Birth Certificates

The Cook County Clerk's office keeps official records of births that occur in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

Under state law, you may legally obtain a certified copy of your own birth certificate if of legal age and/or the birth certificate of your child (your name must appear on the child's birth certificate).

Court-appointed legal guardians may obtain birth certificates of the children under their care if they submit a certified copy of the appointment. Certified copies of appointments can be obtained from the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Requests made with legal guardianship papers must be made in person or through the mail.
 

Requesting a birth certificate

There are five ways to obtain a birth certificate:

1. In person

Most records are printed on demand while you wait at any of our locations (downtown and five suburban courthouses).

  • Records are $15 for the first copy and $4 for each additional copy of the same record.
  • Cash, debit cards and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express & Discover) are accepted. A $1.25 processing fee is charged for debit cards; a $1.75 processing fee for credit cards. Checks are not accepted.
2. By mail

On average, mail orders are processed in 7-10 business days.

Mail your request to:
Cook County Clerk David Orr
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 641070
Chicago, IL 60664-1070

Include the following items in your mail order:

  • a completed Birth Certificate Request Form (be sure to include your phone number)
  • a photocopy of your photo identification (click here for acceptable forms of ID)
  • a check or money order payable to “Cook County Clerk” for $15 (additional copies of the same record cost $4 each)
  • a self-addressed stamped envelope for your document(s) to be mailed to you.
3. Currency Exchange

Birth records can be ordered at any Currency Exchange.

  • For hours and locations, call (847) 759-8905 or visit mycurrencyexchange.com.
  • In addition to the standard record fees, there is a $5 surcharge for records obtained at a Currency Exchange.
  • Records must be picked up at the store by the customer at a later time.
4. Online

Order online via VitalChek.

  • You will need to know the city of birth listed on the birth certificate, the child’s full name, the exact date of birth, and the parents’ first and last names.
  • In addition to the standard record fees, VitalChek online orders charge $12.45 for processing and standard postage.
  • Processing time averages 10-14 business days for regular mail (included), 5-7 business days for 2-day air ($17.50), and 3-5 business days for UPS Air ($20).
  • Credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express & Discover) and checks are accepted.
5. Phone

Phone orders via VitalChek can be made by calling toll free (866) 252-8974.

  • You will need to know the city of birth listed on the birth certificate, the child’s full name, the exact date of birth, and the parents’ first and last names.
  • In addition to the standard record fees, VitalChek online orders charge $12.45 for processing and standard postage.
  • Processing time averages 10-14 business days for regular mail (included), 5-7 business days for 2-day air ($17.50), and 3-5 business days for UPS Air ($20).
  • Credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express & Discover) and checks are accepted.

How to Get a Birth Certificate in Cook County


Birth records free of charge for homeless, domestic violence victims, formerly incarcerated

A free birth record is available to persons born in Cook County who are verified as either: homeless, residents of shelters for victims of domestic abuse/violence, and/or formerly incarcerated (released in the last 90 days) or soon to be released inmates and detainees from IDOC or Cook County Jail. Verification from a parole release form or a status certification form completed by a qualified human services staff is required.

Click here to submit a Free Birth Record Request Form and Status Certification