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Vital Records Services

Note: All applicants must provide a photocopy or show a valid government, school or employer issued photo identification. Applications without proper identification will be rejected and not processed.


3 Ways to apply for a birth certificate

Option 1:
Walk-in: Average processing time is 30-45 minutes
Requirements:
Services:
  • State office – Issues long form birth certificates (required for travel) and short forms; initiates and completes corrections.
    • Office Hours 8:30AM - 4:00PM Tel: (803) 898-3630
    • 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201
  • Regional Offices – Issues long form birth certificates (required for travel) and short forms; initiates corrections.
  • County offices - For office hours and services please contact the county office

Option 2:
Mail: Average processing time is 2-4 weeks (standard), 3-5 business days (expedited)
Requirements:
Mailing address:
  • 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201
Option 3:
Phone and online orders: VitalChek is not affiliated with the State of South Carolina and a $12.95 charge in addition to state fees is applied.
  • Call 1-877-284-1008 (toll-free) or visit VitalChek 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
  • Average processing time is 5-7 business days

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, or
  • the legal guardian, or 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.


What types of birth certifications are issued?

  1. A computer-generated long form (needed for travel)
  2. The computer-generated long form contains the:
    • 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.
    The 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).
  3. A short form certification or birth card (cannot be used for travel)
  4. The birth card is a wallet-size certification that contains the:

    • state file number,
    • name of the person whose certificate is being issued,
    • date of birth,
    • sex,
    • county of birth, and
    • the date the birth was filed.
    The short form certification or birth card can be issued for any South Carolina birth, regardless of the county of birth, by the State office and the Regional offices.

DHEC no longer issues the "raised seal" certificates. It has not been used by the South Carolina Division of Vital Records since March 1999. Since July 2008, certifications have been issued on security paper with a green engraved Intaglio border, a gold state seal on the lower-left corner, and the DHEC seal on the lower-right corner.


What type of birth certificate is needed for travel?

The only type of birth certificate acceptable for travel is a long form birth certificate.


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

The procedures and requirements depend upon the specific information to be changed and whether any previous changes have been made.  Specific instructions 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 that 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.  Again, you should indicate the correction you wish to make.  Staff will review the certificate on file and advise you.

This process may be initiated by mail or onsite at a Regional vital records office or the State office.


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’s full name before she married
  • Father’s full name
  • Signature of the person requesting the birth certificate and their current mailing address
  • 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 long will it take to process an application for a birth certificate?

Walk-in:
Average processing time is 30-45 minutes
Mail requests:
2-4 weeks (standard); 3-5 business days (expedited)
Phone or online:
5-7 business days

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 (saleebap@dhec.sc.gov) for an update.


How do I order a new or replacement Social Security card?

You will need to contact the Social Security office. Please visit their Web site at www.ssa.gov or you may contact them by phone at (866) 964-7594.


For additional information, contact Vital Records.