Posted by: Jamie Stamm | April 13, 2008

A simple experiment

I tried to register my daughter for kindergarten recently, but it turned out I had the wrong birth certificate. Apparently, the one they gave my husband and I at the hospital – you know, the one that actually has the doctor’s signature on it and would be fairly hard to forge – is not what the schools want. They need a certified North Carolina birth certificate, which you have to obtain through the state Department of Vital Statistics.

The school secretary (who was very nice, by the way) said it wasn’t a problem. Kindergarten doesn’t start until the second week of July, she told me, so I should have plenty of time to get a certified birth certificate.

Turns out it isn’t quite that easy. See, you can request a birth certificate by mail, online, fax or in person (I live in Apex and work in Sanford and the DOVS is in Raleigh, so that last one is kind of out of the question unless I want to use a vacation day). But the current processing time is nine to 10 weeks. And that puts me pretty darn close to the beginning of July.

But wait – there is a “rush delivery” option, where you can pay double the $15 search fee to have your request processed in five to six days. Have your certified birth certificate delivered overnight by Fed-Ex and the cost jumps up to $45.50. But that’s only by mail. Go through the whole process online and pay by credit card, and your certificate will cost $57.45.

Is it just me, or does this seems like a bit of a money-making scheme? For $15 extra, you can reduce the amount of time it would take me to get a birth certificate by two months? I just have a feeling the “nine to 10 week” time frame is a bit inflated.

So I’m going to conduct a bit of an experiment. Since the birth certificate I have for my son is the same hospital-issued certificate that the schools turned down for my daughter, I’m going to go ahead and request one for him as well. I will expedite Cera’s (just to be safe) and order Anthony’s the regular way, both by mail.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

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Responses

  1. Kindergarten starts in July? Nazis.


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