How to Get Birth Certificate and Other Vital Documents For Newborn

Having a baby is an exciting time for parents. If the baby is born in the US, it is also a very busy time involving a lot of paperwork. Several documents are needed to establish the birth of a newborn. The documents required for a newborn are:
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HomeNRI CornerHow to Get Birth Certificate and Other Vital Documents For Newborn

Birth Certificate for a Newborn Baby

How to Apply Newborn Baby’s Birth Certificate

You will be required to fill out a form during your hospital stay for the baby’s birth certificate and the rest will be taken care of by the hospital. In some states, hospitals advise you to apply for a SSN first, and then for the birth certificate. The reason for the one-month lag is to give time for the hospital to send a record of the baby’s birth to the State office. Once the office has that record, the birth certificate can be issued very quickly. Verify this process at your hospital in advance.

In either case, you will receive the birth certificate through mail. If you haven’t yet decided the name of your baby, you can fill out a form later and submit it to your County Health Department. It might take a while before you actually receive it, so deciding on your baby’s name in advance can make it much easier to apply for a birth certificate at the time of birth. There is no charge for this service.

As you gather all required documents for your newborn child, remember to get travel medical insurance if you fly out of the country.

Why do I need extra copies of my baby’s birth certificate?

Any certificate of birth issued by a hospital is not a legal document. You need to apply for a birth certificate through your local county department. You will be required to submit copies of the birth certificate during the following occasions:

  • Getting your child into school or at the time of school enrollment
  • Getting a work permit
  • Getting a passport
  • Getting a driver’s license
  • Getting a social security number

How do I apply for extra copies of a birth certificate?

  • You will be given a form during your hospital stay to order extra copies of the birth certificate. Fill it out and send it to your county Health Department along with the required fee per copy. Your baby’s record will remain at this office for 3 years.
  • If you want additional copies after this time duration, then you must send in your baby’s name, date of birth, and parents’ names to your State Health Vital Records Office. For example, if you need more information on birth certificates in California, visit: California Department of Public Health
  • If you need assistance locating your specific county, a county locator on the Public Health department will assist in finding your records.
  • There is a fee per copy for the birth certificate, however, it can vary depending on where you reside. For example, it is $17 per copy in San Diego and $22 per copy in Virginia.
  • The application for the extra copies must be notarized.

Social Security Number for a Newborn Baby

Why should I get a SSN for my baby?

Your baby is a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born in the U.S. As a US citizen, SSN is very important for your baby. Getting a SSN is just the beginning of the valuable protection and benefits your child may be eligible for in the future. Young children need a SSN for many reasons. For example, you will need a SSN if you want to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Show your child as a dependent on your income
  • Buy a saving bonds
  • Get medical coverage
  • Apply for any government services for your child

Consider it a first step in some of the most essential things people do in the U.S. Not having a SSN is likely to cause delays in several processes mentioned above.

How do I apply for my baby’s SSN?

You have two choices. You can:

  • Apply for a SSN in the hospital when you fill out information for your baby’s birth certificate. It is always much easy to apply at the time of birth. You will be asked if you want to apply for a SSN for your baby. If your reply is “yes”, you will be required to provide the SSN of both parents. Your baby will be assigned a number which will be directly mailed to you.
  • You can apply later for a SSN, through the Social Security Administration Office. You will need to:
    • Fill out a SSN application (you need to provide both parents’ SSN)
    • Show evidence of your child’s age, identity and citizenship
    • Show evidence of your identity

Contact Information for SSN

  • You can get the online form here
  • You can also visit one of the local Social Security offices
  • You can also call at the toll-free number, for SSN related matters: 1-800-772-1213

Do I have to pay in order to get a SSN?

No, there is no fee for a SSN card.

I have lost my baby’s SSN card. What should I do to get a replacement?

Keep your baby’s SSN card in a safe place. It’s an important document. However, if you lose the card, it can be replaced free of charge at your nearest social security office.

Newborn Baby’s Passport (American Passport)

Do I need to obtain a separate passport for my baby?

Yes. All persons, including newborn infants, are required to obtain passports in their own names.

If applying for your child under age 13:

As a parent or legal guardian, you have to apply for your child. Both the parents have to appear in person and sign up at a passport agency or authorized passport acceptance facility. If only one parent can appear, then a notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent/guardian should be submitted. Both the parents are required to show their current valid ID. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must show an alien registration card (green card), valid foreign passport, or driver’s license. If you do not have an acceptable ID, someone with current valid ID must vouch for you as described above. A child will be issued a Passport valid for a maximum of five (5) years.

Documents Required for US Passport for Your Newborn Baby

  • Form DS-11
  • 2 passport photos that are: 2 x 2 inches in size, identical, taken within the past 6 months, showing full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background.
  • Proof of US Citizenship, such as an original copy of your child’s birth certificate (Xerox copies are not accepted) or naturalization certificate. The birth certificate will also prove the relationship of the child to the parents, as it carries the parent’s names.
  • Copy of your child’s Social Security Number (Xerox copies are accepted).
  • Proof of identity of both of the parents, such as driver’s license or passport etc.
  • Passport fee and processing fee.

Passport Processing Services at USPS

  • You can also use the Passport Processing services at your nearest USPS office.
  • To locate the nearest location go to www.usps.com.
  • Then, under International, click “Passports”.
  • Click “Schedule an Appointment”.
  • Here, you can search for your nearest location offering passport services and also schedule your appointment.
  • You can also get your passport photo taken here. Passport photo processing hours may vary at each store.
  • Check if you need to set up an appointment for this service. Many locations welcome walk-ins. However, be aware that some locations may be very busy, so an appointment is recommended.
  • In all, there are over 4,500 public places that accept passport applications, all over the United States. To find the location around you click here: nearest location and office
  • To find out the nearest passport facility, and other information on Passport Services, visit this link: http://travel.state.gov

Do I need to apply for a passport card for my baby?

All US citizens can apply for a passport card. If a person has a US passport book, there is no need to have a passport card. A US passport card can be used as a form of identification for minors, but the card cannot be used for international air travel. It can only be used at land borders and sea-port entries from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. It can be convenient and less expensive, but not a viable option for children of Indian immigrants who want to travel to India regularly.

What is the passport fee for a minor?

Passport ServicePassport Fee*Execution Fee*Total Fees
Under Age 16$100$35$135
Over Age 16$130$35$165

*The fee is subject to change without prior notice.

Where to get the application form?

Passport acceptance facilities provide passport forms. They can also be downloaded from the internet at http://travel.state.gov or obtained by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-900-225-5674. The form name is DS-11.

How long does it take to get the passport?

Routine service will normally take about 6 weeks time. The passport will be mailed to you. However, there is an expedited option available as well for an additional fee.

How to get the passport quicker?

If you need your passport urgently, then you can pay for expedited service. The cost of the expedited service, in addition to regular application fees, is $60 per application plus overnight delivery costs.

What are the modes of payment?

The accepted forms of payment depends on whether or not you are applying in person or online, and whether you are renewing or applying for a first-time passport. Some examples of accepted payments are:

  • Major credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or debit card. Some passport facilities do not accept credit cards.
  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check or money order

Please see the travel.state.gov website for more information on accepted payment methods.

Tips

  • If you are planning to travel and need a passport for your newborn baby, apply several months in advance of your planned departure. Allow more time for visas from the foreign embassy.
  • Both the parents must provide valid IDs.
  • Normally, the presence of your baby (under 13 years of age) is not required. However, passport agents reserve the right to require the appearance of your child.

Getting Indian Visa/OCI Card for Your Child

Do I need to obtain a separate visa for my baby to visit India?

Yes. All persons, including newborn infants, are required to obtain visa in their own names, to enter India. Your child can get an OCI card or Indian Visa.

What kind of visa will my baby get?

Your baby can get a Tourist Visa, either valid for a six month stay or for ten years with six months stay at during each visit to India.

What are the documents required for getting an Indian Visa or OCI Card?

  • Passport photo: 2×2 inches in size, taken within 30 days of applying, showing full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Application form, which can be downloaded here
  • Visa fee
  • Valid passport

Keep in mind:

  • A child will be issued a visa, valid maximum for five (5) years.
  • No Indian Consulates or Embassies have any appointed agents/representatives for accepting applications for consular services. All applications should be sent directly to the consulate, either through mail or in person, and not through any agent.
  • The procedure for visiting an Indian Consulate office can usually be found on their website.

When do I receive the Visa/Passport?

You can receive the Visa/Passport:

  • At the Consulate, in person.
  • By mail. The processing and delivery time for applications received via mail are longer.

What is the difference between Indian Visa, OCI, and PIO?

Indian Visa: Your baby can get a Tourist Visa for India. The visa will be valid either for a six-month period or for ten years with six months stay during each visit to India. You can apply to the BLS office in your jurisdiction for an Indian Visa. A child would be issued a Visa valid maximum for five (5) years. You can apply for Indian Visa in person or by mail. You have to fill the online Visa Application form known as IVFRT, fill the visa form at https://services.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-visa, attach the supporting documents and photograph, and pay the fee.

OCI: OCI or Overseas Citizen of India is for People of Indian Heritage whose home countries allow dual citizenship. After getting an OCI card, you will not need a visa to travel to India. Any person who was eligible to become a citizen of India on or after January 26, 1950, or who belonged to a territory that became a part of India after the 15th of August, 1947, or is a child or grandchild of a person meeting any of the criteria above, can apply for an OCI. Citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot apply for OCI. You can apply to the VFS Global office in your jurisdiction or online for an OCI. For more information about OCI, please click here.

PIO: A PIO card is for people of Indian origin who want travel to India without a visa. This has now been discontinued and replaced with OCI cards. Existing PIO cards can be replaced with OCI cards until December 31, 2017 for no additional cost. A PIO Card is for person(s) who at any time has held an Indian passport, or has parents or grandparents or great grandparents born in and permanently resided in India as defined by the Government of India Act, 1935, or who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin as mentioned above. Persons of Indian origin up to four generations back can apply for the PIO card. The exception applies for citizens of China, Bhutan, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. For more information about PIO, please click here.

Health Insurance for Newborn

Although this is not restricted to immigrants alone, please remember to register your newborn baby on your health insurance plan. This can be done within 30 days after their birth, but figuring out the baby’s health insurance and the plan coverage prior to the birth will make you better prepared. Also, in case the baby arrives early you will be ready with all the details of the baby’s health care plan.

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