All About the Birth Certificates

The COLB and the LFBC

All You Never Wanted to Know About President Obama’s Birth Certificates

The jour­ney to Birther­stan began with The Birth Cer­tifi­cate. Most Birthers stayed there. Some wan­dered off to explore the lands of Born in Kenya, Adopt­ed in Indone­sia, Two Cit­i­zen Par­ents, or oth­er lands. But for this page, it’s all about the Birth Cer­tifi­cate.  Note: Most of this page was writ­ten before the April 27, 2011 release of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate. Updates add the LFBC to the FAQ

Ques­tions about Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s birth cer­tifi­cate fall into two camps (not FEMA camps, though… that’s a whole ‘nother con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry):

  • Oba­ma’s actu­al birth cer­tifi­cate.  Accord­ing to the offi­cials respon­si­ble for keep­ing Hawai­i’s vital records, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was born in the State of Hawaii. In addi­tion, Hawai­ian offi­cials say they’ve seen the orig­i­nal records and Oba­ma was born in Hawaii. There are con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous news­pa­per reports. The Elec­toral Col­lege and Con­gress said he was qual­i­fied when they vot­ed and accept­ed the results. Barack Hus­sein Oba­ma II, born in Hon­olu­lu Hawaii, is the Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly elect­ed Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. 
    • Oba­ma’s Offi­cial Cer­ti­fied Short Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate. In 2007, Hawai­ian offi­cials sent Oba­ma his proof of birth doc­u­men­ta­tion in the only form they have issued in this cen­tu­ry. It is a doc­u­ment called a “Short form birth cer­tifi­cate (SFBC), a “Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth” or COLB for short. It has an offi­cial stamp and seal. Most of this page is based on that doc­u­ment.  
    • Added 6/17/2012: Oba­ma’s Cer­ti­fied Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate. On April 27, 2011, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma released the long form ver­sion of his proof of birth doc­u­men­ta­tion, cer­ti­fied by the State of Hawai­i’s Depart­ment of Health (LFBC). He also released the cor­re­spon­dence with the Direc­tor of the Depart­ment of Health which shows what he had to do to get this spe­cial doc­u­ment as Hawaii no longer issues cer­ti­fied copies of this doc­u­ment.
    • Added 6/17/2012: Offi­cial Ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the Facts of Birth. In June 2012, the State of Hawai­i’s Depart­ment of Health issued two sep­a­rate Ver­i­fi­ca­tions of Birth attest­ing that the facts of birth in Barack Oba­ma’s orig­i­nal birth record match the infor­ma­tion in his Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate. 
  • Mis­un­der­stand­ings about every­one’s birth cer­tifi­cates. Peo­ple who say that a COLB isn’t legal­ly the same as a birth cer­tifi­cate are wrong. Peo­ple who have a birth cer­tifi­cate that con­tains lit­tle foot­prints don’t have a legal doc­u­ment, it’s a sou­venir from the hos­pi­tal. Peo­ple who say that because the Pres­i­den­t’s online COLB has the cer­tifi­cate blacked out and that thus voids the doc­u­ment don’t know the dif­fer­ence between an image post­ed online and a valid paper doc­u­ment.  (HINT — writ­ing on an image does­n’t phys­i­cal­ly change the actu­al paper doc­u­ment. You also don’t get a raised seal that you can feel on an image.) Every­one has a birth cer­tifi­cate, but most peo­ple don’t real­ly know what the doc­u­ment means. We’re here to help. See our com­pre­hen­sive page Birth Cer­tifi­cates 101

Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s Actu­al Proof of Birth in Hawaii

Claim: Oba­ma does­n’t have a Birth Cer­tifi­cate. 

The orig­i­nal record of Oba­ma’s birth is kept in Hawai­ian vital records, safe­ly locked away with all the oth­er orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cates of peo­ple born in Hawaii. The offi­cial cer­ti­fied copy that his cam­paign post­ed online is what Hawaii issues. Repub­li­can offi­cials from the Gov­er­nor Lin­gle admin­is­tra­tion have said: 

There have been numer­ous requests for Sen. Barack Hus­sein Obama’s offi­cial birth cer­tifi­cate.  State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338–18) pro­hibits the release of a cer­ti­fied birth cer­tifi­cate to per­sons who do not have a tan­gi­ble inter­est in the vital record.  

There­fore, I as Direc­tor of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Reg­is­trar of Vital Sta­tis­tics who has statu­to­ry author­i­ty to over­see and main­tain these type of vital records, have per­son­al­ly seen and ver­i­fied that the Hawai‘i State Depart­ment of Health has Sen. Obama’s orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate on record in accor­dance with state poli­cies and pro­ce­dures. 

No state offi­cial, includ­ing Gov­er­nor Lin­da Lin­gle, has ever instruct­ed that this vital record be han­dled in a man­ner dif­fer­ent from any oth­er vital record in the pos­ses­sion of the State of Hawai‘i.” STATEMENT BY DR. CHIYOME FUKINO Octo­ber 31, 2008

When that did­n’t work, they tried again: 

I, Dr. Chiy­ome Fuki­no, Direc­tor of the Hawai‛i State Depart­ment of Health, have seen the orig­i­nal vital records main­tained on file by the Hawai‘i State Depart­ment of Health ver­i­fy­ing Barack Hus­sein Oba­ma was born in Hawai‘i and is a nat­ur­al-born Amer­i­can cit­i­zen.  I have noth­ing fur­ther to add to this state­ment or my orig­i­nal state­ment issued in Octo­ber 2008 over eight months ago.” STATEMENT BY HEALTH DIRECTOR CHIYOME FUKINO, M.D July 27, 2009

Added 6/12/2012: When that did­n’t work, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma request­ed a cer­ti­fied copy of his orig­i­nal birth record in April 2011 and post­ed a scan of the doc­u­ment online. The Direc­tor of Health grant­ed the spe­cial request by mak­ing an excep­tion to the depart­men­t’s pol­i­cy of only issu­ing com­put­er­ized birth cer­tifi­cates. Cor­re­spon­dence, here. Dr. Loret­ta Fud­dy stat­ed in her let­ter that she watched the orig­i­nal record being copied and attests to the authen­tic­i­ty of the cer­ti­fied copy. 

Added 6/12/2012: In June 2012, the Depart­ment of Health issued two sep­a­rate Ver­i­fi­ca­tions of the Facts of Birth to the Sec­re­tary of State of State of Ari­zona and to attor­neys for the Mis­sis­sip­pi Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. In these ver­i­fi­ca­tions, the State Reg­is­trar for Hawaii ver­i­fied that the orig­i­nal birth record is indeed on file in Hawaii and that the infor­ma­tion in the orig­i­nal vital record match­es what is post­ed on the White House web site.

Claim: Oba­ma’s nev­er shown his Birth Cer­tifi­cate. 

Oba­ma has pro­duced proof of his birth in Hawaii, in the form Hawaii cur­rent­ly issues it, to every­one who was required to see it. Post­ing an image online is the eas­i­est, most effi­cient way of get­ting infor­ma­tion out to the pub­lic these days, so the Oba­ma cam­paign post­ed a scan of his COLB online in June 2008.

The best pic­tures are at That orga­ni­za­tion sent a team to pho­to­graph the doc­u­ment after Oba­ma, on cam­paign at the time, invit­ed reporters to come inspect it. You can enlarge the images to see details such as the raised sealSig­na­ture stampfoldsnum­ber, etc. It is a real doc­u­ment issued in 2007. It looks like most birth doc­u­ments do these days. Here are some from oth­er states. 

In sworn tes­ti­mo­ny before the Hawaii Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Judi­cia­ry and Gov­ern­ment Oper­a­tion, for Sen­ate Bill SB 2937 (also known as the Vex­a­tious Requestor Bill), Direc­tor of  Health Chiy­ome Fuki­no, M.D. tes­ti­fied:

For more than a year, the Depart­ment of Health has con­tin­ued to receive approx­i­mate­ly 50 e‑mail inquiries a month seek­ing access to Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma’s birth cer­tifi­cate in spite of the fact that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has post­ed a copy of  the cer­tifi­cate on his for­mer cam­paign web­site.

Added 6/17/2012: In 2012, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma held a press con­fer­ence to release his cer­ti­fied Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate, obtained by spe­cial request fron the State of Hawaii. At that press con­fer­ence, reporters in the White House Press Corps were allowed to see the orig­i­nal paper doc­u­ment. At least one, NBC reporter Savan­nah Guthrie, report­ed that she han­dled the doc­u­ment and felt its raised seal. She lat­er post­ed cell phone images of the LFBC. The White House post­ed a scanned image of the doc­u­ment, and the Depart­ment of Health in Hawaii links to that page

GUTHRIE: well, i was actu­al­ly giv­en an oppor­tu­ni­ty to look at this birth cer­tifi­cate today. i felt the raised seal, i saw the names, the date, the place of birth. so mr. trump is say­ing there’s a lot of rev­e­la­tions thanks to him, but the fact remains as it has with the short-form cer­tifi­cate as it has for years, the pres­i­dent was born in hon­olu­lu, hawaii . Tran­script, NBC News.

So Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has 1.) Post­ed a scanned copy of the com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed doc­u­ment sent to him by the Hawaii Depart­ment of Health, and 2.) allowed a well-respect­ed fact-check­ing orga­ni­za­tion to pho­to­graph the actu­al doc­u­ment and post the pic­tures online, Added 6/17/2012: 3.) post­ed a scanned copy of the long form birth cer­tifi­cate sent to him by the Hawaii Depart­ment of Health, and 4.) allowed reporters to see and exam­ine that doc­u­ment.  

Claim: There’s no proof oth­er than the COLB and the LFBC post­ed online.

The Depart­ment of Health in Hawaii has released an index list­ing for Oba­ma’s birth.

Birth Index
Oba­ma II, Barack Hus­sein

A blog­ger received copies of the rel­e­vant pages from the Birth Index via a records request. Oba­ma’s name appears as:

OBAMA II, BARACK HUSSEIN                                   M. 

The birth index entry was cre­at­ed when the orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate was final­ized. Hawai­ian offi­cials have said they they looked at Oba­ma’s birth record and he was born in Hawaii. That, plus the birth doc­u­ment post­ed online at, has been enough for every­one but a few con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists. 

Added 6/17/2012: Birth Index 1960–1964, Hawaii State Depart­ment of Health

Birth Index 1 Birth Index 2   

Claim: Hawai­ian offi­cials are lying when they say they’ve seen the birth cer­tifi­cate. 

High­ly unlike­ly, to the point of absur­di­ty. The gov­er­nor of Hawaii at the time was a Repub­li­can. Not just any Repub­li­can, it was Lin­da Lin­gle, the first Jew­ish gov­er­nor of Hawaii. Lin­gle is a friend of Sarah Palin and gave a prime­time speech prais­ing Palin at the 2008 Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion. Lin­gle also sup­port­ed McCain because of his posi­tion on Israel. It’s hard to imag­ine Gov­er­nor Lin­gle would lie just because she want­ed a Hawai­ian pres­i­dent. In a WABC inter­view, Gov­er­nor Lin­gle said:

It’s been an odd sit­u­a­tion… This issue kept com­ing up so much in the cam­paign, and again I think it’s one of those issues that is sim­ply a dis­trac­tion from the more crit­i­cal issues that are fac­ing the coun­try. And so I had my health direc­tor, who is a physi­cian by back­ground, go per­son­al­ly to view the birth cer­tifi­cate in the birth records of the Depart­ment of Health, and we issued a news release at that time say­ing that the pres­i­dent was, in fact, born at Kapi’olani Hos­pi­tal in Hon­olu­lu, Hawaii. And that’s just a fact and yet peo­ple con­tin­ue to call up and e‑mail and want to make it an issue and I think it’s again a hor­ri­ble dis­trac­tion for the coun­try by those peo­ple who con­tin­ue this…”

It is a dis­trac­tion from the big­ger issues of the day, and while I agree with the pres­i­dent on some things, I have some strong dis­agree­ments on oth­ers, this issue is not one that’s impor­tant to the coun­try. Again, it’s been estab­lished he was born here. I can under­stand why peo­ple want to make cer­tain that the con­sti­tu­tion­al require­ment of being a nat­ur­al-born Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, I can under­stand why they feel that’s impor­tant, and it is, but the ques­tion has been asked and answered, and I think we should all move on now.”

If you are say­ing that Oba­ma some­how insert­ed false info into those records, or that offi­cials in Hawaii are lying about hav­ing seen the orig­i­nal records, then it is up to you to prove that. 

Added 6/17/2012: In addi­tion to the offi­cials in Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Lin­da Lin­gle’s admin­is­tra­tion, offi­cials in the cur­rent Demo­c­ra­t­ic admin­is­tra­tion also have said that they have seen the orig­i­nal records. Direc­tor of Health Dr. Loret­ta Fud­dy says that she per­son­al­ly has seen the orig­i­nal records. 

We hope that issu­ing cer­ti­fied copies of the orig­i­nal Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma will end the numer­ous inquiries relat­ed to his birth in Hawa’i,” Hawa’i Health Direc­tor Loret­ta Fud­dy said.  “I have seen the orig­i­nal records filed at the Depart­ment of Health and attest to the authen­tic­i­ty of the cer­ti­fied copies the depart­ment pro­vid­ed to the Pres­i­dent that fur­ther prove the fact that he was born in Hawa’i.” Press Release, State of Hawaii. 

Claim: The only proof they have giv­en is some doc­tor from Hawai­i’s word. 

Fed­er­al guide­lines set up require­ments, process­es, and mod­el reg­u­la­tions for states to use when set­ting up Vital Records sys­tems. This ensures con­sis­ten­cy through­out the var­i­ous states. 

The only “proof” any of us has as to where we were born is pro­vid­ed by wit­ness­es at the time of birth. Those wit­ness­es fill out paper­work that is sent to the state or coun­try we were born in.  Offi­cials empow­ered by state law deter­mine what is true at the time of birth, record it con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous­ly, then issue cer­ti­fied doc­u­ments based on that info. States keep those records for­ev­er. When any­one needs proof of their place and time of birth, they get offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion from those same offi­cials. 

Added 6/17/2012: The doc­tor who deliv­ered Oba­ma was Dr. David A. Sin­clair, at the Kapi­olani Mater­ni­ty and Gyne­co­log­i­cal Hos­pi­tal in Hon­olu­lu


Claim: I can get birth cer­tifi­cates for my ances­tors going back to King James I, Why can’t I get Pres­i­dent Obama’s?

You may be able to get BCs going back to the 1500s, but you can’t get them for liv­ing peo­ple in most states with­out their writ­ten per­mis­sion. You can’t get mine. Pri­va­cy laws in every state detail who can get copies of these records. Like almost all US states, Hawaii is a closed records state, mean­ing than only cer­tain peo­ple have access to birth cer­tifi­cates. From the State of Hawaii Depart­ment of Health web site

State law pro­hibits the DOH for dis­clos­ing any infor­ma­tion about a Hawaii vital record unless the requestor has a direct and tan­gi­ble inter­est in the record.  This includes ver­i­fi­ca­tion of vital records and all the infor­ma­tion con­tained in a record.  Vital records dis­clo­sure laws pro­tect all birth, death, mar­riage and divorce records held by the depart­ment and all amend­ments, changes, sup­port­ing records, and requests relat­ed to vital records.

Direct and tan­gi­ble inter­est is deter­mined by HRS §338–18(b).  This statute may be accessed on the state leg­isla­tive web­site at: 0338–0018.htm

The law that gov­erns vital records in the State of Hawaii is Hawaii Revised Statutes chap­ter 338, which may be accessed on the state leg­is­la­ture web­site at:

Infor­ma­tion on how to order cer­ti­fied copies of vital records in Hawaii and who is eli­gi­ble to order vital records in Hawaii, is avail­able on the DOH web­site at:

Claim: Hawaii made it a crime to ask about Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate.

In May 2010, Hawaii passed a bill called the SB2937, known as the “Vex­a­tious Requester Bill,” designed to legal­ly allow the Depart­ment of Health, the Depart­ment of Attor­ney Gen­er­al, the Office of Infor­ma­tion Prac­tices and Depart­ment of Human Ser­vices to decline to respond to cer­tain requests for Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate and oth­er relat­ed pres­i­den­tial birth record infor­ma­tion. The law does­n’t make ask­ing about Oba­ma’s doc­u­men­ta­tion a crime, it mere­ly allows the state work­ers to ignore per­sis­tent requests from the same per­son or coor­di­nat­ed group. There are no crim­i­nal or civ­il penal­ties at all. 

[Spokesper­son Jan­ice Okubo] says 5 to 10 hours a week, she and her fel­low state work­ers answer repeat­ed demands from peo­ple out­side of Hawaii seek­ing copies of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate. Offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion, she points out, that the health depart­ment has on file but is not autho­rized under Hawaii law to release to any­one except the pres­i­dent him­self or some­one in his imme­di­ate fam­i­ly.

The health depart­ment has a canned response let­ter and infor­ma­tion­al Web page to dis­trib­ute to “birthers” who want proof that Oba­ma was born in Hawaii and not out of the coun­try. Okubo also can refer callers to Obama’s own Web site, where he post­ed what he says is his birth cer­tifi­cate.

Okubo main­tains that she isn’t opposed to answer­ing ques­tions or pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion to jour­nal­ists or cit­i­zens who have “rea­son­able” requests. But there are three or four peo­ple who keep ask­ing for infor­ma­tion and don’t stop, even when the depart­ment gives them most every­thing they request, she says. — Malia Zim­mer­man, edi­tor of Hawaii Reporter

Appar­ent­ly, the DOH was get­ting bom­bard­ed by a small group of blog­gers from out­side Hawaii, in a peri­od where bud­get cuts had elim­i­nat­ed four peo­ple from the Vital Records divi­sion and remain­ing staff have been required to take two unpaid fur­lough days per month. Many of the requests were iden­ti­cal except for changes to a word or two. One of the blog­gers wrote: 

That is why, when Okubo denies, you have to read between the lines, because she does not always deny what you request­ed, even when she denies what she denies.

These blog­gers also tried to over­whelm offi­cials with coor­di­nat­ed phone calls on a spe­cif­ic day, a sort of low-tech Denial of Ser­vice attack. Is it any won­der that Hawaii felt the need for such leg­is­la­tion? 

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at: Hawaii pass­es “vex­a­tious requester” law, sends to Lin­gle 

Claim: The BC and birth archives were destroyed in a fire.

While the sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in sev­er­al pub­li­ca­tions and on CNN, there was no fire that destroyed Obama’s orig­i­nal records. The source of this sto­ry was an inter­net satire titled: Barack Oba­ma Now Claims Hawai­ian Birth Cer­tifi­cate Destroyed In Pearl Har­bor Bomb­ing

The birth records in the Hawaii State Archives are alive and well. Accord­ing to Jan­ice Okubo, pub­lic infor­ma­tion offi­cer for the Hawaii DOH

I am not aware of any birth cer­tifi­cate records that have been destroyed by the depart­ment… When the depart­ment went elec­tron­ic in 2001, vital records, whether in paper form or any oth­er form, [were] main­tained. We don’t destroy records… Any records that we had in paper or any oth­er form before 2001 are still in file with­in the depart­ment. We have not destroyed any vital sta­tis­tics records that we have.(WND)#mce_temp_url#

In 2001, Hawai­i’s paper doc­u­ments were repro­duced in elec­tron­ic for­mat, but “any paper data pri­or to that still exists,” Health Depart­ment spokes­woman Jan­ice Okubo said. (USA TODAY)

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at: Hawaii State Archive Fire??    


Prob­lems with the Pres­i­den­t’s Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth

Claim: The COLB looks too new to be his birth cer­tifi­cate. The COLB is com­put­er print­ed. There were no com­put­er print­ers in 1961. Mine has all sorts of oth­er things on it. 

Oba­ma’s COLB is not the orig­i­nal from 1961. In 2007, when Sen­a­tor Oba­ma was prepar­ing to run for Pres­i­dent, he request­ed cer­ti­fied copies of his birth cer­tifi­cate in case any were need­ed for state pri­ma­ry appli­ca­tions. The COLB was then print­ed in the for­mat and paper Hawaii used in 2007.  It’s new and has­n’t been han­dled much, and com­put­er scans are poor at show­ing 3‑dimensional fea­tures. 

On the bot­tom of the form, the num­ber “OHSM 1.1 (Rev. 11/01) LASER shows the date the form was intro­duced. 

If your birth cer­tifi­cate is hand-writ­ten with addi­tion­al fields, it was prob­a­bly print­ed before 1990 or so. After that, most states have been mov­ing towards short­er, com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed forms for proof of birth. This is because of pri­va­cy con­cerns — it used to be com­mon for peo­ple to use moth­er’s maid­en name or hos­pi­tal as secu­ri­ty ques­tions, and birth records used to be open to the pub­lic. Now it’s more com­mon to see the short­er form, print­ed on com­put­er forms. What makes them legal is the stamp of the reg­is­trar and the raised seal. The reg­is­trar cer­ti­fies that the info on the form match­es the info on the actu­al copy that is held in the offi­cial records. 

Added 6/17/2012: In May 2001, the State of Hawaii stopped issu­ing pho­to­copies of orig­i­nal birth and mar­riage cer­tifi­cates and issued only com­put­er­ized COLBs after that date. 

Claim: The col­ors, bor­der, folds, etc. on Obama’s birth cer­tifi­cate don’t match legit­i­mate birth cer­tifi­cates. There’s no embossed seal.

What was post­ed was a scan of an actu­al doc­u­ment and scans don’t pick up secu­ri­ty fea­tures or 3‑D fea­tures well. The pic­tures shown on show the 3‑D fea­tures. Note the folds, the raised seal, and the sig­na­ture stamp that bleeds through from the back. The pho­tos show an offi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied proof of birth in Hawaii doc­u­ment.  

I guess the big issue that’s being raised is the lack of an embossed seal and a sig­na­ture,” [Spokesper­son for the Hawaii DOH] Okubo said, point­ing out that in Hawaii, both those things are on the back of the doc­u­ment. “Because they scanned the front … you would­n’t see those things.”

Okubo says she got a copy of her own birth cer­tifi­cate last year and it is iden­ti­cal to the Oba­ma one we received.

In 2008, the state of Hawaii revised their COLB for­mat and changed it to use “Cer­tifi­cate” instead of Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. COLBs print­ed today will have a few dif­fer­ences from ones print­ed in 2007. While no one knows why this was done, some spec­u­late it was in part to pla­cate “Birthers” who made a big deal over the use of “Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion”. The choice of words doesn’t mat­ter one whit as to the valid­i­ty. If it has the seal and the stamp, it is valid.   

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at: Hawaii Has Changed their COLB

Claim: Oba­ma’s COLB online is a forgery with a forged seal. After 1 year delay, Hawaii Dept of Health final­ly released the real seal used on all vital doc­u­ments, which grotesque­ly does not match at all the forged seal used on Oba­ma’s forged COLB on factcheck and fight the smears, it’s not even close.

The “seal” illus­trat­ed isn’t the actu­al embossed seal, it’s a rub­bing of a seal. The embossed seal on one COLB needs to be com­pared with oth­er exam­ples of the embossed seal used on oth­er birth cer­tifi­cates of the same vin­tage. An invert­ed seal IS a raised seal when you turn it over. 

Com­pare this seal­from anoth­er actu­al COLB with the one from Oba­ma’s COLB

Hawaii can change the seal at any time, depend­ing on their needs.

§321–9 Seal, rules and reg­u­la­tions. The depart­ment of health may adopt a seal and may adopt such rules and reg­u­la­tions as it may con­sid­er expe­di­ent for the con­duct of its busi­ness. The depart­ment may amend or revise such rules and reg­u­la­tions from time to time.”    

Claim: I’ve seen oth­er Hawai­ian birth cer­tifi­cates and Oba­ma’s COLB doesn’t look like them. Oba­ma’s BC doesn’t match the Nordyke Twin’s BC.

Since 2001, the Hawai­ian COLB IS the birth cer­tifi­cate you get from the state. Here’s what you got in the 1970s: same infor­ma­tion, only not com­put­er gen­er­at­ed. Here’s what you got in the 1960s: a pho­to­stat of the orig­i­nal on file. Notice that they all say Cer­tifi­cate of Life Birth at the top. If the hold­er of this BC request­ed a cer­ti­fied BC today, they would get the same form that Oba­ma has post­ed 

Of course the 1963 Nordyke one is dif­fer­ent. No one is claim­ing the COLB Oba­ma post­ed was from 1963. It’s from 2007. Had Mrs. Nordyke request­ed a copy of her daughter’s BC in 2007, it would look like Oba­ma’s COLB. We rely on State gov­ern­ments to cer­ti­fy proof of birth infor­ma­tion so that we don’t have to keep doc­u­ments for 45 years, we can get new ones every time we need them.

Added 6/12/2012: The Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate match­es the for­mat of the Nordyke Twin’s birth cer­tifi­cates. As the state no longer issues the longer for­mat, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma had to get spe­cial per­mis­sion to get a cer­ti­fied copy of his orig­i­nal birth record, AKA the LFBC.

Claim: It doesn’t have foot­prints.

If your birth cer­tifi­cate has foot­prints, read it care­ful­ly. It is not a state-issued doc­u­ment, it is a sou­venir from the hos­pi­tal. The hos­pi­tal does­n’t keep it on file. If you lose it, there are no copies of the foot­print any­where. The state does­n’t keep foot or hand prints on infants as they have no use after the infant gains some weight and hydrates all the wrin­kles away. (Babies come out wrin­kled, a lit­tle flu­id and they plump right up.) If you take that birth cer­tifi­cate to get a pass­port, they’ll send you back for a state-issued offi­cial one.

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at: “footie” birth certs

Claim: The COLB say African for Father’s Race. It should have said Negro. African isn’t a race. 

In 1961, when the form was filled out, the “par­en­t’s race” sec­tion was (accord­ing to the Depart­ment of Health in Hawaii) self-report­ed by the par­ents. The par­ents get to put down what­ev­er they feel describes them. Hawaii prints what the par­ents wrote. (Makes sense in a poly­glot state with so many dif­fer­ent cul­tures.) 

Some birth cer­tifi­cates show JAPANESE, HAWAIIAN, WHITE, DANISH, AMERICAN, etc. 

The key is not to ask Amer­i­cans is “African” a race, but to ask Africans. Oba­ma Sr. was Kenyan: and they viewed the term “race” dif­fer­ent­ly than we did. In the Kenyan cen­sus of 1962, the choic­es for race were:  

Race.- Write Euro­pean, Arab, Soma­li, or African, etc. Asians must write Indi­an or Pak­istan” 

So if Oba­ma Senior was asked what race he was, his cul­ture and coun­try had taught him to say “African.” 

Added 6/17/2012: The State of Hawaii says that peo­ple chose what to put down for Race. If you look at Hawai­ian birth cer­tifi­cates, you’ll see White, Amer­i­can, Cau­casian, Hawai­ian, Kore­an, Javanese, etc. The clerks at the DOH then put those entries into the stan­dard racial clas­si­fi­ca­tions for sta­tis­ti­cal cod­ing. (1‑Caucasian, 2‑whatever Black was at the time, etc. 9 is “oth­er”) On Oba­ma’s long form birth cer­tifi­cate, there is a pen­cil “9” by Father’s Race to indi­cate that it was to be cod­ed “Oth­er.” 

In 1961, “Negroes” were black Amer­i­cans. In Sub-Saha­ran Africa, Black Africans were called “African.” Here’s a guide­book to Africa from 1961 opened to Kenya — note the races. 

Claim: I had to check box­es for race on my child’s birth cer­tifi­cate.

The instruc­tions for fill­ing out the Stan­dard US birth cer­tifi­cate says:

FATHER’S RACE and MOTHER’S RACE (Check one or more races to indi­cate what the father con­sid­ers him­self to be). White, Black or African Amer­i­can, Amer­i­can Indi­an or Alas­ka Native (Name of the enrolled or prin­ci­pal tribe), Asian Indi­an, Chi­nese, Fil­ipino, Japan­ese, Kore­an, Viet­namese, Oth­er Asian (Spec­i­fy), Native Hawai­ian, Gua­man­ian or Chamor­ro, Samoan, Oth­er Pacif­ic Islander (Spec­i­fy), Oth­er (Spec­i­fy).

There is no place to write a child’s race, Added 6/17/2012: and no Child’s Race appears on either the COLB or the the LFBC

Claim: The birth cer­tifi­cate online has his cer­tifi­cate num­ber scratched out. It says “Any alter­ations void this cer­tifi­cate,” so it’s void.

In 2007, Oba­ma sent to Hawaii for a cer­ti­fied copy of his birth cer­tifi­cate in prepa­ra­tion for run­ning for pres­i­dent. They sent him a prop­er­ly stamped and sealed Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth. In the sum­mer of 2008, his cam­paign put it up online to show that his mid­dle name was­n’t Muham­mad. When the staffer assigned to the task could­n’t find any­one who could tell him whether or not the ser­i­al num­ber could be used for ID theft (like a Social Secu­ri­ty num­ber or a dri­ver’s license num­ber), he blocked it out. When pho­tographed the COLB, they had fig­ured out that the ser­i­al num­ber just was used for Hawaii records. The full unredact­ed num­ber appears in the pho­tographs. 

The cer­tifi­cate num­ber is redact­ed on the IMAGE, not on the actu­al cer­tifi­cate. Chang­ing the image has no effect on the actu­al doc­u­ment.

Added 6/17/2012: The LFBC also has the same num­ber with one excep­tion: the old­er num­ber is 151 61–10641, the com­put­er-print­ed post-Y2K COLB is 151 1961–010641.

Claim: On Oba­ma’s hid­den birth cer­tifi­cate ‘reli­gion’ is list­ed as Mus­lim. OR his race is list­ed as White.

Hawai­ian birth cer­tifi­cates don’t list reli­gion, even for the par­ents. Here is an actu­al birth cer­tifi­cate from Hawaii in 1962. No reli­gion is list­ed at all.  

6 year olds don’t have a reli­gion, their par­ents do. Six year old chil­dren have the reli­gion of their par­ents, they aren’t mature enough to under­stand for them­selves. In a Mus­lim coun­try just a cou­ple of years past a bru­tal inter­nal con­flict where hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple were killed, it made sense to iden­ti­fy Oba­ma as a Mus­lim. But his par­ents were pret­ty much Agnos­tic and did­n’t raise him in any reli­gion. He chose Chris­tian­i­ty as an adult. 

Added 6/17/2012: A 1961 long-form Hawai­ian birth cer­tifi­cate also does not have any box for “Race of Child.” Oba­ma’s long-form birth cer­tifi­cate does not say he was born “white” because it CAN’T say his race. There’s no spot for it. It’s sim­ply an out­right impos­si­bil­i­ty. 


Claim: The hid­den birth cer­tifi­cate would show Mal­colm X as Pres­i­dent Obama’s father.

Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s father is list­ed on the COLB and the LFBC as Barack Hus­sein Oba­ma, and both doc­u­ments are cer­ti­fied as exact­ly match­ing what is in the orig­i­nal record. A name on a birth cer­tifi­cate is of course no guar­an­tee that the indi­vid­ual was actu­al­ly the father, but the “hid­den” birth cer­tifi­cate says Barack Hus­sein Oba­ma, African, is the father.

Mal­colm X was assas­si­nat­ed on 2/21/1965. Any evi­dence that Mal­colm X was ever in Hawaii? Or if Stan­ley Ann Dun­ham was ever in Detroit or Harlem? Answer — no. 

Claim: There’s a Hawaii law that chil­dren born pri­or to 1967 must have a Chris­t­ian Name. Oba­ma doesn’t, his name is Mus­lim. 

The term “Chris­t­ian name” means “giv­en name”. It has noth­ing to do with the reli­gion of the par­ents. Peo­ple in some Asian cul­tures only have one name, while par­ents in oth­er cul­tures choose odd names or names that don’t match the gen­der of the child. (Like Stan­ley Ann Dun­ham, for exam­ple.) The law was intend­ed to sim­pli­fy life for the child. Jech v. Burch, 466 F. Supp. 714 — Dist. Court, D. Hawaii 1979

Until 1967, it was required that all chil­dren born in wed­lock shall have their father’s name as a “fam­i­ly name” and “[besides] … a Chris­t­ian name suit­able to their sex.” R.L.1955, § 327–2. In 1967, the words “Chris­t­ian name suit­able to their sex“6 were delet­ed and the words “giv­en name” sub­sti­tut­ed. L.1967, ch. 6, § 

Foot­note 6: There is no known case in which the require­ments of “a Chris­t­ian name” that was “suit­able to their sex” were ever enforced. 

The law was fur­ther amend­ed in lat­er years, and now sim­ply requires a giv­en name and a fam­i­ly name.  BTW — this is a prime exam­ple of “quote min­ing,” where some­one has searched for any arti­cle on Hawaii Births (see the search terms at the top of the page) and leapt to a wrong con­clu­sion. 

Claim: It says Reg­is­tered not Accepted/Filed. That means it wasn’t com­plet­ed.

The Depart­ment of Health has used both filed and accept­ed dates depend­ing on the year the form was print­ed. The Hawaii Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth form 50 years ago had two fields — Date Received, and Date Filed. The two dates were usu­al­ly the same. Over the years, Hawaii evolved to only one field. For a while it was Date Received, but that was changed a few years ago to Dat­ed Filed. This was to align the process more close­ly with nation­al guide­lines.

The US State depart­ment require­ments for pass­ports include the “filed” ter­mi­nol­o­gy.  

[C]ertified copies of birth cer­tifi­cates must also include the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion to be con­sid­ered accept­able pri­ma­ry evi­dence of U.S. cit­i­zen­ship:

  • The date the cer­tifi­cate was filed with the registrar’s office (must be with­in one year)

The CDC Mod­el State Vital Sta­tis­tics Act (1992) uses the fol­low­ing sug­gest­ed lan­guage for state reg­u­la­tions:

A cer­tifi­cate of birth for each live birth which occurs in this State shall be filed with the (Office of Vital Statistics),or as oth­er­wise direct­ed by the State Reg­is­trar, with­in 5 days after such birth and shall be reg­is­tered if it has been com­plet­ed and filed in accor­dance with this sec­tion.

The Hawaii Depart­ment of Health has incor­po­rat­ed the Mod­el State Vital Sta­tis­tics Act into its reg­u­la­tions. “Filed” is the cur­rent pre­ferred term, regard­less of what was accept­able in the past. 

Added 6/17/2012: “Date Accept­ed by Local Reg­is­trar” and “Date Accept­ed by the Reg. Gen­er­al” are the 2 data fields on the LFBC. There was no “Date Filed” field in 1961. The cur­rent pre­ferred term is what appears on the COLB, but it’s the same data field as on the LFBC

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at:  “accept­ed” vs “filed”

Claim: There’s a space miss­ing in the date. That proves it’s a forgery.

The 2007 COLB by Oba­ma shows a miss­ing space for the date filed. Instead of “August 8, 1961” it shows “August 8,1961” The space between 8, and 1961 is miss­ing. Since COLBs are com­put­er gen­er­at­ed and oth­er COLBs showed the space after the day, the sug­ges­tion was made that Oba­ma’s COLB was forged and the forg­er had dropped a space. 

What it means is that when the pro­gram­mer set up the script to print the COLB field for “Date Filed” he or she made an obscure mis­take in the for­mat­ting of the field. This means that any­one doing a forgery would had to have been so pre­cise as to have picked that out. 

How­ev­er, when com­par­ing the COLB, which was print­ed in 2007 with anoth­er 2007 COLB, both show the same lack of spac­ing.

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at:  The case of the COLB and the Miss­ing Space

Claim: Grand­ma Dun­ham sign the appli­ca­tion in Hawaii for Oba­ma’s COLB and said the baby was born at home.

No. Unat­tend­ed births in Hawaii required more than a sim­ple sig­na­ture to be issued a birth cer­tifi­cate. They required an inves­ti­ga­tion by the Depart­ment of Health to ensure that a baby was actu­al­ly born and to get the details for the orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate. That took longer that 3 days (2 of them a week­end). Accord­ing to the US Pub­lic Health Ser­vice’s “Vital Sta­tis­tics of the Unit­ed States (Vol. 1, Natal­i­ty.) for 1961, there were only 14 non-hos­pi­tal births in the city of Hon­olu­lu that year. Any report of a non-hos­pi­tal birth would be unusu­al. (See the US Cen­sus) 

Added 6/17/2012: As evi­dent by the LFBC, this claim is non­sense. The doc­tor who deliv­ered Oba­ma was Dr. David A. Sin­clair, at the Kapi­olani Mater­ni­ty and Gyne­co­log­i­cal Hos­pi­tal in Hon­olu­lu

For detailed pro­ce­dures for unat­tend­ed births, see our com­pre­hen­sive Birth Cer­tifi­cates 101.

Claim: It’s easy to fake a birth cer­tifi­cate, how do we know it isn’t a fake?

It’s one thing to fake a doc­u­ment, quite anoth­er to fake an entire State Depart­ment of Vital Records. Hawai­ian offi­cials (includ­ing the Repub­li­can gov­er­nor who cam­paigned for McCain, and intro­duced Palin to the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and the curent Demo­c­ra­t­ic Admin­is­tra­tion) have said Oba­ma was born in Hawaii. When the appro­pri­ate offi­cials in the State of Hawaii say some­one was born there, there’s no need to fake any­thing. You just get a cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment say­ing you were born there. Like the one every Hawai­ian-born per­son gets. Like the one Oba­ma has. 

Sure, some­one can get fake doc­u­ments that pass for real in almost every sit­u­a­tion. But peo­ple who fake their cre­den­tials don’t expect any­one to check with the real sources of the infor­ma­tion. Fak­ing an iden­ti­ty only works if the peo­ple you are try­ing to fool are land­lords, small employ­ers, neigh­bors, etc. Fak­ing an iden­ti­ty on the nation­al stage is anoth­er thing. Any­one run­ning for pub­lic office expects every last detail of their lives to come out. 

Pass­ing fake offi­cial doc­u­ments is a crime. Nei­ther Hawai­ian law enforce­ment offi­cers nor the state’s Attor­ney Gen­er­al have pub­licly ques­tioned the doc­u­ment because they know Oba­ma’s COLB and LFBC are real. Since all a birth cer­tifi­cate does is cer­ti­fy that the infor­ma­tion match­es the offi­cial record, no one has to “prove” that the doc­u­ment was forged. A long-form could also be forged. A hos­pi­tal record could be forged. But what mat­ters is what is on file in the Hawai­ian Vital Records.  


What Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s Done with his Proof of Birth in Hawaii…

Claim: There must be some­thing that would hurt Oba­ma, or else he would­n’t fight it.

Let’s say you had to show your proof of birth doc­u­ment. You write to the state you were born in, and they send you a cer­ti­fied doc­u­ment say­ing where you were born and when. You show that to every­one who needs to see it. They accept it. You post it on a web­site to show oth­er peo­ple that your mid­dle name isn’t Muham­mad — and peo­ple start claim­ing the doc­u­ment proves you weren’t born in the US. Every­body else says you were, par­tic­u­lar­ly when the offi­cials of your state say you were born there. Then some nuts file law­suit after law­suit claim­ing that not only weren’t you born there, but some long-dead Swiss guy says you weren’t even a cit­i­zen. (NONE of the law­suits would be solved by just a long-form BC — read them at The Fog­bow Forum.) As of 6/17/2012, there have been over 140 such law­suits as detailed in The Birther Score­card

Oba­ma HAS to defend him­self and his office against these law­suits. Oth­er­wise, any­one could sue the office or the pres­i­dent for any­thing. None of the cas­es has ever made it past the ini­tial stages, because none of them have any basis in real­i­ty. 

Why doesn’t he just release it? 

He has. Twice. The­first doc­u­ment that he released, the Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Live Birth (COLB), is a valid Hawai­ian birth cer­tifi­cate, the only form of birth cer­tifi­cate that the State of Hawaii has issued for about ten years. Peo­ple in Hawaii use COLBs every day to get dri­vers’ licens­es, pass­ports – even to join Lit­tle League! In fact, while some peo­ple may still have old­er forms that were issued in pri­or years, any­one under the age of about ten born in Hawaii has only a COLB, because that is the only form of birth cer­tifi­cate that Hawaii gives to the par­ents of new­born infants and any­one else who requests one. 

Some of the “birthers” demand­ed that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma pro­duce yet anoth­er birth cer­tifi­cate, one of the forms that’s no longer issued. While old­er forms showed addi­tion­al data, like the name of the hos­pi­tal and the attend­ing physi­cian, that infor­ma­tion has no bear­ing on pres­i­den­tial eli­gi­bil­i­ty. Why should he indulge them by chas­ing after their irrel­e­vant demands? He’s proven when and where he was born, and we don’t nor­mal­ly require peo­ple to keep prov­ing things they’ve already proved. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma can’t do any­thing that would win over the “birthers” any­way. Ignor­ing them mar­gin­al­izes them more and more, par­tic­u­lar­ly as time goes by and they  are forced to come up with even wilder the­o­ries. 

Added 6/17/2012: On April 27 2011, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma released his cer­ti­fied Long Form Birth Cer­tifi­cate as he felt that his nation­al agen­da was being hijacked by promi­nant birthers such as Don­ald Trump. Many birthers claimed it was a forgery before they even saw it. 

There are oth­er birthers who don’t care about the birth cer­tifi­cate. For some it’s because they claim, false­ly, that nat­ur­al born cit­i­zen­ship requires two cit­i­zen par­ents as well as birth on US soil; for oth­ers, it’s because they claim false­ly that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma some­how lost his cit­i­zen­ship as a child. Nei­ther of those sub­groups would be sat­is­fied even by a per­son­al­ly deliv­ered orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate

See the FOGBOW FORUM dis­cus­sion at: Should Pres­i­dent Oba­ma Pro­duce His BC?  

Claim: Hawaii can just release the birth cer­tifi­cate.

Oba­ma is enti­tled the same pri­va­cy as ordi­nary cit­i­zens, both before and after his Pres­i­den­cy. It is not a spe­cial Pres­i­den­tial pri­va­cy law, it is the same one that applies to all Hawai­ian-born cit­i­zens. 

State law pro­hibits the DOH from dis­clos­ing any vital sta­tis­tics records or infor­ma­tion con­tained in such records unless the requestor has a direct and tan­gi­ble inter­est in the record, or as oth­er­wise allowed by statute or admin­is­tra­tive rule.  See HRS §338–18.  Direct and tan­gi­ble inter­est is deter­mined by HRS §338–18(b). (Hawaii Depart­ment of Health)

Added 6/17/2012: Hawaii law says that cer­tain par­ties are enti­tled to a Ver­i­fi­ca­tion in lieu of Cer­ti­fied Copies for cer­tain par­ties. 

Let­ters of ver­i­fi­ca­tion may be issued in lieu of cer­ti­fied copies (HRS §338–14.3). This doc­u­ment ver­i­fies the exis­tence of a birth/death/civil union/marriage/divorce cer­tifi­cate on file with the Depart­ment of Health and any oth­er infor­ma­tion that the appli­cant pro­vides to be ver­i­fied relat­ing to the vital event. (For exam­ple, that a cer­tain named indi­vid­ual was born on a cer­tain date at a cer­tain place.) The ver­i­fi­ca­tion process will not, how­ev­er, dis­close infor­ma­tion about the vital event con­tained with­in the cer­tifi­cate that is unknown to and not pro­vid­ed by the appli­cant in the request.

Added 6/17/2012: In June 2012, the Depart­ment of Health issued two sep­a­rate Ver­i­fi­ca­tions of the Facts of Birth to the Sec­re­tary of State of State of Ari­zona and to attor­neys for the Mis­sis­sip­pi Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. In these ver­i­fi­ca­tions, the State Reg­is­trar for Hawaii ver­i­fied that the orig­i­nal birth record is indeed on file in Hawaii and that the infor­ma­tion in the orig­i­nal vital record match­es what is post­ed on the White House web site.

Hawaii Pub­lic Health Reg­u­la­tions for Vital Sta­tis­tics Reg­is­tra­tion and Records 

Claim: If he just showed the birth cer­tifi­cate, all the law­suits will go away. 

The COLB and LFBC are birth cer­tifi­cates, and there is no rea­son to believe that any­one who rejects them is any more like­ly to be con­vinced by any oth­er form of birth cer­tifi­cate – not to men­tion those who don’t care about the birth cer­tifi­cate any­way. 

Oba­ma has to reply to the suits to pre­serve legal pro­tec­tion for the Office of the Pres­i­dent. A sit­ting Pres­i­dent is immune to CRIMINAL pros­e­cu­tion, but not CIVIL pros­e­cu­tion for acts that occurred pri­or to his tak­ing office. (Clin­ton v. Jones, 1997 

Added 6/17/2012: Accord­ing to the updat­ed Birther Score­card, there have been over 140 eli­gi­bil­i­ty cas­es or bal­lot chal­lenges filed in US courts. Those cas­es have result­ed in more than 130 deci­sions, 70 Appelate Court rul­ings and 18+ trips to the Supreme Court. Every sin­gle case decid­ed has result­ed in dis­missal or a denial of appeal. Most of these cas­es have named par­ties oth­er than Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, or in addi­tion to him. None would have been sat­is­fied by any birth cer­tifi­cate or record from Hawaii. Many allege that Oba­ma was born out­side the US, or lost his cit­i­zen­ship some­how, or does­n’t meet some def­i­n­i­tion of Nat­ur­al Born Cit­i­zen. We cov­er those rea­sons in oth­er sec­tions of this FAQ


What rea­son do Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s lawyers give for not releas­ing his long-form birth cer­tifi­cate?

None of the eli­gi­bil­i­ty law­suits have nev­er made it to that stage. In any court pro­ceed­ing, there are a series of steps that the court has to go through to deter­mine whether it is autho­rized to con­sid­er the case, address­ing ques­tions such as, does the plain­tiff have the right to bring the case? Is this court the cor­rect place to bring it? Is the plain­tiff’s desired out­come some­thing the court has the pow­er to pro­vide? 

You can’t get to the details of the case if you can’t estab­lish these things. Many of the cas­es have failed to estab­lish stand­ing, and none will ever be able to get past juris­dic­tion. That’s because the Con­sti­tu­tion says who can qual­i­fy a pres­i­dent (The Elec­toral Col­lege and Con­gress), and who can remove one (Con­gress, via Impeach­ment and con­vic­tion after tri­al). It’s a sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers thing. See Arti­cle II, Sec­tions 1 through 4 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Unit­ed States.

Claim: Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has refused to show birth cer­tifi­cate on many occa­sions and I demand to see it.

You have the right to demand any­thing you want, but that does­n’t mean some­one has the oblig­a­tion to give it to you. There is in fact no require­ment under U.S. law for a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to sup­ply any form of birth doc­u­men­ta­tion what­so­ev­er. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, on his own, vol­un­tar­i­ly offered cer­ti­fied copies of his COLB and LFBC. He post­ed scans online. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of went went to his cam­paign head­quar­ters where they exam­ined and pho­tographed the COLB. Reporters from the White House Press Corps exam­ined and han­dled the LFBC

If he were ever required to pro­vide a hard-copy birth cer­tifi­cate, all he would have to do is pro­duce a stamped and sealed paper COLB, and any U.S. court would deem it suf­fi­cient proof of cit­i­zen­ship at birth. The form states, “This copy serves as pri­ma facie evi­dence of the fact of birth in any court pro­ceed­ing.” It also lists the rel­e­vant Hawai­ian law, HRS 338–13(b), 338–19, and under the Full Faith and Cred­it clause of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, it would be ful­ly accept­able any­where in the Unit­ed States.  

One appro­pri­ate time to bring this up again will be when Pres­i­dent Oba­ma runs for reelec­tion. He will be required once more to demon­strate his NBC sta­tus to the peo­ple who mat­ter — the vot­ers, the Elec­toral Col­lege, and the Con­gress, which has the pow­er to accept or reject the elec­toral votes.

Claim: No one has seen the orig­i­nal long form doc­u­ment. 

Most states these days don’t issue copies of the orig­i­nal birth record, they issue a com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed form with much less infor­ma­tion on it. In Hawaii, that’s called a Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth. (Some­time after 2008, the State of Hawaii changed the word­ing from “Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Live Birth,” as it appears on the released COLB, to “Cer­tifi­cate of Live Birth.”  Should Pres­i­dent Oba­ma order and release a new cer­ti­fied copy as of this writ­ing, the word­ing in the title would read Cer­tifi­cate.) There is no data in the orig­i­nal record that would make a dif­fer­ence as to either cer­ti­fy­ing where and when Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was born or estab­lish­ing his cit­i­zen­ship at birth. 

When a police­man stops you and asks you for your dri­ver’s license, you hand him your offi­cial state-issued card. You don’t need to car­ry the orig­i­nal doc­u­ments that cor­rob­o­rate the data on it, such as the results of your dri­ving test, your eye test, your SS card, your birth cer­tifi­cate, or proof of res­i­dence. 

Same thing with the COLB. It does­n’t show the hos­pi­tal, doc­tor, and a few oth­er pieces of infor­ma­tion, but it does show the ele­ments that mat­ter: born where and when, when the doc­u­ment was filed with the State Reg­is­trar, and no nota­tions of amend­ments or alter­ations. 

Added 6/17/2012: The LFBC does show addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion, includ­ing the hos­pi­tal, doc­tor, address of the moth­er, occu­pa­tions of the par­ents, etc. Like the COLB, it shows the ele­ments that mat­ter: born where and when, when the doc­u­ment was filed with the State Reg­is­trar, and no nota­tions of amend­ments or alter­ations. 

Who has seen Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s long form birth cer­tifi­cate, COLB, or oth­er proof of US cit­i­zen­ship? Reporters at, offi­cials in Hawaii, the Sec­re­tary of the Sen­ate (it’s required when fresh­man sen­a­tors report for ori­en­ta­tion), the Bar Asso­ci­a­tion of Illi­nois, the DMV in Illi­nois, admis­sions clerks at Occi­den­tal, Har­vard, and Colum­bia, the Depart­ment of State (he has a valid pass­port), Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go Law School (where he taught class­es) and oth­er employ­ers, and The White House Press Corps. 

Claim: Pres­i­dent Oba­ma won’t show his “real” orig­i­nal birth cer­tifi­cate, the one he men­tioned in his book.

Maybe he does­n’t have the one his par­ents had when he was a child? Maybe he does­n’t want the doc­tor’s fam­i­ly both­ered? Maybe he thinks that prov­ing birth in Hawaii by means of the COLB is suf­fi­cient? (It is.)

Claim: A Supreme Court Jus­tice has the author­i­ty to demand Oba­ma pro­duce a birth cer­tifi­cate.

The Supreme Court is not an inves­tiga­tive court. It does­n’t issue sub­poe­nas. It is pri­mar­i­ly an appeals court and has Orig­i­nal Juris­dic­tion only in very lim­it­ed instances:

In all Cas­es affect­ing Ambas­sadors, oth­er pub­lic Min­is­ters and Con­suls, and those in which a State shall be Par­ty, the supreme Court shall have orig­i­nal Juris­dic­tion. In all the oth­er Cas­es before men­tioned, the Supreme Court shall have appel­late Juris­dic­tion, both as to Law and Fact, with such Excep­tions, and under such Reg­u­la­tions as the Con­gress shall make.” (US Con­sti­tu­tion, Arti­cle III Sec­tion 2)

Claim: Con­gress has the author­i­ty to demand Oba­ma pro­duce a birth cer­tifi­cate.

Con­gress has sub­poe­na pow­er for all records in the US and diplo­mat­ic pow­er for non-US records. Even assum­ing that a Con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee could suc­cess­ful­ly sub­poe­na the “long form,” they still could not make it pub­lic. In the legal busi­ness we serve sub­poe­nas for med­ical records on a dai­ly basis, but that doesn’t give us the right to make those records avail­able to any­one else.

All the com­mit­tee could do is release a report say­ing that they reviewed the long form and that it shows that Oba­ma was born in Hawaii. Do you think that would sat­is­fy the birthers? They would still scream that it is prob­a­bly a forgery, etc.


Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was born in Hon­olu­lu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. 

Falsehoods Unchallenged Only Fester and Grow