How to Request a Copy of a Panama Canal Zone Birth or Death Certificate

Vital Records Office Operations in Response to COVID-19

You should expect delays for pending and recently submitted requests to the Vital Records Office due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are currently in Phase 2 of our three phase reopening plan. 

Phase 1: A limited number of our staff will return to the office to work on processing our large backlog of mail and create new cases. Mail will be processed on a first in, first out basis, with the oldest requests done first. You will experience delays in processing times due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may want to consider waiting to apply until normal operations resume.

Phase 2: Most of our staff will return to the office. We will focus on processing cases on a first in, first out basis, prioritizing our oldest cases. Delays will continue.

Phase 3: We will adjust to our new normal for operations. As we maintain health measures to protect our staff, we expect that service delays for certain products will remain due to work practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As a reminder, all phases are fluid and can be quickly changed due to local public health conditions.

Who can request a copy of a Panama Canal Zone birth or death certificate:

  • The individual recorded on the document 
  • A legal guardian of the individual whose birth is recorded on the document
  • An authorized government agency or
  • A person with notarized written authorization from the individual listed on the certificate 

Please note: The Panama Canal Commission maintained the birth records of persons born in the Panama Canal Zone between February 26, 1904 and September 30, 1979.  In December 1999, the Commission transferred those records to the U.S. Department of State.  You can request birth and death records for the Panama Canal Zone issued between February 26, 1904 and September 30, 1979.

 

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Birth Certificate Requests

1. Submit a notarized written request that includes all of the following information:

  • Full name of the individual at birth
  • Any adoptive names of the individual
  • Date and place of birth
  • Full name of parents
  • Return address and telephone number

2. Submit a copy of requester’s valid identification

3. Send a $50.00 check or money order. Additional copies are $50.00 each.

  • Make payable to the "U.S. Department of State"
  • Include a complete mailing address on the check.
  • Checks and money orders must be payable in U.S. dollars through a U.S. bank
  • The Department is not responsible for cash lost in the mail.

4. Mail the notarized request, copy of valid ID, and check to:

U.S. Department of State
Passports Vital Records Section
44132 Mercure Cir.
PO Box 1213
Sterling, VA 20166-1213

PLEASE NOTE: Your request will be delayed if it's not notarized or doesn't include a copy of your valid ID.

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Death Certificate Requests

1. Submit a notarized written request that includes all of the following information:

  • Full name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Signature of requester
  • Return address and telephone number

2. Submit a copy of requester’s valid identification

3. Send a $50.00 check or money order. Additional copies are $50.00 each.

  • Make payable to the "U.S. Department of State"
  • Include a complete mailing address on the check.
  • Checks and money orders must be payable in U.S. dollars through a U.S. bank
  • The Department is not responsible for cash lost in the mail.

4. Mail the notarized request, copy of valid ID, and check to:

U.S. Department of State
Passports Vital Records Section
44132 Mercure Cir. 
PO Box 1213
Sterling, VA 20166-1213

PLEASE NOTE: Your request will be delayed if it's not notarized or doesn't include a copy of your valid ID.

1-2 Day Delivery

If you want 1-2 day delivery of your records, include an additional $17.13 with your $50 check or money order.  

Check Status

To check the status of your request, call 202-485-8300 or email VitalRecordsPublicInquiries@state.gov        

 

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How to Request an Apostille on your Consular Document

Apostilles are specialized certificates attached to your consular documents. If you need an apostille to satisfy foreign document requirements, you must submit a notarized request and a copy of a valid state-issued ID (e.g. driver's license) to the address listed below.  If you already have a consular document issued within the last five years, you don't need to pay for the apostille. In addition to Panama Canal Zone Birth and Death Certificates, you can request other consular documents for $50 per copy:

You must ensure that the country for intended use is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.  

Please send your notarized request and fee (if necessary) to:

    U.S. Department of State
    Passport Vital Records Section
    44132 Mercure Circle
    PO Box 1213
    Sterling, VA 20166-1213