portaltennessee.org is privately owned and is neither operated by, nor affiliated with, any government agency.

Tennessee Birth Certificates

Tennessee birth certificates are a type of vital record that you must keep throughout your life. A certificate of birth is used to verify your name and birth date, which is required for countless applications. In many cases, only a certified birth certificate will meet official identification standards. Additionally, you may apply for an original birth certificate soon after your baby is born if you are a parent. Since a birth certificate is such an important document, it is important to get a birth certificate copy in the event that you lose or damage the original copy. A duplicate of birth certificate documentation can also be obtained from the Tennessee Office of Vital Records. You can apply for a birth certificate in Tennessee for yourself and certain members of your family, but you cannot obtain a certificate for others. In the sections below, learn how to fill out a birth certificate application to get a copy of birth certificate documents in Tennessee.

Types of Tennessee Birth Record Documents

Birth certificates are available in Tennessee as short form and long form documents. Both types of TNbirth records show your name, sex, parents’ names, date of birth, county of birth, the date your certificate was issued and the date it was filed. Long form birth records include other details, such as the name of the hospital you were born in and your parents’ addresses, dates of birth and other information. It is important to note that short form birth certificates do not include your parents’ names if you were born before the year 1976. The long form certificate of birth may be necessary for specific situations, such as when applying for a passport, in which your parents’ names are needed and you were born before 1976. The Tennessee Vital Records department issues certified copies of short form and long form certificates of birth.

Who can apply for birth certificates in Tennessee?

In order to obtain birth certificate documents in Tennessee, you must be a qualified applicant. You generally cannot obtain a birth record for others unless the certificate has become a public record. Birth certificate requests can be made by the person named on the certificate or the parent, guardian, child or spouse of the person named on the record. In some cases, a certificate of birth may be obtained by a legal representative of the person named. To do so, you need to submit a photocopy of your government-issued photo ID and the named person’s photo ID. The person named on the birth certificate needs to sign the photocopy of his or her ID. In addition, the registrant must give the Office of Vital Records a signed statement giving permission for the birth record to be released to you.

Where to Obtain Tennessee Birth Record Documents

The Tennessee Office of Vital Records provides several methods for you to order a birth certificate. A birth certificate form can be completed in person at the Office of Vital Records in Nashville or at most county health departments throughout Tennessee. Another popular way to apply for birth certificates in TN is to use a self-service kiosk. When you submit an order in the kiosk, your identity will automatically be verified. Failing to pass the authentication will require you to use the customer service window instead. If you do not want to visit a vital record office in person and avoid long wait times or lines, then you can submit an application by mailing the required application materials to the vital records office. However, obtaining Tennessee birth certificate documentation by mail can take several weeks to process. You cannot order a birth certificate online directly from a vital record office in Tennessee. Online ordering is a convenient process that saves valuable time.

How to Fill Out a Tennessee Birth Certificate Application

When you request a certified TN birth certificate using any of the application methods listed above, you will need to provide the same basic information about yourself. A birth certificate form will require you to include:

  • The full name, date of birth and location of birth for the person named on the certificate.
  • The names of the registrant’s mother and father, if known.
  • Your relationship to the person named on the record and your reason for applying.
  • Which type of birth certificate copy you need (short or long form) and the number of copies.
  • A payment for each birth record copy you are requesting.
  • Your name and contact information.

If you are a mother applying for a birth certificate for your newborn child, then you may be required to show the Tennessee hospital birth record you received when your baby was born. Additionally, when applying for a birth record in Tennessee in person at a public health office, you will need to show a photo identification card. If you do not apply in person, then your application must be notarized or you must provide a signed photocopy of your identification card.


More information