A birth certificate is an important legal document. It is needed to apply for other forms of identification (such as a driver’s license, Social Security card, or state ID card) that you need in order to:
- Get a place to live
- Apply for and receive public assistance, and
- Remove other barriers.
Starting July 1, 2018, individuals who are homeless can see a local homeless service provider or organization to get help ordering their Oregon birth certificate free of charge.
This program is supported by one-time funds, so please apply for birth certificate help as quickly as possible. Future funding for the program will need to be authorized by Oregon legislators.
- Which homeless service providers or organizations are participating in the grant program?
Organizations participating in the program are located in 16 counties. They can help homeless individuals get their birth certificate for no cost. You can go to any one of the homeless service providers or organizations to get help.
To find one near you:
- How do I get my birth certificate free of charge if I am homeless?
Go to one of the participating homeless service providers or organizations. They can:
- Help you complete the birth record order form
- Give you information on what documents are needed
- Provide you a check for payment
- Prepare the affidavit for “Homeless Status for Fee-Exempt Certified Copy of Birth Certificate” to include with your order
You will need to mail your order form, check, documentation, and completed application to Oregon Vital Records. Vital Records will mail your birth certificate to you in care of the address on the order form.
- Can I get my birth certificate for free if I was born in another state?
This program is for persons born in Oregon. Check with the state where you were born to see if they offer free birth certificates to persons who are homeless.
- Can I get my birth certificate free of charge if I go to the Oregon Vital Records Office in Portland or to the County Vital Records Office?
No. Persons who are homeless and who want to get their birth certificate under this program must mail in their order form, check, documentation and letter to Oregon Vital Records. Please contact a participating homeless service provider or organization to get started.
- What forms do I need to complete?
You need to complete the Oregon Birth Record Order Form. Include the original affidavit for “Homeless Status for a Fee-Exempt Certified Copy of Birth Certificate.” Please go to one of the participating homeless service providers or organizations to get help completing the forms.
- Do I have to provide proof of identity?
Yes. A list of acceptable proofs of identity is on the Oregon Vital Records website. Participating homeless service providers and organizations can help you get your acceptable proofs of identity.
If you don’t have acceptable proofs of identity, the homeless service provider or organization will help you work with Oregon Vital Records to determine what information is needed to release your birth certificate.
- Can I get free birth certificates for my family?
No. The grant program was established for individuals who are homeless to get their own birth certificate free of charge. This grant program does not provide funds to get family members’ birth certificates.
- Where will my birth certificate be mailed?
Your birth certificate will be mailed to the address on your order form. The envelope will be addressed to you since it is your birth certificate.
- Will I be able to use the birth certificate to get other documents such as an Oregon identification card or driver’s license?
Yes. A birth certificate is a legal document used to establish identity. It shows who you are, and when and where you were born. Your birth certificate is a legal document and is confidential. Be sure to keep it in a safe place.
- Can additional homeless service providers enroll in the program?
Homeless service providers throughout the state were contacted about the program, and those who chose to participate are currently enrolled. All funds have been distributed. Future funding for the program will need to be authorized by the Oregon legislature. Please contact Wanda Davis at email@example.com if you are interested in participating in this program in the future.