This is a real conversation that just took place — not something you would hear in just any household…
Dad: Well if you want to go to Canada, the first thing you will need is a Passport.
Son: I don’t have one of those.
Dad: And to get a passport you’ll need a birth certificate.
Son: I vaguely remember one, but I haven’t seen it in years.
Dad: I think I have a copy, but it won’t do you any good. Starting April 1, 2011 your South Carolina birth card won’t be valid for a passport application because it doesn’t have the parents’ names on it. Look at this South Carolina specimen card circa 1977. You see that it has much of the needed information, but not parent’s names.
Son: I guess I will have to order a birth certificate and I expect that I can do that on the Internet.
Dad: Sure, you can go to VitalChek.com, but they charge a fee that about doubles the price of the certificate. It’s better to order one directly from the State. Then you can use an online form to fill out your passport application. The good news is that starting April 1, 2011, our local post office will be a Passport Acceptance Facility.
What was interesting, though, was what I found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control web site. South Carolina produces three types of birth certificate. The first is the birth card that can be gotten at any county health office on a walk-in basis (not good for travel). The second is “computer-generated long form” that’s pretty similar to President Obama’s COLB (no doctor or hospital name). The third:
Certified copies of the actual birth certificate that was filed by the attendant at birth will only be issued when a computer-generated form is not available.
Sorry Senator Graham, no presidential run for you.