Deadline Approaching for Free Issuance of Long-Form Birth Certificates Needed for Passport, Says Hess

In conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford /Fulton/Huntingdon) would like to inform residents of important changes to passport application requirements.


The U.S. Department of State has made it mandatory for the full names of an applicant’s parent or parents to be listed on ALL certified birth certificates for passport applicants, regardless of age.  This is commonly referred to as the long-form birth certificate.


“On April 1, the federal government began requiring birth certificates necessary for obtaining a passport to list the names of parents,” said Hess.  “If Pennsylvania residents requested a certified copy of a birth certificate during the first three months of 2011, they may have received one that did not list parental names, and could not be used to obtain a passport.  Pennsylvania has given these residents a three-month window to obtain a reissuance of a proper long-form birth certificate at no additional cost.”


The Pennsylvania Department of Health is offering a grace period for free reissuance of long-form birth certificates from April 1 through June 30 for anyone who was issued a certificate from Jan. 1 through March 31 that did not reflect the new requirements.  After June 30, those requesting a reissued certificate must pay a $10 per copy fee in the form of check, money order, or veteran’s information.


“The Health Department is not asking these folks to pay an additional $10 for a certified copy if they received one in the first three months of 2011 that wasn’t the long form,” said Hess.  “My office can help if you have any questions about how to get a certified copy of a birth certificate.”


For all other reasons why a certified copy of a birth certificate is needed (school, Social Security, housing, employment, etc.), the short-form birth certificate is still acceptable and a legitimate document.  The long-form birth certificate is ONLY needed for passports/travel.


For more information on how to obtain a certified copy of a birth record, visit


State Representative Dick Hess

78th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Todd Abele
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