Birth Certificates / Social Security Numbers
A birth certificate is a legal document that can be used to prove your child's age, citizenship and parentage.
After your baby is born, hospital staff will provide you with a Birth Certificate Worksheet. Once you have completed the worksheet and given it to your nurse, St. Luke's will send it to the State of Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS), where it will be processed.
St. Luke's cannot provide you with a copy of your baby's birth certificate. Birth certificates can only be obtained through BVS. To request a certified copy of your child's birth certificate, you may either:
1) Call BVS at (208) 334-5988 (English translation) or 334-5980 (Spanish translation);
2) Visit the Bureau of Vital Statistics website;
3) Hand-deliver your written request to BVS at 450 W. State St., Boise, Idaho.
You will be charged $13 for each certified copy.
Social Security Numbers
The Birth Certificate Worksheet gives you the option to automatically request a social security number for your baby. This number is issued free of charge by the Social Security Administration. If you choose this option, a social security card will be mailed directly to your home in approximately 6 to 12 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will I receive a birth certificate for my baby?
A. No, you will not automatically receive a birth certificate. What you will receive is a notice from the State of Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics verifying that your baby's Birth Certificate Worksheet has been processed. If you did not provide a current address on the worksheet, or if you have recently moved, you will need to let the Bureau of Vital Statistics know about your change of address, in order to receive this verification.
If you would like a certified copy of your baby's birth certificate, it can be obtained only by request through the State of Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics. Although the Birth Certificate Worksheet is filled out at the hospital where your baby is delivered, hospitals cannot provide a birth certificate.
Q. I requested a copy of my baby's birth certificate several weeks ago, but have not received it. What should I do?
A. Contact the State of Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics at (208) 334-5988 (English translation) or (208) 334-5980 (Spanish translation).
Q. On the Birth Certificate Worksheet that I filled out at the hospital, I opted to get a social security card for my baby, but I have not received it. What should I do?
A. If it has been less than 3 months since you filled out the worksheet, please be patient. If it has been more than 3 months, you may need to contact the Social Security Administration. Please be aware that if you did not fully complete the Birth Certificate Worksheet while at the hospital, the Bureau of Vital Statistics will not forward the information to Social Security Administration.
If you recently moved, you must contact the Social Security Administration, as the Post Office will not forward mail originating from Social Security.
Q. What happens if I leave the hospital before making a decision about what to name my baby?
A. If you do not list a name for your baby, St. Luke's will hold the Birth Certificate Worksheet for approximately 10 days. During this time, you may return to the hospital and provide the name to our Birth Certificate specialist. You will need to bring legal photo identification with you for this purpose.
If a name is not provided within 10 days, the baby will be given the mother's last name. The worksheet will then be forwarded to the State of Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Q. Can my baby have his father's last name, even if we are not married?
A. Yes. However, be aware that paternity is not established simply by last name. Legally, you can choose any first, middle or last name for your baby. In order to establish legal paternity, you must fill out a Paternity Affidavit. Click here for more information about paternity.
Q. While filling out the Birth Certificate Sheet at the hospital, I did not opt to get a social security number for my baby. I would now like to do so. What steps do I take to get one at this time?
A. Go to your local Social Security office. (Click here to find an office near you) You will need to:
- Fill out an application (you must provide both parents’ Social Security numbers);
- Show evidence of your child’s age, identity and citizenship; and
- Show evidence of your identity.
Social Security will assign your child a number and mail the Social Security card directly to you.