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New program makes birth certificates readily available at Probate offices

From time to time, there comes the need to provide a birth certificate. In the past, the need for such an important document meant a drive to the county where a person was born to retrieve it. And then, of course, going through the mail was another way of obtaining it - although doing it that way meant having to wait several days to actually get it.

Today, such a dilemma is a thing of the past - thanks to the internet and a Georgia statewide web base that has been established to help residents retrieve such documents. There is only one catch: a person must have been born in Georgia in order for the records to be obtained.

The new program already is in place in the Probate Courts of McDuffie and Warren counties.

It's really a nice program, said McDuffie County Probate Judge Valerie Burley. It's something that I think will be beneficial to the residents of our county. It's such a convenient way to obtain a certified birth certificate in just minutes.

The cost of a certified birth certificate is $10.

We can access a birth from anywhere in the state with this new internet program, Judge Burley said. I think it's something that will be used a lot once people find out that we offer such a service.

Persons living in McDuffie and Warren counties can obtain certified birth certificates simply by going to the courthouse offices in either Thomson or Warrenton and providing a photo identification or name and birth of the child, as well as in what county they were born, Judge Burley said. In Warren County, such information can be obtained from Probate Judge Janice Thigpen or an office worker.

Only persons related or serving as an authorized legal guardian, agent or grandparent, adult child or spouse is able to acquire birth certificate information under Georgia law.

In the future, Judge Burley says death certificates will be able to be accessed in much the same way.

I think that service would be very helpful too, Judge Burley said.

Web posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008

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