Planning a trip out of the country? Get a certified birth certificate

Planning a trip out of the country? Get a certified birth certificate

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Planning a trip out of the United States? Don’t forget to be prepared to show authorities at the airport or boat dock a certified copy of your birth certificate. Certified copies can be obtained from the county clerk in the county in which you were born. John Schou, Winnebago County Clerk, urges people to be sure to get certified copies of birth certificates for all members of their family. Certified means that there is an embossed (raised) seal on the document.

Even if a trip is not planned in the near future, it is a good idea to purchase a certificate to have available in case of an emergency. Schou says that his office often receives calls from people who have been stopped from boarding an airplane at airports, such as Chicago’s O’Hare, or elsewhere, because they do not have the proper legal identification. The hospital birth certificate will not be accepted.

If you plan to fly or sail to any other country in the near future, you need to have a certified copy of your birth certificate. Sept. 11th has heightened the need for travelers to have proper identification or face the possibility of not being able to board an airplane or ship. If in doubt, you should get a certified copy of your birth certificate from the county or state in which you were born. Schou’s clerks can provide a telephone number for the offices that provide certified birth certificates in any state. Call the Clerk’s Vital Records Department at 987-3050. Schou’s advice is to act now and eliminate the possibility of not going on the long-awaited trip.

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