I have found from experience, and happily so, that you can get copies of birth certificates quicker from the city you were born in than from the state you were born in. Everyone thinks to go to the state office of vital statistics, and not the city.
Editor's Note: In Washington State, it is best to go to the county vital statistics office. Many offices also allow you to order online.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
In SD it is less hassle to go to the State than the County, that is if you want to avoid the hassle of going directly to the office, and want to do it online or by mail. I ordered copies of my late parents birth certificates awhile back and from the time I mailed the order with a check, until I received them was less than 1 1/2 weeks. This was for genealogy purposes.
I did order copies of my wedding license from the County office when I applied for retirement social security. It took just as long to get it in the mail from right here in town than it takes to get them from half way across the state. Some towns/cities are so small they don't have that kind of records on file there. I am trying to find out a way to get a copy of my late Grandma's birth certificate, she was born in Denmark in the 1800s when her parents went back to visit family. I haven't been able to find out if there is a copy of a live birth certificate on file in the state or not, but I haven't given up.
In most areas, especially rural ones, you contact the county, not the city. But still, quicker than the state, because the county level is where the birth, death, and marriage certificates are actually filed and kept.
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