Why is a birth certificate not proof of identity?

Why is a birth certificate not proof of identity?

Birth certificates are not proof of identification and may be obtained simply. Although certificates produced at the moment of birth may provide additional assurance that they belong to the individual, they will not reflect whether any information has been updated or supplanted by a new registration, unlike recently issued certificates. Also, although certified copies of the document can be obtained from some jurisdictions, the cost is usually prohibitively high for most individuals.

The reliability of birth certificates as evidence of identity depends on how old they are, where they were recorded, and who issued them. Birth certificates are accepted as proof of identity and residence when applying for passports, driver's licenses, voting cards, and other documents. However, because birth certificates do not always prove current identity or address, they should not be considered as absolute proof.

In addition, not all jurisdictions require proof of identity before issuing a birth certificate. If you don't have identification documents but still need to obtain one quickly, it may be possible to provide another form of identification that shows your name and date of birth.

Finally, if you are in trouble with the law and have a young child, there is no guarantee that the person claiming to be the parent will have provided valid identification. The best way to avoid problems with authorities is to ensure that all documentation proving parentage is kept up-to-date.

Is a birth certificate a form of identification?

The birth certificate is the first piece of identification given to parents immediately after the birth of their child. Because it is issued without a photograph at birth and has no distinguishing traits, the birth certificate is normally solely regarded proof of citizenship rather than proof of identity. However, in some states, certificates may be required by law to obtain other documents such as a driver's license or school registration card.

In addition to being used as proof of citizenship, the birth certificate can also be used as proof of age for people who need to prove they are old enough to work or drink alcohol. States have different laws about how young you can be when you get your drivers license. But regardless of your age, if you are applying for any type of ID, including a driver's license, you will be asked to provide your birth certificate.

Your doctor or midwife will usually give you a copy of your birth certificate after you have been born. If you were born outside of a hospital, then your doctor or midwife will send your birth certificate to the county health department where you were born. They will keep this record on file and send it to other agencies that might want to know information about your birth, such as your state department of health and human services or social security office. These agencies might use the information on your birth certificate to check whether other important documents such as a passport or immigration document are still valid.

Can a birth certificate be faked?

Almost all federal and state agencies believe that fake birth certificates are used to get legitimate papers and, when combined with other fake documents, to create new identities. Typically, the culprit starts with a bought, stolen, counterfeit, or altered birth certificate. The next step is to use the false document to obtain identification cards such as driver's licenses and social security cards. After that, it's not hard to find someone who will sell the thief a new identity by providing a copy of an old government record containing the fraudulent information.

The birth certificate for Julie Baker was reported lost or stolen in 1999, when her mother failed to claim it from a local hospital where it had been filed. Subsequently, it was re-issued with the name Sarah Shimer and she began using this identity. In 2007, after being arrested for drug possession, Ms. Shimer admitted to police that she was born on July 2, 1971. She said that she did not know her father and only knew her mother's name was Julie.

It is easy to obtain a duplicate original birth certificate from any state agency web site. Because there are no safeguards in place to prevent people from altering data on existing records, anyone who gets a hold of your birth certificate can change their details to match yours.

About Article Author

Laura Lewis

Laura Lewis has two children of her own and has been a mother for over 15 years. She enjoys reading books about motherhood and learning more about the latest trends in motherhood. Laura loves being able to share what she's learned with others through writing.

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