A birth certificate is one of the most important legal documents you can have to establish your identity. You’ll need it to get a Social Security card or U.S. passport, apply for a driver’s license, prove U.S. citizenship and enroll your child in school, just to name a few examples.

Make sure you have a copy of your birth certificate and keep it in a safe, secure place. Only carry it with you when needed. If there is a mistake on your birth certificate, or you don’t have one, you’ll need help going to court to get one. First talk to your social worker if you are still in the foster care system. They are required to help you get your birth certificate. You can also ask your attorney to help. If you do not have an attorney or don’t know who your attorney is, contact the Alliance for Children’s Rights for help.

Call 213.368.6010 or email youth@kids-alliance.org.