How To Use And A Review Of VitalChek To Get Your Birth Certificate
Need Your Birth Certificate In A Hurry?
A few days ago I found out that I need to renew my passport. Through doing some research and such I found out that since my original was a "child's passport" that I basically needed to renew the long way. Through more research I found out that I needed a certified copy of my birth certificate.
I was born in California and back in the day instead of giving out the long form birth certificate they would give out a certified "ABSTRACT" birth certificate. This is the birth certificate I had and I was able to use this for everything from my driver's license to my original passport. However, upon looking into this matter further I discovered that in 2011 the passport agency no longer accepted these as valid birth certificates. Reading this information at first made me a little nervous seeing as I need a passport by August since I have a trip planned at that time. I was afraid that I would not be able to get my certified long copy of my birth certificate in time for the passport agency to process everything in time.
Through doing some more research I discovered the website called VitalChek (vitalchek.com). VitalChek claims that they can get your birth certificate to you in about 3-5 business days. I decided that this was going to be the route I was going to take to get my birth certificate.
I made an order on Saturday (be warned this is a normal business and works between Monday and Friday) and my birth certificate arrived to me on Wednesday (today).
However, after placing my order me being the person I am decided to read some reviews about this company. After reading the reviews I became extremely nervous about this company. Some people claimed that this company did not get their birth certificate to them in the time they said or that the company double charged them for the service. Some people also claimed that they had terrible customer service.
I am hear to tell you all that these claims are not the truth. I had no issues with this company at all. My birth certificate arrived to me in 3 business days, the company only charged me the one charge, and I did use their email customer service one time and they managed to respond to me in a timely manner.
Rating Of VitalChek
How To Use VitalChek
The vital check system was quite easy to use if you have access to a computer and the internet. However, I will let you know that there is a possibility that you will need a printer/scanner to complete your order with this company.
The first step in using this company would be to go to their website [www.vitalchek.com]. As you can see on their home page there is more then just birth certificates you can get from this company. You can also get birth certificates and death certificates. You can also get marriage and divorce records. This company will come in handy if you ever need to get these types of records in a timely manner.
Let me warn you also, using this service is also a tad more expensive then going directly to the hall of records where your certificate lives. However, if you are pressed for time then using this service for the extra amount of money is well worth the expense.
The second step in this process would be to click on place an order. The website will then ask you what certificate you are looking for (birth, death, marriage, or divorce). Simply (for this example we will use the birth certificate option) click the option next to the birth certificate and click "Start Order." Once you click start order the website will take you the next step in this process.
The next page will ask you if you are searching for your birth certificate or someone else's. Simply click on "My Birth Certificate" and enter in your name in the appropriate boxes that show up under the options. Once you have finished this click on continue and it will take you to the next page.
On the next page they want to know what state you were born in. Simply use the pull down bar to choose the state in which you were born. I was born in California so I would use that drag down bar and choose the option that says California. Once this is done the continue button will take you to the next page.
You now have to disclose what city you were born in. You will once again use a drag down bar to choose the appropriate option for you. If you are wondering why this company needs all this information it is because they have to be able to send the request to appropriate agency for your certificate to be processed. Once you choose your city click the continue button to lead you on to the next steps.
Your date of birth is now some of the information they need. Simply enter your birth date in the appropriate boxes and continue. This information is also needed so the agency will be able to locate to your birth certificate.
In case you did not know there are different types of birth certificates so on the next page they want to know the reason you need your birth certificate. This page also has a drag down bar. You simply use the drag down bar and choose the option that best describes why you are trying to get your birth certificate. I was getting my birth certificate so that I could apply for my passport so I chose the option that says "Passport/Travel."
Once you click the continue button it will show you the options that are available for the County Recorder that holds your birth certificate. Most offer a copy of the birth certificate for $28.00. However, this is where a small fee is also added if you want to get your birth certificate through this company. The company charges a $6.00 processing fee. So this will bring your subtotal to the amount of $34.00.
You then select the best option for you by clicking on the select button under the option that best suits what you are trying to do.
The next page will lead you to terms and conditions you have to agree upon to continue. Simply click the little box under the terms and continue to the next page.
On the next page it gives you a subtotal breakdown of you ordered. On this page you will also be able to add on copies of the certificate if needed. Of course for every copy you have to add another $28.00. This is not the fee of VitalChek but the fee of the County Recorder for copies of the certificate. Once you have stated how many copies you want click the continue page to continue to the next page.
On this page you have to enter the name that appears on your birth certificate and underneath that you have to use the pull down bar to choose your gender. Once these are done you can continue to the next page.
Here the company will want to verify that the names are exactly as they are. They will give you a warning stating if the names are the same and if you've been married the names might appear differently. Simply click the box next to ignore warning and continue to the next page.
The information you have to provide now is the names of your parents as they appear on your birth certificate. Simply enter the names in the appropriate boxes. If you do not know who your father is there is a box you can click that says "father unknown or not listed on birth certificate." All this information is needed to help track down your birth certificate in records. If you go in person to the recorders office they will also ask you this information. Once this information has been provided you can proceed to the next page by clicking continue.
The next page will ask if you want to order additional certificates simply click no and continue.
Shipping options are what the next page is about. They offer two different types of options regular mail and UPS Air. I will describe the difference between both below.
- USPS Regular Mail: The cost for this service is $0.00. However, there is no insurance if the item gets lost in the mail and can take an additional 10 days for delivery. The processing time at the Recorder's Office using this method can take 7-10 business days. So worst-case scenario using this option can take up to 20 days.
- UPS Air: The cost of this service is $19.00. However, the item is overnight-ed to you and there is insurance on the item if it gets lost. The processing time at the Recorder's Office is 3-5 business days.
Once you choose your shipping method you will have to enter your shipping address so they will know where to ship the certificate. I personally chose the UPS Air option as I was in a hurry to get the birth certificate in a timely manner.
One the next page they will ask you for your billing address and information. Simply enter the information before continuing to the next page.
They will then want to verify that the addresses you entered were the correct addresses and once you continue from that page you will have to enter your credit card information. Once you place your order you will get the order number and a pin that is associated with your order. You may also need to enter additional information.
When I was processing my order I had to print out a paper and have it notarized (which I did at a local UPS store which was also an additional $10.00) and also copy my drivers license so they could verify my identity. They have three options you can take to send them this information. You can scan and send upload the papers to their system, take a picture using your phone and upload the images to them, or you can fax the papers to them.
They will send you an email with the information on how to accomplish this.
Once everything has been submitted they will verify your information and send to the Recorder's office where they will finish processing and send you your certificate.
Pretty much as simple as 1, 2, 3...
The First Step!
Review Of VitalChek Customer Service!
Since I entered all my information on a Saturday I was worried that they would not process it right away on Monday. So on Monday I contacted the companies customer service via email. They make it simple when you want to email them. Click on contact them via email and a fill out form pops up asking for some basic information about your order and the question or concern you have.
When I filled it out I provided them with my order number and stated that I wanted to make sure that I had entered and provided all the information they needed to process my order since I did not want to delay the process further.
Within a couple hours I got a response from them via email stating that they were in the process of verifying my ID and if there was anything else I needed to submit they would contact me via email.
The customer service was quick and gave me the answer's to all that asked.
Many other reviews I have read said they have terrible customer service. I; however, do not agree with this.
Everyone Should Have Their Birth Certificate!
Overall Review Of VitalChek!
I am highly satisfied with VitalChek! Although I may have spent more then going other routes to obtain my birth certificate I am happy with what I got for the cost. I was able to get my birth certificate in 3 business days and I will be able to apply for my passport and have it by the time of our trip in August.
VitalChek made getting my birth certificate simple and only asked for necessary information on tracking down my birth certificate.
The customer service that I had to use to answer my questions, was timely and provided the information that I needed.
I would recommend this service for anyone that is in a hurry to get their birth certificate or needs it in a hurry.
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