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How to Find a Birth Record in Nebraska?

What Are Birth Records in Nebraska?

A Nebraska birth record contains detailed vital information relating to the birth of an individual in Nebraska. It is an official document that proves an individual's identity, age, and citizenship status. A Nebraska birth record or certificate is necessary to apply for certain benefits and to obtain a passport, social security card, and driver's license. It is also necessary to register for school, sporting activities, transfer of property, and for collecting retirement benefits for life insurance.

Nebraska began keeping birth records statewide in 1904. However, some counties in the state kept record ledgers before 1904. Between 1904 and 1911, births were usually filed only under the father's name and did not list the name of the child. At that time, Nebraska filed birth records only to register births and not to create birth certificates.

Certificates for births started in Nebraska in 1912. However, starting from 1941, persons born in Nebraska before 1904 could ask to have their birth records put on file via a delayed birth process. In 1985, birth certificates were sent to the Nebraska Vital Records in Lincoln, except for Douglas and Lancaster Counties. Prior to October 1, 1985, all delayed birth records granted by the Nebraska courts were filed with the Nebraska Vital Records Office.

A Nebraska birth record contains:

  • Date of birth
  • Time of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Child's full name
  • Mother's name
  • Father's name
  • Child's gender
  • Type of birth
  • Mother's marital status
  • Birth registration number

How to Find and Request Birth Records Online in Nebraska?

Birth records in Nebraska are only available to specific categories of persons. Hence, the state does not make birth records available for online lookup. Eligible persons can obtain Nebraska birth records online by providing the form of identification and paying the appropriate fee. To obtain a birth record online, complete the Nebraska-Born Certified Birth Certificate Application Form. Applications are processed after the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) receives and accepts a readable copy of the requester's current government-issued photo identification. The ID must be received in the DHHS office within three business days of completing the online application.

The DHHS advises one of the following options for requesters to submit the required identification:

Note that acceptable image formats are .jpg, .bmp, .doc, .pdf, and .tif. Enlarge the copy taken by 200% and lighten the image before faxing. The requester should also include the confirmation number provided upon completion of the online application in the mail containing the requester's ID. Genealogy requests cannot be placed online.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional, government sources, and through third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are considered a good place to start when looking for a specific record or multiple records. In order to gain access to these records, interested parties must typically provide:

· The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.

· The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.

How to Get Birth Records in Nebraska?

Per Nebraska law, birth records in the state must be made accessible to the public for viewing unless otherwise provided by law or court order. Hence Nebraska allows birth records to be viewed during normal office hours at the custodian's location. An applicant however must make a request to view the birth record and provide the applicant's name and address. A requester who wishes to view a birth record must pay the statutory fee of a copy of the record which will be stamped "NOT A LEGAL DOCUMENT - FOR REVIEW ONLY." Note that this copy does not include sections of the birth record labeled "medical or health information' or "information for statistical purposes only".

Under Nebraska law, an applicant who has applied to view a birth record is not permitted to remove the requested from the area provided for viewing. The copies provided in the viewing area are not permitted to be photocopied or reproduced by the applicant. Such copies are required to be returned to the department before the applicant leaves the viewing area. However, the applicant can make and keep notes on the content of a viewed record.

Nebraska requires requesters to meet certain conditions before obtaining certified birth records. Firstly, a requester must demonstrate a proper purpose by proving to the DHHS that a valid reason exists for obtaining a copy of a birth record. Proper purposes include obtaining birth records for legal use, consensual use, scientific or medical use, historical research, governmental use, media use, genealogical use, personal use, and law enforcement use. A requester can only obtain a birth record for genealogical upon presenting proof of identity and

  • Showing proof that the person named on the record has been deceased for 50 or more years; or
  • Presenting a written consent of the person named on the record or a member of the registrant's family when the registrant is alive or has been deceased less than 50 years

In addition to a proof of purpose, a requester must:

  • Provide sufficient information to enable the DHHS to locate and identify each certified copy of the birth record requested
  • Pay the statutory fee for each certified copy or each search for a certified copy, whether the record is found or not, unless exempt from payment by law
  • Provide name and address, telephone number, and proof of identity. The DHHS may require more than one document to prove identity. If a requester seeks to obtain a birth record for medical, scientific, law enforcement, government, genealogical, or historical research purposes, the following are required:
    • The name of the entity being represented by the applicant
    • The name of the principal investigator (If it is not the applicant)
    • Qualifications of the applicant
    • The location where the research will take place
    • How the research will take place

The proof of identity required by the DHHS refers to documentation issued by a federal, state, or local political subdivision, corporation, or other entity that contains a photograph of the requester and facts identifying the requester or other documentary evidence establishing identity. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • State of Nebraska Driver’s License
  • State of Nebraska ID Card
  • Driver’s license issued by another U.S. State
  • Photo State Identification Card issued by another U.S. State
  • U.S. Passport

Upon a requester's provision of all requirements to obtain a birth record, the DHHS reviews the application and documentation provided to determine whether the criteria for proper purpose are met. The DHHS may conduct independent verification of some or all the information or proof supplied by a requester. An application for a birth record may be denied if:

  • The reason for the request is not for a proper purpose as defined in Nebraska Administrative Code 3-004
  • An applicant cannot provide proof of identity
  • Information or documentation presented are incomplete
  • The birth record requested is sealed, confidential, or protected by a statute or court order
  • Documentation or information provided by the requester does not provide the proof necessary for release for a proper purpose
  • There is reason to believe that an applicant has provided inaccurate or false information

Denials of access to birth records will be made in writing to requesters by the DHHS. A denial will clearly set out the reasons why a request has been turned down. A denial who has been denied access to a birth record may seek review of the action under any of the methods provided under Section 84-712.03 of the Nebraska Revised Statute.

How to Get Nebraska Birth Records in Person?

To obtain a Nebraska birth record in person, complete the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate and submit to:

Office of Vital Records
Department of Health & Human Services
Suite 130
1033 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68508-3621

Ensure to go along with the proper fee and acceptable form of identification.

How to Get Nebraska Birth Records by Mail?

To obtain a Nebraska birth record by mail, a requester must complete the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate. The following information are required in the application:

  • Child's full name on record. If adopted, list adoptive name and state "adopted"
  • Month/day/year of birth
  • City or town of birth/County of birth
  • Father's/Parent's full name at birth. If adopted, list the adoptive father's name.
  • Mother's/Parent's full name at birth. If adopted, list the adoptive mother's maiden name.
  • Purpose of request
  • Relationship to the person named on the record
  • A photocopy of the current government-issued photo ID of the person making the application

Enclose a stamped, self-addressed business envelope along with the correct fee and the complete application in a mail to:

Nebraska Vital Records
P.O. Box 95065,
Lincoln, NE 68509-5065

The DHHS may collect supplemental information over the phone if required.

Where Can I Find Birth Records in Nebraska?

The Office of Vital Records, Department of Health and Human Services preserves records of births that occurred in Nebraska. The Office issues legally certified copies which are printed on multi-colored security paper with a digitally enhanced state seal. Birth records may also be obtained from the various County Health Departments in the state.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in Nebraska?

Nebraska birth certificates can only be obtained by certain categories of persons. These are:

  • The person named on the record
  • The parent of the person named on the record
  • The spouse of the person named on the record
  • An adult child of the person named on the record
  • The legal guardian or the legal representative of the person named on the record
  • Anyone who has obtained a court record permitting them to obtain a specific birth record

Apart from the required valid photo identification required to be provided, a legal guardian or legal representative will be required to present other supporting identification documents to obtain a birth certificate. Under Section 71-649 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, it is a felony to obtain, possess, use, sell, furnish, or attempt to obtain a birth record for purposes of deception.

How Much Does a Birth Certificate Cost in Nebraska?

Each copy of a Nebraska certified birth certificate costs $17. The fee is inclusive of the search fee for the birth record. Fees for mail orders can be paid by checks or money order made payable to "Vital Records." Fees are non-refundable even if no records are found. Note that Nebraska fees for birth certificates are subject to change without notice. Call the DHHS 24-hour recorded message at (402) 471-2871 to verify current fees.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Birth Certificate in Nebraska?

Walk-in requests for birth records are responded to on the same day of requests, usually within one hour. Mail orders placed to be returned via regular mail take a minimum of 15 days to process. Expedited requests attract additional fees and take about 1-2 days to process. Express services are available through USPS, FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Online applications take at least 7 days to process.

How to Expunge Your Birth Records in Nebraska?

Expunging a record leads to its permanent deletion. It is possible to expunge part or all of a record. This legal act most often applies to criminal records. In Nebraska, it is impossible to expunge birth records.

How to Seal Your Birth Records in Nebraska?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) establishes a new birth certificate for a person born in the State of Nebraska whenever it receives a report of adoption as provided in Section 71-626 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes. The same action is taken if the DHHS receives a certified copy of the decree of adoption entered in a court of competent jurisdiction of any other state or nation declaring adopted a person born in Nebraska.

Before the establishment of a new birth certificate, the pre-adoption birth certificate or the original adoption certificate is automatically sealed away where it may only be accessed in limited circumstances.

How to Unseal Your Birth Records in Nebraska?

Unsealing a birth record in Nebraska is dependent on the date of an adoptee's relinquishment and whether a birth parent and the adoptive parent agree to the release of the original birth certificate.

Prior to September 1, 1988

An adoptee may obtain an original birth certificate if an affirmative written consent of either one birth parent or both birth parents has been obtained. Access may still be denied if an adoptive parent files a non-consent form. Any previously filed non-consent form filed applies even after a birth parent's death.

September 1, 1988, through July 20, 2002

Persons whose adoptions were finalized between this period may request their original birth certificate after turning 21. The birth parent's consent is presumed given unless a non-consent form has been filed by the birth parent. In addition, adoptive parents retain the right to veto the release of original birth certificates.

After July 20, 2002

The same guidelines apply here as for those whose adoptions were finalized after September 1, 1988. However, the adoptive parents do not have veto power over the release of original birth certificates.

After ensuring that all requirements have been met, an adoptee can unseal an original birth record by completing the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate Form. Enclose the completed form, the correct fee, and acceptable identification in a mail to:

Vital Records
P.O. Box 95065
Lincoln, NE 68509-5065