, social service, and economic planning and program development. A birth record establishes a legal record of where a child was born and provides legal recognition of that child's identity.
A New Jersey birth record establishes New Jersey citizenship and U.S. citizenship. The following are contained in a New Jersey birth record:
- Date of birth
- Time of birth
- Place of birth
- Child's full name
- Mother's name
- Father's name
- Child's gender
- Type of birth
- Mother's marital status
- Birth registration number
How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in New Jersey?
New Jersey birth records are not subject to the New Jersey Open Records Act and are therefore not considered public records. Consequently, New Jersey does not provide any tool for requesters to look up birth records online. However, through the Vital Statistics and Registry's Online Service of the state's Department of Health, eligible requesters can obtain birth records by placing orders online. The online service helps requesters obtain birth records faster than applying in writing to the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry.
The online order service for birth records in New Jersey is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requesters must have the following documents handy when placing an order on the web portal:
- Government-issued driver's license or non-driver's license
- Credit card in the requester's name
- Scanned copy of all supporting documentation in the approved format. Approved formats are PDF, JPEG, and TIF
If the requester is not the owner of the record to be ordered, proof of relationship, change of name or address may be required. To ascertain what documents will be required, use the Document Selector tool on the online service portal. The tool displays a few single-choice questions and returns a detailed list of all documents that must be provided by requesters at the end. Other commonly required documents to prove identity include:
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance card (must show current address)
- Voter registration
- US/Foreign Passport
- Immigrant Visa
- Permanent Resident Card (Green card)
- Federal/State ID
- County ID
- School ID
- Bank Statement (within previous 90 days)
- Utility bill(within the previous 90 days)
- W-2 for current/previous tax year
Any requester who intends to have an online order shipped to an address other than what is listed on the identification provided must upload a signed notarization letter. This letter is required to authorize the order to be mailed to a different address and must contain the new mailing address.
Requesters can also check the status of their orders through the Check Order Status tool on the Vital Records Online Service portal. Only the confirmation number on an online order is required to use the order status tool. Note that the confirmation number typically contains seven characters which begin with the letters "NJ". For more inquiries concerning online birth record orders in New Jersey, contact the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry on (609) 528-9316.
Only birth records from the previous 80 years can be ordered via the online web portal.
Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:
- The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
- The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.
While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.
How to Get Birth Records in New Jersey?
New Jersey allows requesters to obtain birth records by mail or walk-in orders at the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. When ordering birth records, requesters must first determine the type of copy that will suit their needs. A birth record can be obtained as a certified copy, certification, or a copy with an apostille seal. Certified copies of vital records have the raised seal of the issuing authority and are always issued on the State of New Jersey safety paper. These copies can be used to establish identity and are recognized as legal documents.
A certification copy of a birth record is issued on plain paper with no seal and indicates that the record is not valid for establishing identity or useful for legal purposes. Certifications are more typically used for genealogy requests.
An apostille seal is an additional seal often required for a specific certified record to be presented to a foreign government that is a member of the Hague Treaty. Certified birth records generally require an apostille when used in applications for international adoptions, establishing dual citizenships, or work visas. Contact the consulate of the country involved to verify that an apostille seal is needed on a birth record before requesting the record.
To obtain a birth record with an apostille seal, first, obtain a certified copy of a birth record from the New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. Indicate on the application that it requires an apostille seal. Upon receiving the certified copy of the birth record with the original signature of the State Registrar or Assistant State Registrar, forward the document to the New Jersey Department of Treasury. This Department is the authorized apostille seal-issuing entity in New Jersey.
How to Get New Jersey Birth Records by Mail?
To obtain a record of birth by mail in New Jersey, mail completed Non-genealogical Vital Record Application (REG-27) to the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry or to the local Vital Records Office in the city or town where the birth occurred. Also, include an acceptable form of identification, and the appropriate fee. Note that the requested record can only be sent to the address listed on the identification documents submitted.
Acceptable forms of identification are a valid photo driver's license/photo non-driver's license with current address, a valid driver's license without photo and an alternate form of ID with current address, or two alternate forms of ID, one of which must contain the requester's current address. Only copies of the ID documents are required and not original ID documents. Alternate forms of ID that may be provided are listed on the non-genealogical records page of the New Jersey Department of Health’s website.
Homeless persons can provide identification from a social worker or homeless shelter coordinator. Incarcerated persons can provide legal imprisonment, conviction papers, or release documents containing name, social security number, and all possible aliases used in the past or identification from a prison or probation officer.
Send applications via regular mail to:
New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registration
Customer Service Unit – Non-Genealogical Requests
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
Applications can also be sent via express courier to the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry; however, the document will be returned via regular mail unless a pre-paid return express courier envelope is included in the application by the requester.
Send applications via express courier to:
New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registration
Customer Service Unit – Non-Genealogical Requests
H & A Building, 5th Floor
Warren and Market Streets
Trenton, NJ 08625
For mail requests sent to the local Vital Records Offices in the towns and cities in New Jersey, call the local offices for information on fees and processing times. Birth record mail request services are currently not available in Jersey City. Jersey City birth records must be ordered from the New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registry.
How to Get New Jersey Birth Records by in Person?
The New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registry provides walk-in services for persons interested in obtaining birth records in person. To obtain a birth record in person, visit:
New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services
Office of Vital Statistics & Registry
140 East Front Street
The Office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday except for State holidays. Appropriate fees and forms of identification will also be required. For walk-in requests at the local vital records offices, call the locations ahead for hours of operation and other requirements that may be necessary.
Requests can also be made for genealogical Birth Records in New Jersey in much the same way as requests for non-genealogical records. A genealogical birth record request is a request made for a birth record for someone who is deceased whose birth occurred more than 80 years ago. Requesters must identify the genealogical record requested by providing:
- The full name on the record
- The city or county where the event occurred
- The year the event occurred
Optional information that may assist the Vital Records Office in quickly locating the record include:
- The exact date of the event
- Mother’s maiden name
- Father’s name
- Social security number (deaths only)
If the requester wants a certification, no need for proof of relationship is required. However, if a certified copy is required, proof of relationship is required. A requester obtaining a certified copy of a genealogical record on behalf of an eligible person must provide the following documentation:
- A valid ID
- A notarized written release authorizing the requester to obtain the record on behalf of the eligible person
- Eligible person's proof of relationship to the subject of the record
Applications must include the appropriate fee and should be mailed to the Vital Record's Office mailing address.
Birth records previously issued by the Jersey City/Hudson County Office of Vital Statistics (with the raised seal from Hudson County) are no longer accepted by the federal government when applying for a U.S. passport. They may also not be accepted by other federal agencies and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ-MVC), depending on the year of birth. Persons who have obtained such records may get a new certified copy of birth record from the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry or obtain a letter of authenticity from the same Office as valid proof of birth. This letter is only valid with the NJ-MVC and does not serve as a certified copy of the birth certificate.
Where Can I Find Birth Records in New Jersey?
The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry holds records of births occurring in New Jersey within the last 80 years. The Office is a division of the New Jersey Department of Health. For older records, visit the Department of State, New Jersey State Archives, or call the Department on (609) 292-6260.
Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in New Jersey?
Certified copies of non-genealogical birth records (births occurring within the last 80 years) in New Jersey can be obtained by:
- The subject of the record
- The subject's parent, legal guardian, or legal representative
- The subject’s spouse/civil union partner, domestic partner, child, grandchild, or sibling, if of legal age
- A state or federal agency for official purposes
- Any requester making a request pursuant to a court order
Uncertified informational copies can be obtained by anyone. Note that informational copies are not valid for establishing identity or legal purposes.
How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in New Jersey?
Initial search and one certified copy or certification of a birth record cost $25. If no records are found, a "No Record Statement" is returned; however, the $25 fee is non-refundable. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time cost $2 per copy. There is an online processing fee of $5, and a non-refundable authentication or verification fee of $5. Expedited shipping via UPS carrier for each return costs $12. Payment can be made by credit card or debit card.
Mail and In-person
The same $25 fee applies for the initial search for one certified copy or certification of the record. There is a $2 for each additional copy of the same record ordered at the same time. Additional years searched for genealogy records cost $1 per year. Payment may be made by check or money order made payable to "Treasurer, State of New Jersey". Fees for copies of birth records issued vary by municipality. Contact the local Vital Records office where the event occurred for information about their fees. Applications made to the municipal office should be made payable to the municipality. Cash is accepted for in-person requests but not for mail requests.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in New Jersey?
Processing time for online orders now takes 8 - 12 weeks due to the high volume of requests. Mail orders for genealogical records to the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry are processed within 10 -12 weeks. This processing period excludes delivery time or time to resolve deficient applications. Mail orders for non-genealogical records are typically processed within 6 - 8 weeks. Walk-in requests are usually processed within 2 hours for applications submitted before 3:30 p.m. Same day walk-in service is usually not available for genealogical requests.
For persons in Jersey City/Hudson County, a letter of authenticity can be obtained in 4 - 6 weeks by mailing an original certified copy of birth record issued by the Jersey City/Hudson County of Vital Statistics.
How to Expunge Your Birth Records in New Jersey?
To expunge a birth record means to delete it complete or remove some details from the record. New Jersey does not permit expunging birth records.
How to Seal Your Birth Records in New Jersey?
At the finalization of adoption proceedings, New Jersey issues an amended birth certificate, known as the Official Birth Certificate. The Official Birth Certificate replaces the Original Birth Certificate and lists the adoptive parents as the legal parents. The Original Birth Certificate is automatically placed in a sealed file which cannot be assessed by anyone without a court order.
How to Unseal Your Birth Records in New Jersey?
Prior to 2017, persons who intend to unseal expunged birth records had to obtain a court order to do so. However, on May 27, 2014, Governor Chris Christie amended New Jersey's vital records laws by signing legislation allowing adult adoptees to obtain non-certified copies of their Original Birth Certificate without a court order. The new law only went into effect in January 2017. Under this law, a birth parent is allowed to redact personally identifying information from the original birth certificate if the adoption was finalized before August 1, 2015, and the birth parent makes a redaction request on or before December 1, 2016.
To obtain an Original Birth Certificate, complete the Application for an Uncertified Copy of an Adopted Person's Original Birth Record form. The fee for uncertified copies is $25 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy ordered at the same time. Acceptable forms of payment are check or money order. Make either payable to "Treasurer, State of New Jersey". Adoptees will be required to provide proof of identity in the form of a photo ID along with the application. Submit the complete application to:
New Jersey Department of Health
Vital Statistics and Registry
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
Original birth certificates are available to:
- Adult adoptees
- Direct descendant, sibling, or spouse of the adoptees
- Adoptive parent, legal guardian, or other legal representative of the adoptees
- Agency of the State or Federal government for official purposes