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Old 12-31-07, 02:27 PM   #1
phatboy
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Can You Laminate A Birth Certificate?

I know you're not supposed to laminate a social security card (and no one can really tell me why, despite the fact that those cards are fragile and it would make them last a helluva lot longer) but what about a birth certificate? Mine's starting to show some wear and I 'd like to keep it new looking as possible. But I wasn't sure about the ramifications or whatever.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:33 PM   #2
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Why not? Your birth certificate is really only a certified copy so it is not like the original document.

Of course, if you laminate it , it might make it difficult to tell it has the official seal on it making it a certified copy.

But it is always easy to order new copies for a small fee. Just contact the county you were born in.

What I do is I keep my certified copy in a safe place and I made a photocopy of it. Most places I have needed to show it (employers) do not need the certified copy anyway so a photocopy will suffice to carry around if you need to.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:34 PM   #3
zuffy
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I don't see why not?

As for the SS answer:
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/...p_sp=undefined

Answer
No it is not illegal, but it’s best not to laminate your card. Laminated cards make it difficult, if not impossible, to detect important security features.
The Social Security Act requires the Commissioner of Social Security to issue cards that cannot be counterfeited. We incorporate many, many features that protect the card’s integrity. That includes highly specialized paper and printing techniques—some visible to the naked eye and some not. Further, we continue to actively explore and adopt new technologies that hamper duplication.

Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:40 PM   #4
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Why do you need to carry around a birth certificate or a SS card if you have a passport? The passport works for proof of citizenship and is pretty sturdy.

I keep my birth certificate and SS card in a safe and never touch them (they are holding up well that way).
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Old 01-02-08, 10:19 AM   #5
Jeeden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuffy
I don't see why not?

As for the SS answer:
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/...p_sp=undefined

Answer
No it is not illegal, but it’s best not to laminate your card. Laminated cards make it difficult, if not impossible, to detect important security features.
The Social Security Act requires the Commissioner of Social Security to issue cards that cannot be counterfeited. We incorporate many, many features that protect the card’s integrity. That includes highly specialized paper and printing techniques—some visible to the naked eye and some not. Further, we continue to actively explore and adopt new technologies that hamper duplication.

Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you.

haha..I remember I was trying to get an electric service or water or something hooked up at my apartment in college years ago and they asked me on the phone if I had my card. I said yes. Then they asked if it was laminated. I said yes. They then told me I would have to order a new card before I could complete the account setup (even though I have perfect credit etc). I couldn't believe it. I called back about 10 minutes later and talked to a different person and said no to both questions and they setup my account
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Old 01-02-08, 10:24 AM   #6
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When my kids were born we got some birth certificate "cards". They're valid certificates, but small enough to fit in the wallet and they are laminated.
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Old 01-02-08, 11:06 AM   #7
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I have a hospital certificate that doesn't count as an official birth certificate. I didn't find this out until I took a job twenty-odd years ago that required me to produce my birth certificate, and I ended up having to order a copy from the state capital. They sent me one full-size copy and one laminated wallet size card. Cool beans.
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Old 01-02-08, 11:17 AM   #8
Abelkems
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vibiana
I have a hospital certificate that doesn't count as an official birth certificate. I didn't find this out until I took a job twenty-odd years ago that required me to produce my birth certificate, and I ended up having to order a copy from the state capital. They sent me one full-size copy and one laminated wallet size card. Cool beans.
Same thing happened to me. I pulled out my hospital copy and actually argued with the people that it was my real birth certificate because it was the only one I had known since I was old enough to read it. I finally gave in and called for a copy which didn't look as pretty, but was gladly accepted as real.
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Old 01-02-08, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho
When my kids were born we got some birth certificate "cards". They're valid certificates, but small enough to fit in the wallet and they are laminated.
How can you tell if the seal is raised on a laminated card (from what I've seen, that's what people use to determine validity)?

Edit: and why are people such sticklers about having "real" copies? Can't they just take the copy and call the hospital/city/county/state? Wouldn't that be an even better way to validate your birth?

Last edited by matta; 01-02-08 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 01-02-08, 12:44 PM   #10
BuddhaWake
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some birth certificates have water marks and diffferent textures in the paper that you wouldn't be able detect if it were laminated.
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Old 01-02-08, 05:51 PM   #11
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There's no way my 30 year old SS card has "security features" which prevent it from being duplicated today.
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Old 01-02-08, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LurkerDan
There's no way my 30 year old SS card has "security features" which prevent it from being duplicated today.
No kidding. My card is printed on flimsy blue construction paper.
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Old 01-02-08, 06:18 PM   #13
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Back in the early 70's they used to sell card laminating thing in a vending machine for .25 cents and I did my SS card. Its funny when I look at it as I signed it cursive so you could actually read it. Now, my signature is just scribble.

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Old 01-02-08, 06:28 PM   #14
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For the record, I can laminate the hell out of a birth certificate.
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Old 01-02-08, 08:04 PM   #15
Sean O'Hara
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Quote:
and why are people such sticklers about having "real" copies? Can't they just take the copy and call the hospital/city/county/state? Wouldn't that be an even better way to validate your birth?
Isn't the line at the DMV long enough already? Do you really want the clerks to spend an extra fifteen minutes trying to get in touch with a hospital and find someone to go down to the basement and check decades old records?

And too, consider the cost -- lots of people don't live anywhere near the place they were born, so anyone checking the records would have to make a long distance call, and the hospitals and city halls would need to hire someone just to deal with all the requests they'll end up getting.

But, yes, it would be easier for you.
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Old 01-02-08, 08:07 PM   #16
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I framed my birth certificate.

Whenever someone visits my office, I try to casually gesture towards it during conversation as if to say, "Look what I did. I accomplished something. I'm a somebody."
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Old 01-02-08, 08:37 PM   #17
matta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Isn't the line at the DMV long enough already? Do you really want the clerks to spend an extra fifteen minutes trying to get in touch with a hospital and find someone to go down to the basement and check decades old records?

And too, consider the cost -- lots of people don't live anywhere near the place they were born, so anyone checking the records would have to make a long distance call, and the hospitals and city halls would need to hire someone just to deal with all the requests they'll end up getting.

But, yes, it would be easier for you.
I'm not so much about ease for me (it's actually more of an effort to make a copy then bring the copy). I'm more concerned about security. It seems fairly easy to duplicate a piece of paper, but it would be much more difficult to change the county's registration database.

When I verify the degree of someone I'm interviewing, I don't just look at the diploma - I call the school or check the school's website. For $150 you can buy a dead-on Harvard PhD diploma.

As for the DMV - how many of those people are applying for a first time license? Most are renewing or transferring an out-of-state license, which doesn't require a birth certificate. Besides, when I transferred my out of state license, they verified my existing license with my previous state first. It didn't seem like too much trouble.
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