Difference Between Birth Certificate And Certificate Of Live Birth

WrittenJ. Hirbyand Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

For most purposes of identification, people use the Birth Certificate as the original document. But some have recently heard about something called the Certificate of Live Birth. What is the difference between the Birth Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth?

"Hospital Record of Birth: Certificate of Live Birth"

The medical community has established the practice of issuing the Certificate of Live Birth when a human being enters the world. This form will include the basics of the baby name, parent names, doctor names, hospital, sex, race, date of birth and person completing the record. Health care professionals will then enter the information into their hospital database.

At this point, the father should verify that the information on the form is correct. Mistakes can be made on the original form or during medical data entry. The mother will, of course, be stressed and won't be able to concentrate when given the form. Corrections should be made before the Birth Certificate is officially issued.

The Certificate of Live Birth is the first unofficial draft of the fact that your mother gave birth to you. Once this information is complete, this Certificate of Live Birth is sent to the Office of Vital Statistics or State Register to create the Official Birth Certificate.

"Official Government Issued Record of Birth: Birth Certificate"

For the sake of school, insurance, taxes, identification cards and travel documents, you should use your Birth Certificate. While the Certificate of Live Birth shows that you are medically alive, the Birth Certificate is the official record declaring your place of birth. Some people are not born in hospitals and don't have these other records.

The United States federal government may not take your Certificate of Live Birth for Passport purposes either. There have been some difficulties with birth documents in Puerto Rico. It is always wise to have your official Birth Certificate in a safe deposit box.

Remember that the live birth hospital form is primarily for data entry purposes. Your Birth Certificate is for official recording purposes and will have the signature and date of a state official on the bottom. It should be printed on high-quality paper or cardboard with a registrar's embossed state seal in the corner for authenticity. This official Birth Certificate will also have a registration number, so it can easily be looked up for reference.

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