Applying for a Delayed Birth Certificate

Some of you may remember that I had finally sent all the paperwork to hopefully find that my grandmother had a delayed birth certificate. I was so excited to get it done! I made copies of everything they asked for and went down to get the form notarized. Dropped in the mail and hoped I would get a pleasant surprise back.

The delayed birth certificate that I sent for is in North Dakota. I received an envelope back in the mail this past week. I opened to find everything was sent back to me except for one piece of paper, and a letter.

When I originally went to get the notarization, the Notary explained to me that the area in which her stamp was suppose to go was way to small and she couldn't use it. She then showed me a form and said she could use that. So I said ok, we will give it a go. Of course the form wasn't accepted, and that is what they didn't send back to me. The letter stated they HAD to have the stamp where it is requested.

Ok, so I went back to the notary and showed her the letter. I asked her please, can't she put the stamp where they want it? She again told me no. She told me it is against the law in California to put the stamp there because there isn't enough room and it would stamp over other writing, that was why we used the form the first time. OK, now what?

Feeling rejected, I went back home and set the letter aside for now. Again, I am on hold. My only thought at this point is to try to call back to North Dakota, explain the situation and see what they say.

In the meantime, I found a census record that shows her maiden name may have been something different than what I thought all of these years. I have tried to find more with that name, but to no avail so far. I am thinking it was a transcription error on the census. However, I am open to the possibility of either name being correct. More digging, and maybe a phone call.

Any thoughts or ideas are welcome!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success with all of your genealogical treasure hunts!



  1. Cheryl,

    Was this at the state level or county? I have found that by requesting a "informational" copy instead of a certified copy, there are less restrictions. The only difference between the 2 are that there won't be a raised seal and "Informational Copy Only" stamped across the certificate. I guess that prevents you from using it for evil purposes.
    Oh and another thing that I have found is that if I can get the record at the county level, I usually encounter far less hassle and it is usually 5 times quicker!

  2. Oh wait here is a link to what I am guessing is the "non certified" birth records request ffrom the Department of Health State of North Dakota:

    Let me know what happens.

  3. Make an "enlarged" copy big enough where the notary can put the stamp & then send it in - wonder if they would accept that?

  4. This is absolutely ridiculous. I would call North Dakota and explain your frustration. I don't suppose you live close enough to the state line that you could visit a different notary with a (hopefully) smaller stamp? Sherri's suggestion for an informational copy may be your best bet.

  5. Hi Sheri,

    I unfortunately always try for the "real" thing. I do know the unrestricted copy is less expensive also. I will check out the link you sent me, I appreciate the info, thanks! I will let you know what happens!

    Hi Wendy,

    The form they have you fill out is manilla colored and rather thick. At this point I really doubt they would accept a copy of that. I do think this was a great idea, and never know I may try, it will be in my brain in case I need to! Thanks for the idea Wendy, and for leaving a suggestion, I do appreciate it!

    Hi Apple,

    No, unfortunately I don't live close to the state border. The Notary even told me she has a smaller stamp on order, but it wouldn't even fit in the space they want it. I have to admit, this space is maybe 1/4 in high, I don't know how ANY seal would fit there! I will check out the link Sheri sent, and maybe go from there, but no matter what I plan to call and let them know the situation. I really don't understand how a stamp could go there, I could barely write my name in it! Thanks for the suggestions and stopping by, I really appreciate it!

  6. Cheryl,

    As I read the North Dakota Department of Health rules, two things stand out to me: 1. Records more than 100 years old are open and available to anyone. Was your grandmother born more than 100 years ago? 2. The requirements for a certified copy give the applicant the option of submitting the notarized form or sending "a clear copy of a government issued photo ID that contains the applicant's signature." I realize there are reasons that a person might not want to choose the second option, but if you have no such objections, I don't see why that wouldn't work. In any event, North Dakota's refusal to accept the California notary's act may be a violation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution, but that's a whole 'nother can o' worms!

  7. Hi Craig,

    Yes my grandmother was born over a hundred years ago. I can give a clear copy of a photo ID with signature, I don't think I have a problem with that. Initally when I tried for a birth certificate and they couldn't find one, they sent me the form I have been trying to use to apply for the delayed birth certificate. I had no idea it was going to be such an issue! I will check into all of this soon and see what to do, and I will keep you all informed! Thank you Craig and everyone for your thoughts, I really appreciate them!


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