The rules surrounding the issuance of South Carolina birth records are fairly strict, and the records are only released to the person themselves, or to the parents of the person on the record. This applies if the person is still living. For someone who is deceased, any immediate family member can make a request as long as proof of death is provided along with the rest of the application paperwork.
There are 2 kinds of South Carolina birth records that you can request, either the long-form or the wallet card. Only the long form is used for travel purposes. The long form has the complete registration information for the birth, including the full name, date and place of birth, parent's names and their places of birth and the dates that the record was issued. The wallet cards don't include any of the parental information but does include the other facts.
To make a request for a South Carolina birth record, you just have to send in the form and payment to the state Vital Records office. Local county offices can handle any applications as long as they are for the smaller wallet documents only.
Forms are available online (http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/library/d-0640.pdf) at the South Carolina Department of Health website. Just print it out and complete the necessary information about the record you are seeking as well as your own contact information. You have to provide a photocopy of your government issued photo ID as well (like a driver's license).
The form is used for all vital records requests, so make sure you are filling in the right areas for a South Carolina birth record.
With the form, you also need to have the proper fee, which is currently $12 USD for a search. If you need more than one copy, you can order extras for $3 each. Payments should be made out to "SC DHEC". When making your application in person, you can pay in cash. If they are unable to find the record you are seeking, there are no refunds. The cost will be the same whether you are seeking the long form or the shorter wallet cards.
Once everything is complete and ready to go, you can either mail it or drop it off in person at the Vital Records office. Their address is 2600 Bull Street, Columbia SC, 29201 USA. The physical address for visits is the same. Mailed requests for a South Carolina birth record will take about 2 to 4 weeks, or half an hour if you are waiting at the counter.
If all you need is a wallet card, you can visit your local office. A full list of offices with addresses is on the Department of Health website (http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/vr/locations.htm).
The Vital Records office has records that date back to 1915, though some county offices may have their own records for birth registrations that are older. You'll have to contact the office where the birth took place to see what their document holdings include.
Follow these steps to request South Carolina birth certificates through a mailed application:
To process your mailed request, you will need to complete a South Carolina Birth Certificate application.
You will also need to include a copy of your government-issued photo ID to establish your identity.
Along with the above paperwork, you will also need to include a cashier's check or money order in the amount of $12 if you want standard mail service. Expedited service costs $17.
For further questions regarding the access of South Carolina birth records, you can contact:
South Carolina Department of Health
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
How To Order South Carolina Birth Records
For those persons who need copies of South Carolina birth records, they can be obtained through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The Department offers several ordering methods for your convenience.
Convenient Ordering Methods
There are three different ways that you can order South Carolina birth records. You can visit the state office in person, which generally takes about 45 minutes to process your request. You can mail in an application, which has a 2-4 week delivery time for standard orders or 3-5 business days for expedited orders. Or you can also order by phone and online through an independent company. These orders take about 5-7 business days and are subject to an additional fee.
Record Access is Restricted
Access to South Carolina birth records is restricted. You will only be able to obtain a copy if you are at least 18 years of age and the person listed on the certificate, a parent listed on the certificate, or a legal representative.