At birth, new parents will often be provided with two birth certificates. The first is an “informational” birth certificate provided by the hospital. These are decorative and commemorative, not a binding legal document. The certified birth certificate is one of the vital records maintained by state governments. An individual’s birth certificate serves as a registration of an individual’s birth and his or her proof of identity. It must contain the baby’s full name, place of birth, date of birth, sex, full name and birth location of each parent, and place of residence of the birth parents. A birth certificate is required in many scenarios, such as registering for school, getting married or divorced, getting a copy of a Social Security card, obtaining a passport, applying for a driver’s licenses, or changing your name.