DoD Knowledge Base: FAQs

Birth or Death Certificate
Published: 10/05/2002 | Updated:  09/10/2014
How can I obtain my or my child's birth certificate if born overseas at a military installation?

The Department of Defense periodically receives requests for a certificate or record of a birth or death that occurred overseas. The U.S. State Department handles these issues.

For Information on How to Apply for a Certified Copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please visit

Records of birth and death occurring on vessels or aircraft on the high seas

When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether in an aircraft or on a vessel, the record is usually filed at the next port of call.

  1. If the vessel or aircraft docked or landed at a foreign port, requests for copies of the record may be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-1705.
  2. If the first port of entry was in the United States, write to the registration authority in the city where the vessel or aircraft docked or landed in the United States.
  3. If the vessel was of U.S. registry, contact the local authorities at the port of entry and/or search the vessel logs at the U.S. Coast Guard Facility at the vessel's final port of call for that voyage.

Records Maintained by Foreign Countries
Most, but not all, foreign countries record births and will provide certification of such events. (Normally a fee will be charged.) U.S. citizens who need a copy of a foreign birth record may obtain help by writing to: Office of Special Consular Services, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. NOTE: Aliens residing in the United States who seek records of these events should contact their nearest consular office.