Birth Certificates

The South Carolina Vital Records offices issue birth certificates for births that occurred in South Carolina since 1915.

You may request a certified copy of a birth certificate if you are:

  • The person named on the certificate (if you are at least 18 years old),
  • The parent(s) named on the birth certificate, or
  • The legal guardian, or a legal representative of one of the above.

Immediate family members and/or their respective legal representative may obtain a certified copy of a birth record if the registrant is deceased. An original, certified copy (no photocopies) of the registrant's death record must be submitted with the request.

Newborn birth certificates are not automatically mailed to parents. Information gathered in the hospital is solely for the purposes of registering the birth. The hospital will not order your child’s birth certificate for you. You must request the certificate by one of the methods below. 

Request a South Carolina Birth Certificate


1. Online

Average processing time is 5-7 business days.

Only the person(s) named on the birth certificate may order through an online vendor

GO Certificates - logo

Fees include:

  • A $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • $9.00 additional processing fee


 

https://www.gocertificates.com

VitalCheck - logo

Fees include:

  • A $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • $10.50 additional processing fee


     

https://www.vitalchek.com

 

All fees must be paid using a major credit/debit card.  Additional fees may apply if you choose expedited shipping.

If you are applying for a copy of a birth certificate through one of our online vendors, you will be asked to submit a copy of a valid government, school or employer issued photo ID. VitalChek can assist some individuals without identification with a security check.  If you do not pass the security check you will be required to upload a valid ID.

Note: Please use only the above approved vendors to send online requests for certified copies of South Carolina Vital Records. We cannot guarantee that orders from other websites will be processed.

 

2. By Phone through VitalChek

Average processing time is 5-7 business days.
Call 1-877-284-1008 to speak to a VitalChek representative 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  Only persons named on the birth certificate may order through VitalChek.

Fees Include:

  • $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • $10.50 additional charge to pay for the services of VitalChek
  • Shipping fees should you choose to expedite the shipping of your certificate.

 

3. In-Person

Average processing time is 30-45 minutes.
Same-day service is a goal of Vital Records; most requests can be processed the same day. For services that require additional processing time such as paternity affidavits, corrections and amendments; please arrive prior to 4 PM to ensure adequate time to process your request. Same-day service is not guaranteed for requests such as paternity affidavits, adoption processing, corrections and amendments.

You will need to provide:

  • A completed application form
  • $12 non-refundable standard searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • A valid government, school or employer issued photo ID.

Where to Go:

  • DHEC State Vital Records Office, Columbia - Issues long form birth certificates; initiates and completes corrections.
    • Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Telephone: (803) 898-3630
      Address: 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201
  • Regional Vital Records Offices - Issues long form birth certificates; initiates corrections.

All Vital Records offices can issue births from any county in South Carolina.

 

4. By Mail

* Mail requests are only accepted at the state office in Richland County.

Average processing time is 2-4 weeks.

You will need to send:

  • A completed application form
  • A $12 non-refundable standard searching fee (Add $3 for each additional copy.)
  • A valid government, school or employer issued photo ID (photocopy of one). When we receive applications without proper identification, we reject them automatically; we do not process them.
  • Mail to:
    • DHEC Vital Records
      2600 Bull St.
      Columbia, SC 29201

Mail requests are only accepted at the state office.

 

 

5. Drop-off

* Drop-offs are only accepted at the state office in Richland County.

Average processing time is two days.

You will need to provide:

  • A completed application form.
  • A $12 non-refundable search fee (search fee includes one certified copy of the birth certificate). Each additional copy is $3. We accept exact cash, a money order, or cashier's check made payable to S.C. DHEC.
  • A valid government, school or employer-issued photo ID.

Additional information:

  • We'll give you a receipt when you drop off your request.
  • We can mail your birth certificate to you or you can pick it up at the Columbia State Office.

Where to Go:

  • DHEC State Vital Records Office, Columbia
    • Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Telephone: (803) 898-3630
      Address: 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201

 

Who can obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate?

You are entitled to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate if you are:

  • The person named on the certificate (if you are at least 18 years old)
  • The parent(s) named on the birth certificate
  • The legal guardian(s) of a minor or adult (must present a certified court order establishing guardianship/custody)
  • A legal representative of one of these.

Immediate family members and/or their respective legal representative may obtain a certified copy of a birth record if the registrant is deceased. An original, certified copy (no photocopies) of the registrant's death record must be submitted with the request. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
 
Birth certificates become public records after 100 years. Then any person may obtain an uncertified copy of the birth certificate, upon submission of application form and fees.

 

What information is needed to apply for a birth certificate?

  • Full name of the person whose birth certificate is being requested
  • Full date of birth (month, day, year)
  • County of birth
  • Mother/parent's full name before she married
  • Father/parent's full name (if listed on the certificate)
  • Signature of the person requesting the birth certificate and their current mailing address
  • The relationship between the person named on the birth certificate and the person requesting the certified copy
  • The full name and complete mailing address of the person to whom the certificate is to be mailed
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the certificate.

 

How can I check on the status of a birth certificate request?

If you have not received any response to your request within 30 days of submission, you may call (803) 898-3630 or e-mail us at vrrequeststatus@dhec.sc.gov for an update.

 

What types of birth certifications are issued?

A computer-generated long form is the only version of birth certificate issued.  Under South Carolina regulation, it is considered for all purposes the same as the original certificate.

The computer-generated long form contains the following information:

  • State file number
  • Name of registrant
  • Date of birth
  • County of birth
  • Place of birth (city)
  • Father's name (if listed on the original birth certificate)
  • Father's place of birth
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Mother's place of birth
  • Date record filed, and
  • The date issued.

Vital Records Offices stopped accepting requests for short form birth certificates in January 2015.
A computer-generated long form can be issued by the state office location - DHEC, 2600 Bull Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201 and by Regional Vital Records Offices (see map).

 

When will I receive my newborn’s birth certificate?

Newborn certificates are NOT automatically mailed to parents after the certificate is filed in South Carolina.  They must be purchased via one of the methods listed above.

 

How do I amend or change the information on a birth certificate?

The procedures and requirements to change information on a birth certificate depend upon the specific information to be changed and whether any previous changes have been made. 

The information contained on birth records is assumed to be correct as it is.  However, sometimes there is an error that was not addressed during the registration process (the incorrect spelling of a name or wrong date of birth).  These corrections require you to provide one or more evidences as to what the correct information should have been (like a school record or other record types recommended by our office).  These evidences must meet certain regulatory and industry standard requirements.

All evidence submitted is for review purposes only and may be rejected by our office if there is reason to doubt its validity or adequacy to meet those requirements.  If the evidence is approved, our office will prepare an affidavit for you to sign and have notarized.  After the affidavit is correctly executed the amendment will be applied to the record. If proper evidence is not supplied, the amendment can only be completed upon receipt of a court order.

Other changes (such as name changes and adoptions) can only be applied to the record with a certified court order.  A certified court order will carry a raised or inky seal that says it is a certified true copy (not a photocopy of a seal).  Our office will need to keep one certified copy of the order permanently.  Therefore, it is recommended that you get multiple certified copies from the court after it is finalized.  Specific instructions on which amendments can be completed with or without a court order can only be provided after a review of the birth/death record.

If you have requested a birth/death certificate in the past 12 months, you may return to the office that issues certificates and notify us as to the specific change you would like to make. If you have not requested a birth/death certificate in the past 12 months, this would be the first step you need to take.  You should indicate the correction you wish to make on the application.  Staff will review the certificate on file and advise you of the necessary steps.  Once the amendment is applied to the record an additional amendment fee of $15 will be due.  Records issued within the past year may be replaced at $3 each.

 

How can I get a delayed birth record established?

The process of establishing a delayed birth record can be long and require many documents to be submitted.  Sometimes it is impossible to get the required documents and the only option is for someone to present what they have to a judge who will then decide what information to put on the birth certificate.  

To establish a delayed certificate administratively requires 3 different documents verifying the birth facts claimed are submitted. The documents required are based on the age of the person whose birth certificate is being requested at the time of the application.  For a person more than ten years of age, all documents submitted must have been established at least ten years prior to the date of application. For a person ten years or younger, the documents must be dated at least one year prior to the date of the application or within the first year of life.  Each document must show the place and the date the document was filed to prove it meets the age criteria. 

Only original or certified copies will be accepted and must show the following information.

  1. The registrant’s full name must be on each document with the correct spelling.
  2. At least one document must show the full date of birth and each document must show the registrant’s age or date of birth.
  3. At least one document must show the place of birth as South Carolina
  4. At least one document must show the parentage at birth to include the full mother’s maiden name.

Xeroxed copies of documents are NOT acceptable. Examples of records that usually verify some or all of this information include but are not limited to:

  • School records
  • Social Security Numident record
  • Census records
  • Birth certificates of children born to the registrant.
  • Marriage record (of the registrant)
  • Driver’s record
  • Insurance policies
  • Medical records
  • Military records
  • Employment records

Documents submitted MUST NOT:

  • Contain inconsistent information
  • Contain incorrect information
  • Contain alterations/discrepancies (unauthorized changes, strikeouts, whiteout, etc.)
  • Show a place of birth other than South Carolina

IMPORTANT* Delayed certificates may not be acceptable for all purposes. Persons desiring to establish a delayed certificate should contact the agency requesting the birth certificate and ask if a delayed certificate will be acceptable for the purposes they are requesting.

For more information, contact Constituent Services.
 

 

Tags

Vital Records