If you've ever lost your birth certificate, you know how frustrating it can be trying to get a new one.

The Wyoming Department of Health says extra costs and delays can be avoided by only ordering official Wyoming birth, death and other certificates directly from the department.

“We frequently receive complaints from people who have used companies that misrepresent themselves as a way to easily get birth certificates and other official documents,” said Guy Beaudoin, deputy state registrar with WDH Vital Statistics Services. “However, our office is the only source for these in Wyoming.”

Beaudoin said his office has been receiving many orders recently from a company that charges high fees to its customers and then forwards third-party checks, which Vital Statistics Services can’t accept. “By the time we’re communicating with these folks to help them get what they need, they are frustrated and often angry,” he said.

Beaudoin outlined a typical scenario. “Someone born in Wyoming needs their birth certificate to get a driver’s license or a passport. They do an online search and happen upon a paid listing for a private service promising to get the needed document quickly and easily. The customer pays a fee much higher than what our office charges and then may never get the needed document or only after a substantial delay,” he said.

WDH recommends only clicking on search engine results for official certificates that are clearly from the department. “You can usually see the WDH logo included with the search engine results and can see an online address that includes ‘health.wyo.gov,’” Beaudoin said. “Take the time to check and ensure you are clicking on our official link.”

“These companies collect information from customers, have them sign releases and then simply forward completed applications to our office for processing,” Beaudoin said. “It’s an added expensive step that doesn’t help anyone get what they need any more quickly.”

To order certificates by mail, visit the official WDH web site at https://health.wyo.gov/admin/vitalstatistics/certificates/. There is an online ordering portal available, downloadable request forms and instructions to use either method. People may also call 307-777-7591 for help and to order.

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