A pilot program in place since 1997 has expanded that will certainly be an asset to everyone in North Carolina. The NC Vital Records Office has picked Guilford and Cumberland County to join Harnett County in offering services on it's new vital records system. How does benefit you? You can now walk into the Register of Deeds office and obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, regardless of what county you were born in. This will save time and money by not having to travel to the county of your birth. Eventually all the counties in North Carolina will switch to the new system, however a specific date is not known. The new system also electronically logs all new births without having to go through the "snail mail" process from the hospital, the Department of Health, then to the Register of Deeds.
There are two drawbacks to the new system that has to be mentioned. One, the new system only allows people born in North Carolina to obtain a copy of their birth certificate. If you were born outside the state, the new system will not benefit you. Second, and possibly the most concerning, is the new system only allows people born on or after January 1, 1971 to obtain a copy of a birth certificate from any county. If you were born before this date, you need to visit your birth county to obtain a copy or apply for it by mail. Birth certificates are public record so anyone can get a copy, although it would not be certified. At this time, it's not known if any other records will be available such as marriage or death certificates.
So if you need a birth certificate and don't live near your birth county, travel to Guilford, Cumberland or Harnett County and save some time and energy...hopefully the rest of the counties will follow suit very soon!