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JamieW 11-09-2005 08:49 AM

My husband has a birth certificate that looks ancient and has a stamp from the dept. of health and vital statistics but it doesnt have a raised seal. Will this be a problem?

Edit: Moved to General Cruise Chat. RF

jrbdelaware 11-10-2005 09:17 AM

Jamie -

I had a similar chat with some people on these boards a few months ago. In preparing for my first cruise in August, I was under the impression that it had to have a raised seal.

However, it was pointed out by some that each state might handle it differently. The example offered was South Carolina that apparently issues a wallet size B.C. that does not have a seal.

The key message others pointed to was weather or not it indicated "Official" somewhere on the certificate.

My advise, depending on when you are going, take the time to check with your state's Office of Vital Statistics. Worst case, go to the state's website and order a new one - then you can be certain. I ordered new ones for both my wife and I, and it cost me $10 each. One was from Delaware the other Pennsylvania - so I think the $10 is fairly standard.

In fact, if you are OK with purchasing online, you can go to:

susanmaz 11-10-2005 12:38 PM

I have used the online vitalchek to order birth certificates from two different states, and found it worked well. However, in the end, we decided to get passports and use them instead.

Marian 11-10-2005 05:33 PM

On our last cruise, we found the passport line to go substantially faster than the birth certificate line.

Oggy Boy 11-10-2005 06:33 PM

I would urge everyoe to get a passport now. Travel in the future is going to require on, so why not just do it now?


Carlalena1 11-10-2005 06:47 PM

I cannot understand why people don't have passports. I have had one since I was 16 and my kids have had them since they were babies. Even when I have no plans for international travel I make sure I have a valid passport. Every time I read about people with ID issues I have to wonder at all the energy spent when a simple passport could solve all possible ID issues.

jrbdelaware 11-11-2005 08:36 AM

Carlalena - It is pretty easy to understand. Not everyone loves to travel to far off places. I am in my late 30's and I have never owned a passport. My cruise to Canada this past summer was my first trip out of the U.S.

I am not afraid of flying, but I just don't enjoy the experience, so I avoid it at all costs. I figure there are so many great sites to see in the U.S., I don't need to travel overseas to get my thrills. I might one day, but up until this point, it hasn't been an issue.

Plus, don't rule out the cost factor of a passport. We considered it prior to our cruise - but we spent 9 months collecting the money to pay for the cruise, have the money available we thought we would need during the week, plus the money for tips.

When you add in that is would have cost me well over another $400 for myself, my wife, and two small children to get a passport - that was just more money then we were willing to spend on this trip.

In the future I will obviously not have the choice - but for now, it was a no brainer for me.

One final note about the documentation - maybe I got lucky checking in at Philly, but it was no longer for me then the people flashing passports.

Just my thoughts.

Carlalena1 11-11-2005 10:06 AM

I know- I just had to renew mine and 2 kids' in June. I was also worried about the time factor and expedited all three. It definitely costs money- I paid well over a hundred bucks each. I think that when they become a requirement they should cost about 20 bucks- but what do I know?

I live on the Canadian border and it is much easier to flash a passport than to fool around with wrinkled, dirty birth certificates for five kids. Plus I would feel nervous without one. Just MHO. But then again, I do travel internationally at least once a year and my kids have all used theirs as well. Just last year they went on a cruise, one child went to Italy on a school trip and two others went to Panama. Now we have another trip to Panama coming up and my senior just announced they are going to Euro Disney in May.

In the back of my mind I also feel that if there is ever another major terrorist attack I am heading over the bridge to Canada and I don't want a bunch of worn out birth certificates to get in my way!

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