Since You Asked

Could you please explain what a "government-issued birth certificate" is. If I need one to renew my driver's license, what is the address and how do I apply for it? — G.C.D., Medford

A government-issued birth certificate is the official legal document filed with county or state authorities recording a live birth, Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division spokesman David House said. That means commemorative certificates or cards issued by hospitals, baptismal certificates and other such collectibles once provided to new parents won't work, no matter how official they might look.

Anyone born in Oregon since 1903 can order a copy of their birth certificate from the Department of Human Services Center for Health Statistics — Vital Records. The request must include the full name on the birth record, the date and place of birth, father's full name, mother's full maiden name, the name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the record and the requestor's relationship to the person named on the record.

Send your order to Oregon Vital Records, P.O. Box 14050, Portland, OR 97293-0050. Order by fax at 503-234-8417, by phone at 971-673-1190 or online at If you happen to be in Portland, stop by the office, 800 N.E. Oregon St., Room 205, in person.

The fee is $20 for one copy and $15 for each additional copy of the same record. An additional $12.50 quick service fee is assessed for phone, fax and online orders. Checks and money orders may be made payable to DHS Vital Records.

The DMV Web site,, and Department of Human Services site,, have more information.

People born elsewhere in this great country can find links to other state's vital statistics offices at the National Center for Health Statistics Web site,

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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