Most people overlook the importance of learning how to store vital records and their birth certificates safely. It is when they need to retrieve them for some reason that they realize they are misplaced or lost. Worst of all, if they are not kept safe, they could be just as attractive to a home invader as your video game system, HDTV, jewelry, cash, and other valuables.
Types of Vital Records
Several different types of vital records and documents need protective safe storage, including:
- Social Security Cards
- Marriage Licenses
- Death Certificates
- Birth Certificates
- Car Titles
- House Title
- Business Licenses
- Seller’s Permits
- Federal Tax ID Numbers
- Wholesale Permits
- Certificates of Good Standing
How to Keep Vital Records and Birth Certificates Safe
- Ensure they are easily accessible.
- Keep them safe from fire, theft, and other damages.
Keeping these two objectives in mind, you have several different options for keeping vital records and birth certificates safe, such as:
Make Physical Copies
It is always a good idea to make paper copies of your vital records, documents, and birth certificates. While they are not the originals, they are often acceptable when needed for many situations. Plus, the copies help preserve the originals.
Store Digital Copies in the Cloud
Another storage option is to take pictures or scan the records, documents, and birth certificates and upload them to your secure cloud storage area. Storing these things in the cloud makes them easily accessible anytime you need them, as long as you have internet access.
Use Plastic Bags
Zip-locking plastic bags are perfect for storing birth certificates and vital records. The bag should be clear, so you can quickly tell what document is in what bag. For added protection, you can place the plastic bag inside a 3-ring plastic page sheet protector.
Acid-Free File Folders
Paper documents can be damaged from acid in other paper products like file folders. Acid-free file folders are the perfect storage solution to help keep your documents organized and protect them from damage. It is highly recommended to protect the documents in plastic bags, and then put them into acid-free file folders you can label.
Where to Store Vital Records and Birth Certificates
Safety Deposit Boxes
Banks and credit unions offer safety deposit boxes to keep vital records, birth certificates, and other small valuables safe and secure. The only drawback is that you often have to schedule a time to retrieve anything from the box, so it is not always the most accessible.
Fireproof and Waterproof Home Safes
Another place you can keep originals and copies of your birth certificates, vital records, and documents is in a fireproof and waterproof home safe. The safe should lock securely and not be easily picked.
Just make sure to keep your home safe hidden away, as in a closet or another area where it is not in plain view. Storing your vital documents in a home safe makes them accessible anytime you need them.
What Is the Best Way to Store a Birth Certificate?
The best way to store a birth certificate is to use a combination of methods. For example, you should make a copy of your original birth certificate—whether paper or digital or both. Next, you will want to protect the original by placing it in a plastic bag or plastic page protector.
You should also use a second protective measure, such as an acid-free file folder. You can store a physical copy in a plastic bag or acid-free file folder. Then you could put the original birth certificate in your safety deposit box at your bank or credit union while keeping the copy in your home safe.
How to Quickly Get a Birth Certificate Replacement
If you discover you have lost or misplaced your birth certificate, it is easy to get a birth certificate replacement from FastFilings in three simple steps:
Step 1: Complete our online secure web form.
Our web forms are designed to be simple and easy to complete. There are no confusing application forms or paperwork to worry about.
Step 2: Sign your form.
We will complete the official birth certificate replacement form and submit it to the state of your birth on your behalf. Quite often, you can sign the form electronically. If you need to provide a hard copy for your state, we will mail you the completed form along with a prepaid, pre-addressed envelope.
Step 3: Receive your birth certificate.
The issuing state will mail you an official copy of your birth certificate. If the state issues official birth certificate replacements in PDF format, we will email the birth certificate to the email address you provided us.
Once you have your birth certificate replacement, use our tips and suggestions to keep it safe and store it correctly.
To get a replacement birth certificate quickly and easily, fill out our secure online form today! If you have further questions or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact FastFilings using our online contact form.