How to Obtain Birth Certificates in Rhode Island
A certified copy of a birth certificate is needed for many things in life such as applying to school, for a driver’s license or the military and even some jobs. A legal copy verifies your identity, age, and citizenship.
If you were born in Rhode Island, you could obtain a copy of your birth certificate by following the process below.
Rhode Island’s Department of Health handles birth and vital records. You can easily obtain a copy of your birth certificate by visiting one of the many town clerk’s offices. They have them online, and you can pick one up that same day.
Rhode Island considers birth records to be private and therefore only people with "direct and tangible interest" may get a copy. The following is a list of people who could access your record:
- You, if you are 18 years or older.
- Your parents or legal guardian.
- Your lawyer with authorization.
- Someone with court approval.
First, you will need to download and complete a copy of the application form. Then you can mail it in or visit one of the local offices.
If you choose to apply via mail, be sure to include your application, the fees and a copy of your photo ID to:
RI Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
3 Capitol Hill, Rm. 101
Providence, RI 02908
Processing time for mail order is six to eight weeks so plan accordingly. You may order rush service for additional money.
You will have to pay a non-refundable $20 fee for the first copy and another $15 for each additional copy. You may pay by cash, check or money order made out to General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island, depending on how you order. If you need expedited service include another $7 with your payment.
You also have the option of using an online service such VitalChek.com to search for and order a copy of your birth certificate. This service is government-approved for certified copies, and you can order expedited shipping to get them quicker.