F.A.Q.S.
Birth Certificate F.A.Q.’S
F.A.Q.’S
Birth Certificate F.A.Q.’S
1. Is this certificate a legal document?
2. Does this certificate include my time of birth and mother’s maiden name?
3. Is this a long form birth certificate?
4. Can I request an Apostille seal from East Chicago?
5. Can I come to the East Chicago Health Department office for my birth certificate?
6. Do I need an appointment to get my certificate?
7. How long will the in office visit take?
8. My child was recently born when will the certificate be ready?
9. I was adopted, can I get my certificate here?
10. What will I need to get my certificate?
11. I DO NOT have a valid driver’s license or state ID what can I do?
12. I am recently incarcerated, recently released from incarceration, in a shelter, in an institute, or am homeless how can I request my certificate?
13. I am a social worker, shelter representative, or lawyer firm requesting a certificate for my client, what do I need?
14. Can I call ahead for my certificate and can I pay over the phone?
15. Can I request my certificate through the mail?
16. Can I purchase my certificate online?
17. Who can pick up my certificate in the case I cannot pick up my own?
18. What will my relative need to get my certificate?
19. My name and/or other information on my certificate is incorrect, what can I do?
20. My name has been changed, how do I get a new certificate?
21. Can I request a birth certificate from ANY Health Department?
22. I was born in Lake County can I request a birth certificate from East Chicago?

Paternity Affidavit F.A.Q.’s
1. How do I add a father to my child’s birth certificate?
2. How can I obtain a copy of my child’s affidavit?

Amendment F.A.Q.’s
1. I am seeking an amendment on my certificate what do I need?

Death Certificate F.A.Q.’s

1. Where do I go to pick up a death certificate?
2. What documents will I need to pick up a death certificate?
3. When will the death certificate be ready?
4. The information on the death certificate is incorrect, what can I do?
5. How can I get a death certificate?


Birth Certificate F.A.Q.’s

1. Is this certificate a legal document?
Yes. All East Chicago birth certificates are stamped with the Health Officer signature, and given a textured seal. This certificate is legal and used for passports, BMV/DMV, government verification, job verification, and government assistance program verification. This certificate is NOT a long form certificate and NOT valid for an Apostille seal.


2. Does this certificate include my time of birth and mother’s maiden name?
3. Is this a long form birth certificate?
No. Should you need the time of birth or mother’s maiden name to be displayed on your certificate you must request a LONG FORM birth certificate which can only be obtained through the Indiana State Department of Health. Please contact ISDH at (317) 233-2700 for further information.


4. Can I request an Apostille seal from East Chicago?
No. Should you need an Apostille seal to prove dual citizenship or international verification you need to contact the ISDH (317) 233-2700 for the procedure which will include requesting the LONG FORM birth certificate from the ISDH to send to the secretary of state for the seal.


5. Can I come to the East Chicago Health Department office for my birth certificate?
Yes. Only if you were born in East Chicago. If you are purchasing a certificate for yourself you will need your valid driver’s license or valid state ID. If you do not have valid ID please refer to which documents you will need. If you are purchasing a certificate for next of kin please refer to acceptable relatives and documents they will need. Please refer to office hours on website and acceptable forms of payment.


6. Do I need an appointment to get my certificate?
No. An appointment is only necessary if you are getting an amendment to your certificate or you are requesting a paternity affidavit.


7. How long will the in office visit take?
10 – 20 Minutes. Coming into the office you will fill an application with your information and present your valid driver’s license, valid state ID, or 3 alternative documents. The process will take 10 – 20 minutes depending upon the traffic within the office.


8. My child was recently born, when will the certificate be ready?
2 – 3 weeks. So long as the child was born at St. Catherine’s hospital in East Chicago Indiana, the certificate for newborns will be generated between 2 – 3 weeks and parents will need to produce the birth announcement form from the hospital. The announcement form is not absolutely needed, you will need to fill the certificate application instead.


9. I was adopted, can I get my certificate here?
No. As per state, all adoptions are to be taken care of via Indiana State Department of Health (317) 233-2700.


10. What will I need to get my certificate?
Valid License or State ID. The minimum documents we require for certificates is a valid driver’s license or valid state ID meaning it has not expired. We DO NOT accept the temporary paper ID. Please refer to alternative documentation if you do not have a valid license or ID.


11. I DO NOT have a valid driver’s license or state ID what can I do?
3 alternative documents. If you do not have a valid license or ID we require a minimum of 3 alternative documents. Below is a list of acceptable identification.
1. Social security card
2. School records or transcript
3. School diploma or equivalent
4. 30 day utility bill with name
5. 30 day paystub with name
6. 30 day renter’s receipt with name
7. Any credit card statement with name
8. Bank statement with name
If you do not have 3 different documents from the list above please call the department for further information (219) 391-8413.


12. I am recently incarcerated, recently released from incarceration, in a shelter, in an institute, or am homeless how can I request my certificate?
Call. In most institutions and shelters the available social worker or lawyer firm can advocate for your certificate. Please refer to the below items you will need to advocate on behalf of a client. If you are requesting a certificate on behalf of yourself and find yourself in any of the situations above, please call the East Chicago Health Department to review your case, (219) 391-8413.


13. I am a social worker, shelter representative, or lawyer firm requesting a certificate for my client, what do I need?
Call. The agency or representative is still responsible for sending a formal request on a client’s behalf through office visit, mail, or online order. All methods will require the advocate’s work ID, office letterhead, and payment.
*The Health Department does not provide vouchers for certificates.*


14. Can I call ahead for my certificate and can I pay over the phone?
No. This office needs to verify who you are with your legal identification. This office does not take payment over the phone.


15. Can I request my certificate through the mail?
Yes. Please follow the below instructions for the regular mail procedure. Depending on the location you are mailing from we advise the round trip mail to be between 10 and 16 business days. Alternatively, you may print the certificate application from the website and mail it with a photocopy of valid driver’s license, valid state ID, or 3 alternative documentation, money order, and self-addressed stamped envelope.

1. Photocopy of valid driver’s license, state ID, or 3 alternative documentation
2. Must provide note with
a. Full name at birth
b. Birthday month/day/year
c. Both parents name
d. Mother’s maiden name
e. Telephone to be reached at
f. Enclose $12.00 money order made to East Chicago Health Department
i. Each Certificate copy will be $12, for more copies please multiply accordingly
ii. No personal checks or cash, it will be sent back
g. Include self-addressed, self-stamped envelope for return
3. Must be mailed to
100 W. Chicago Ave, East Chicago, IN, 46312, suite 100A, Attn: Vital Records
*You may call the East Chicago Health Department 7 business days after mailing your forms to see if we have received it and if it has been put back into the mail, (219) 391-8413.*

16. Can I purchase my certificate online?
Yes. Below are the instructions for online ordering. There will be a difference in price for online ordering versus mail or office visit, and it will require a fax. Online ordering is faster than mail ordering but will come at slight fee increase. There is regular mail shipping (7-10 business days) or UPS overnight shipping available.
1. Access www.vitalchek.com
2. Select order birth certificate
3. Select state of Indiana
4. Select city of East Chicago
5. Health Department will be – East Chicago Indiana DPH (Do not select Indiana State)
6. Shipping
a. There are two shipping methods available 1 regular mail ($0.00) 2 UPS AIR ($17.50) shipping will automatically select UPS, unselect if not wanted.

b. Each certificate is $12.00, website charges $8.50

c. In total Regular mail order for 1 certificate is $20.50, UPS for 1 certificate is $38.00. If you are in need of multiple certificates the shipping fee and service charge does not increase.

d. After you put in debit/credit information and purchase you must download and print this page. That will be your confirmation page which must be faxed to the East Chicago Health Department to complete your order. Fax number will be on the confirmation page. You will also fax a photocopy of your valid license or state ID with the confirmation page. If you do not have a valid drivers or ID please refer to acceptable documents.

e. Faxed orders will be processed before 1pm Central time.

7. This confirmation page and photocopy of license/ID is required to complete your order. Without the fax the Health Department will NOT know the order exists and the company will take your payment regardless if the Department sends the certificate.

*You may call the East Chicago Health Department to verify we have received your fax, (219) 391-8413.*



17. Who can pick up my certificate in the case I cannot pick up my own?
Limited next of kin. The only relative who has the authority to pick up your certificate is your mother, father (as long as father is on certificate), grandmother, grandfather, brother or sister over the age of 18, wife, or husband with appropriate ID. No aunt, uncle, cousin, or non-relative may pick up your certificate.


18. What will my relative need to get my certificate?
Depends on relation. Depending on the relation to you, different relatives will need different documentation. To find which relative can get your certificate please refer to the section above. Your relation needs to show a direct kinship to you. A relation should have at least one parent similar to the record on file to obtain the certificate.

Mother- Will need valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Father- So long as the father’s name is on your certificate, father will need valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Paternal Grandparent- Paternal grandparents of grandchild will need their own son’s certificate and valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Maternal Grandparent- Maternal grandparents of grandchild will need their own daughter’s certificate and valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Sibling- So long as the sibling is over the age of 18 and has at least one parent in relation, they will need their own birth certificate and a valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Wife/Husband- To pick up for spouse you will need your marriage license and your valid driver’s license or valid state ID. If you do not have the marriage license you will need to request it from the Lake county clerk (219) 755-3440.


19. My name and/or other information on my certificate is incorrect, what can I do?
20. My name has been changed, how do I get a new certificate?
Call. If your name or any other information is incorrect on your East Chicago issued birth certificate or you had a legal name change through the courts and you were born in East Chicago we advise you to call our department (219) 391-8413. You will need to bring the official court papers with you to change the certificate, and will only need to pay for the certificate.
You may or may not need to set an appointment to have your name amended depending on your case. Amendments have a fee of $25.00, and $12.00 for new certificate. Please refer to the Amendments F.A.Q. for further information.


21. Can I request a birth certificate from ANY Health Department?
No. All birth records are stored by the state and county in which that person was born.
Different State- If you were born in a different state you must contact the state health department from the state you were born.
Different Country- If you were born in a different country, contact ISDH for more information (317) 233-2700.


22. I was born in Lake County can I request a birth certificate from East Chicago?
Yes and No. While East Chicago is within Lake County the East Chicago Health Department ONLY prints certificates for those born within East Chicago. (219) 391-8713 located at 100 W. Chicago Ave, East Chicago, IN, 46312 suite 100A.

Gary- If you were born in the city of Gary you must contact the Gary Health Department (219) 882-5565 located at 1145 W 5th Ave, Gary, IN 46402.

Other cities beside East Chicago or Gary- If you were born in Lake County that is NOT East Chicago or Gary or must contact the Lake County Health Department (219) 755-3655 located at 2900 W. 93rd Ave, Crown Point, Indiana, 46307.


Paternity Affidavit F.A.Q.’s

1. How do I add a father to my child’s birth certificate?
Call. If the child was born at St. Catherine’s in East Chicago you will need to set an appointment with the health department to establish paternity.
What do I need to know before my appointment? Both parents need to come on the day of their appointment with their valid driver’s license or state ID, and social security cards. Fee for Affidavit is $50.00 and $12.00 for new birth certificate. Please refer to acceptable payment options.
What days and time are available? Appointments are only available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for 9:00 am or 10:00 am, except days that fall on the first or the last of the month.


2. How do I obtain a copy of my child’s affidavit?
Call. If the paternity was completed with the East Chicago Health Department you may obtain a copy in office or through mail for $2.00 per copy. Please view acceptable forms of payment.

Amendment F.A.Q.’s

1. I am seeking an amendment on my certificate what do I need?
Appointment. Call the office to review your case and set an appointment with the Vital Records notary.
What days and time are available? Appointments are only available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for 9:00 am or 10:00 am, except days that fall on the first or the last of the month.
What should I know before amending? The Amendment is a legally binding change to your certificate once it has been done you can no longer amend your certificate through the local level and must go through the courts therefore after. Below is a list of needed documents for the amendment, you will need 2 different documents. The documents you provide MUST reflect the correct spelling you want to be displayed on your certificate.
What is the cost for the amendment? Amendments are $25.00 and a new certificate is $12.00.


Death Certificate F.A.Q.’s

1. Where do I go to pick up a death certificate?
Depends on the city of death. You would seek the local health department in the city/state in which that person passed away in.

East Chicago- If the person passed in East Chicago you would contact East Chicago (219) 391-8413 located at 100 W. Chicago Ave, East Chicago IN, 46312 Suite 100A. You can obtain the certificate with 3 methods; office visit, mail, or online. Refer to how you can obtain the certificate.

Gary- If the person passed away in Gary you would contact Gary Health Department. (219) 882-5565 located at 1145 W 5th Ave, Gary, IN, 46402.

Other cities beside East Chicago or Gary- If the person passed away in Lake County that is NOT East Chicago or Gary or must contact the Lake County Health Department (219) 755-3655 located at 2900 W. 93rd Ave, Crown Point, IN, 46307.


2. What documents will I need to pick up a death certificate?
Depends on relation. You will need appropriate documentation in order to receive someone’s death certificate. You will also need to know the exact date or a specific range of dates of the death. All death records are stored by the date NOT name of the deceased. If you are not sure of the date, you may contact the cemetery for the burial date.

Informant- If you are listed as the informant on the death certificate you will need a valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Child of deceased- If you are a child of the deceased you will need your birth certificate and a valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Parent of the deceased- If you are listed as the parent on the death certificate you will need a valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Wife/Husband- You will need the marriage license and your valid driver’s license or valid state ID.

Ex-wife/Ex-husband, other non-relation- Must show a direct interest for the certificate by bringing a legal letter from an agency that lists your name as the estate beneficiary, inheritor, life insurance beneficiary, bank account closer, or other agency that requests the deceased death certificate.

Lawyer- We advise you to call ahead to review your clients case with the Vital Records representative. The agency or representative is still responsible for sending a formal request on a client’s behalf through office visit, mail, or online order. All methods will require the advocate’s work ID, office letterhead, and payment. The agency or representative will have to provide a direct interest on behalf of the client which includes a legal letter from an agency that lists your client’s name as the estate beneficiary, inheritor, life insurance beneficiary, bank account closer, or other agency that requests the deceased death certificate.
The Health Department does NOT provide vouchers for certificates.

Those who cannot obtain death certificates- No aunts, uncles, cousins, or non-relations may obtain a death certificate unless you have a legal letter from an agency that lists your name as the estate beneficiary, inheritor, life insurance beneficiary, bank account closure, or other agency that requests the deceased death certificate.


3. When will the death certificate be ready?
Call. Depending on the circumstances of the passing the hospital, attending physicians, or coroners will generate the certificate when the mode of death or investigation has concluded. The range of dates may vary. Call to verify if the certificate has been generated (219) 391-8413.


4. The information on the death certificate is incorrect, what can I do?
Call the attending funeral home. The East Chicago Health Department is not responsible for generating ANY details on the certificate. Details are generated by those directly involved in the procedures. Contact the attending funeral home if any detail is incorrect. If you are unsure of who to contact call the East Chicago Health Department for direction (219) 391-8413.


5. How can I get a death certificate?
Office, mail, or online.

Office – You can only come into the office if the deceased passed away in the city of East Chicago. Depending on your relation to the person you will need different documents. Refer to who can obtain a death certificate and what you will need. If you do not have valid ID please refer to which documents you will need.

Mail - Please follow the below instructions for the regular mail procedure. Depending on the location you are mailing from we advise the round trip mail to be between 10 and 16 business days. Alternatively, you may print the certificate application from the website and mail it with a photocopy of your documentation, money order, and self-addressed stamped envelope.
1. Photocopy of valid driver’s license and documentation
2. Must provide note with
1. Full name of deceased
2. Exact date of death
3. Place of death
4. Birthday of deceased
5. Deceased’s father and mother’s names
6. Deceased’ mother’s maiden name
7. Your relation to the person
8. Purpose for which this certificate will be used
9. Enclose $12.00 money order made to East Chicago Health Department
i. Each Certificate copy will be $12, for more copies please multiply accordingly
ii. No personal checks or cash, it will be sent back
10. Include self-addressed, self-stamped envelope for return
3. Must be mailed to
1. 100 W. Chicago Ave, East Chicago, IN, 46312, suite 100A, Attn: Vital Records

Online - Below are the instructions for online ordering. There will be a difference in price for online ordering versus mail or office visit, and it will require a fax. Online ordering is faster than mail ordering but will come at slight fee increase. There is regular mail shipping or UPS overnight shipping available.
7. Access www.vitalchek.com
8. Select order death certificate
9. Select state of Indiana
10. Select city of East Chicago
11. Health Department will be – East Chicago Indiana DPH (Do not select Indiana State)
12. Shipping
a. There are two shipping methods available 1 regular mail ($0.00) 2 UPS AIR ($17.50) shipping will automatically select UPS, unselect if not wanted.

b. Each certificate is $12.00, website charges $8.50

c. In total Regular mail order for 1 certificate is $20.50, UPS for 1 certificate is $38.00. If you are in need of multiple certificates the shipping fee and service charge does not increase.

d. After you put in debit/credit information and purchase you must download and print this page. That will be your confirmation page which must be faxed to the East Chicago Health Department to complete your order. Fax number will be on the confirmation page. You will also fax a photocopy of your valid license or state ID and acceptable documentations with the confirmation page. If you do not have a valid drivers or ID please refer to acceptable documents.

e. This confirmation page and photocopy of license/ID is required to complete your order. Without the fax the Health Department will NOT know the order exists and the company will take your payment regardless if the Department sends the certificate.

f. Faxed orders will be processed before 1pm Central time.

*You may call the East Chicago Health Department to verify we have received your fax, (219) 391-8413.*
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Gerri C. Browning, MD
Health Commissioner

100 W. Chicago Ave.
East Chicago, IN 46312
PH: 391-8467
Fax: 391-8494

Office Hours: Monday - Friday (Administration)
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

*NOTE: Other divisions have different hours