Your Birth Certificate
If someone were to challenge you to go find your birth certificate as quickly as you could, how long would it take you? Often times, the length of time it would take someone to find their birth record is directly proportional to how important they think their birth certificate is.
Those who understand that it is the most important document you will ever own know exactly where it is; those who do not have that level of understanding either don't have a copy of it at all or they have a vague idea of where it might be. There are, however, a number of reasons you should know exactly where your birth certificate is.
Most folks first realize the importance of birth records long before they are old enough to leave the house. After all, your parents may have used it when you were originally registered for school. If you changed schools, your official birth certificate was probably a standard enrolment requirement, so even before you were ready to move out and start your own life, your birth record has already become an essential part of life.
As you get older, your birth record only increases in importance. If you are like most Americans, you probably got your driver's license when you were 16 or 17. You can't get a driver's license or a state ID card without a birth certificate.
With today's increased border security, the federal government has suggested that even causal trips to our neighbours to the north and south require a passport. If you plan on exploring Europe, Asia or Africa at some point, you will need a passport for sure. These days, government regulations require a valid official copy of your birth certificate to get a passport. No birth certificate? You simply won't be allowed to apply for a passport.
Finally, even if you never drive a car or leave the United States, you will still need an official copy of your birth records to get married. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans say 'I Do' from coast to coast. You risk being unprepared when Cupid's Arrow strikes if you don't have a copy of your birth certificate.
As you can see, there are a multitude of reasons to always have a valid copy of your birth certificate on hand at all times. It really is the single most important document you will ever own.