If you were born in Illinois
To get a certified copy of your birth certificate through IDPH, use the Application for search of birth record files. You will need to provide an ID, like a driver’s license (see the application for other types of ID you can use). There may also be a $10 fee.
Effective January 1, 2018, there is no fee if one of the following has just happened to you:
- Release from incarceration on parole,
- Mandatory supervised release,
- Final discharge, or
- Pardon from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
To avoid a fee, you will need to provide a verification form from the Illinois Department of Corrections. It must show your date of birth and social security number.
If you live in Cook County
In Cook County, there is no fee if you:
- Are not in stable housing,
- Live in a shelter or transitional housing.
- Are a victim of domestic violence,
- Are incarcerated in Cook County jail or the Illinois Department of Corrections, or
- Have been released from Cook County jail or the Illinois Department of Corrections in the last 90 days.
If you'd like to get a copy of your birth certificate through Cook County, visit the Cook County Clerk website to learn about this process.
If you are a person experiencing homelessness
Effective January, 2018, there is no charge for getting a copy of your birth certificate if you can show that you are experiencing homelessness. You must get a document from one of the following sources to show that you are experiencing homelessness:
- A homeless service agency,
- A lawyer licensed in Illinois,
- A public school homeless liaison or school social worker, or
- A human services provider funded by the State of Illinois.
If you were born outside of Illinois, or you don’t have an ID
You may want to Get Legal Help. It can be difficult to get these documents on your own. It can take 2-8 weeks to get an out-of-state birth certificate and even longer to get legal help, so be sure to start well in advance of your needing the birth certificate.
Updated: August 2017