Sunday, August 15, 2010

The top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys). # 1 -- Food

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Okay, I've lived in both Mexico and Vietnam now.  I'm pretty much as qualified as anyone to take a stab at this comparison.  This piece is written for guys that have spent time (most likely teaching) in Mexico and are considering coming to Southeast Asia and in particular Vietnam.
If you're not in this category, you may still want to read this, anyway, because, hey, you're already reading this, and you never know.  Seriously, you never know.

First, let me say that although I wanted to come to Asia awhile before I actually came here, I had some confirming conversations with men who spent time in both parts of the world, and one in particular with a guy who had traveled extensively for many moons.  I asked him this very question: Mexico or Vietnam?  And he, in his decades of manly wisdom, just nodded, winked, and said "Vietnam."

Invariably, these guys will agree that Southeast Asia beats Mexico if you're a guy.  So, if you don't believe me, that's cool: I'm just saying I think it's pretty easy to confirm what I'm about to say.

Why Mexico vs Vietnam?  Well, because these two places are stuck in the American historical psyche. In short, the northern part of Mexico is kind of American and the southern part of Vietnam is kind of American. I taught ESL in Austin, Texas, for awhile and 1/2 my students were Mexican and 1/2 were Vietnamese.  It's not just a "psyche" thing: it's about geographical/historical proximity.

Reason #1 -- The Food.


Anthony Bourdaine had it right.  If you're a foody and/or you're the kind of person who wants to try new food, you may agree that the food here (I'm in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City)  is some of the best in the world.  And cheap. And pretty clean and healthy. People love fresh food here.  They pretty much worship it. I have gotten sick once here so far in seven months and counting (and only "kind of" sick at that) and I've eaten just about everything from just about every kind of vendor there is here.

You may be freaked out by what you find yourself trying to eat here (e.g. snails and duck embryos, for starters), but I just don't see much in the way of food poisoning or even the runs here (unless you go to KFC).  Hint: the choices are endless -- consult your Lonely Planet or whatever, but in the final analysis, eat where the Vietnamese folks congregate.  If you like only Western food, you can do okay here, no problem.

I feel ya, my man.  I feel ya.

I don't know about Hanoi [edit: here is some Hanoi food porn] but you simply cannot get good Mexican (and by Mexican I mean Tex-Mex) food here in HCMC, which is the more cosmopolitan of the big cities.  You CAN get decent  jalapenos grown in Da Lat, but you CAN'T get good Tex-Mex at a restaurant here, no matter how much you pay. Wayne's BBQ is the closest I've seen, but his vision and the execution of it are often lost in translation between him and his staff. He would agree.

But, what am I saying?: you can't get Tex-Mex in Mexico either. You can get a damn fine "big plate of meat" in Mexico.  And you can certainly get some decent seafood on the coasts.  But, for the sake of comparison, let's go with your basic cheap pre/post-hangover food: Taco vs Ban Mi.

The taco first:

But subtlety and surprise is a precious commodity in this world; where Mexico can deliver big, satisfying farts, Vietnam offers thousands of years of colonization and interpolations of tastes.  What the US is for music in terms of Jazz, Vietnam is for food in terms of food being Jazz.

Behold... the Ban Mi:

So, yea, the food here, if this simple comparison holds any water, wins over Mexico, which has some undeniably good food, and probably over the world.  It's so good, you'll often freak out.  You'll get spoiled very quickly and will become difficult to please no matter what. And then you'll be surprised again and go "oh my god, this is the most delicious thing I've ever had." Again and again.

I think that, all-in-all, no matter how much you like Mexican food, you will eventually understand that Vietnamese food beats Mexican food.

Now, the girls.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 2 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Girls

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason #2 -- The Girls.

This is why I subtitled this piece "if you're a guy."  I know by being a boyfriend many times over, by living and traveling, and by trying to find teachers to work for my team, that American-teacher girls/women, imho, typically like Latin countries and Latin-esque countries (Spain, Italy, etc.) over Asia and Southeast Asia in particular. Why?  My theory is that they get some good attention there.  Guys do too, for that matter, but not like they do here.  Guys here get a lot of attention from the ladies.  I mean so much attention that guys feel like rock stars even if they weren't to popular with/ lucky with girls back in the States.  In fact, I'll say that it's pretty difficult to NOT get a girlfriend here very soon after touchdown no matter what kind of dipshit you think you may be.

That said, you'll find that like with most everything, that the quality you put in is the quality you get out.  Real love is a rare commodity anywhere, my friends, and must come form within you as much as it does from outside you.

That said, let's get down to brass tacks:

Mexico has some beautiful women with awesome, fun-loving personalities.

J Lo

Emotionally speaking, Asian girls are less dramatic than Western girls, though, including Latinas.  They simply don't freak out as often.  They can be very sensitive and aloof, but in general are lower maintenance, emotionally. They do expect money and in fact are straightforward about this, though you may find it difficult to give stuff or money to a good girl until you've figured her out some.

What Playboy doesn't want you to know.

 There is a trade-off here in the sense that Mexican girls can be fun to party with, in the carousing sense of being a drinking-buddy sense. And if that isn't your game I have one idea for you: Catholic vs Buddhist.

Ancient sculpture entitled "Win"

I'll be straight up here and speak to what is on your mind right now: Asian women have superior DNA to all other women on the planet in the height-to-weight-ratio area.  And, from what I've seen, this can actually  *improve* after having a baby or two. This isn't the same case in Mexico, where it is commonly accepted that mothers are, with rare exception, destined to become gordas. Nor in the US, for that matter, but you get the point.

J Lo

There are different types and classes of women here, just like anywhere.  So, if you're in the target-audience for this article, you know what I mean. I'll write more about that in my How to Get to and Thrive in Vietnam, later.  But in general, as you may know, most women from traditional places take care of men (and also expect they'll be taken care of).  In these ways, there are plenty of similarities.  If I have to dig deep here and articulate a big difference in one line, though, it is probably this: massage is more popular here than in Mexico.  That's all I'll say about that for now.

Vietnamese mom.  Note: proportions may vary.

But in general, I will say, with the utmost respect for all Latinas (including my uber-hot friend, Ideth), Southeast Asian girls -- by their DNA and just by the culture (traditions, food habits, etc) here -- rule my world.  If you ask around, I believe this will be confirmed by most other similarly-experienced men.

Next, the beer. Delicious beer.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 3 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Beer

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason #3 -- This is a beer-drinkers paradise, if you favor a good, decently-priced beer.

Mexico is cheap in a lot of ways, but beer is not one of them.  Beer generally costs the same there as it does in the States.  Beer in Vietnam can be very cheap. For example, I buy Saigon Green by the case (of 20) for 120,000 VND.  That comes out to 6,000VND each.  That's about a quarter (25 cents) per beer for a perfectly decent beer.  In fact, this beer beats Heineken in blind taste tests.

$6 for the whole enchilada. Yay!

I performed these tests with both a group of foreigners and also one of Vietnamese. The results were the same. Heineken comes in a close second, but second nonetheless.  Even at a restaurant, a Saigon Green will run you about 60 cents while a Heineken may run you upwards of a dollar.  There are other beers, but I've limited this discussion to the two best popular beers here. You can go out and party in nightclubs and spend as much money as you want here, but the bottom-line best deal on good beer -- as good as Modelo -- is a LOT better here.

Your humble author, on location in Mexico modeling Modelo (with thanks to photographer Jamie).
 Next work, or how to pay for all this.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 4 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Work

 Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 4 -- The Work.  This is a tough one because it's hard to generalize about work in a couple of paragraphs.  Let me start just by jumping in. There are three types of guys working here: first, construction people; (engineers and highly-skilled operators, managers, etc) second, business people; and, third: teachers, or at least people who are teaching.  I will speak to this third group.

You can get work in many places all over Mexico and Southeast Asia.  State-certified teachers or other highly qualified/lucky people can get some very good International School (K-12) jobs just about anywhere where's there's money enough to support them.  God bless this group, as they are typically living large.  However, for your typical English as a Second Language teacher, while there are a lot of jobs in either of these areas, I have to say this: English here is absolute gold and teachers here are highly respected. Whereas in Mexico you may be a teacher, you're a gringo first, then a teacher.  Here, you're a foreigner first, but you have to understand the nobility that is assigned to teachers here.  Unless you're a drunken and/or crazy idiot, and even then, you will often be treated with the respect we give to doctors in the States. 

Further, and perhaps more importantly, people here are typically extremely smart and eager to learn.  For example, students go out to the park just to try to practice their English.  (There is also a kind of girl out there trying to score, but that's a different story.) I mean they spend hours out there just hoping to find a willing foreigner and get some good practice in.  This is what many do here during their free time.

Your students.

English is required here, and although not everyone is motivated to take the public-school classes (which can be pretty lame), it is generally perhaps the most sought-after skill here. I can pontificate about cultural attitudes towards education across the world (China vs Mexico vs US vs Vietnam, for example) but, hands-down, the respect for teachers and the eagerness of the students here wins.

Next, making money:  bang for the buck.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 5 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Money

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 5 -- The Money.

Relative to local income, an English teacher makes middle-class living here. About $2,000/month, give or take. Forget "rich."  You will hear that "oh, you're a teacher; people will think you are rich" or whatever.  Not exactly.  Some people say that, but let's talk about rich.

This is rich in Vietnam

This is poor in Vietnam

This is working class in Vietnam

This is (lower) middle class in Vietnam.  That's about where you fit, though with a hot girlfriend and a GPS-enabled Android (and money to burn on Thailand rather than saving for a house) instead of a wife and son. For now.

You'll make about $16/hr.  Average here is $150/mo.  Do the math, my friend. You're well into doctor income. And show me $16/hr in Mexico: it exists, but it's not the norm.  I'll talk more about how to get here and get these jobs in a separate article.  But suffice it to say that you can land here and start making decent money immediately.

Speaking of Thailand, next up is location.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 6 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Location

 Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 6 -- The Location.  A100-dollar flight distance to a bunch of other cool places. Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The national past-time of Thailand.

In Mexico, you're in this range for... more Mexico.  Maybe Guatemala, Houston or LA.  What Mexico really has access to, in addition to the irie bootiliciousness of Belize, though, is Cuba. As for Cuba, I'll say nothing more than that Cuba does not stamp your passport, when you fly there from Mexico, but instead stamps a free-balling piece of paper that they insert in your passport -- something that can accidentally fall out into the trash and be forgotten when you return.  And, yes, you have the mysterious grandeur of the Mayan and Azteca empires to peruse as well, but, come on.

Sunset in Vietnam
But what about day-to-day freedom in Vietnam?  Next: freedom.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason # 7 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Freedom # 7 -- Freedom.  You can walk around in nothing but boxers and a pair of flip-flops here.  Do not do this at work.  And you may not want to do this because, after all, this is the equator we're talking about: even 90-proof sunblock is just a wee bit of shade here.

But I mean it.  You can do whatever the heck you want here.  You are subject to the laws of gravity and cause-and-effect, but yes, you can pretty-much do whatever you want here except go out and shoot up a bunch of bottles and targets with your cousin's AR-15.

You will confront your weaknesses here, though.  All of them.  So, just know that.

This could be you on any given day.  Seriously. Just not at work, please.
Now, comparing the freedom you experience in Mexico to that you'll experience here is tricky.  The thing is the sum total of all the other 7 reasons why Vietnam beats Mexico for guys.  Delicious food everyday, an endless supply of tasty cold beer, wonderful women, damn-good money, pretty-good work,  access to incredible destinations.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you prepare, play your cards right, and don't get bogged down in negativity or your own self-destructive habits, Vietnam has something to offer.  Every man has his own shang-ri-la*.  That's a fact. But if you're ready for it -- if you've already put some miles on the road -- and you want to do something different, something crazy, on the other side of the world, then it's worth a shot.

 *It's a cool feeling to feel so "in demand" here sometimes.  It can be a place to pursue your ambitions (rather than just go nuts).

Lastly, though, it is wise to consider safety.

Reason # 8 Vietnam beats Mexico -- Safety

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Reason #8 -- Safety.  This ain't Kansas, folks.  Nor is it Mexico.  Safety probably isn't the highest priority for the audience of this article, but it's something to consider.  Let's go to the dark side, shall we?

You will get ripped off.  Please don't nail the cab driver or whoever does this to you.  You are a lot bigger than he is and you may actually kill him as he falls back and hits his head on the ubiquitous concrete.  And in that case, you will suffer in jail. You are the foreigner, so it's our fault.  National Geographic won't even want to do a special on how much it sucks for you because it sucks more than their audience can handle.  Don't do this over 5 dollars (100,000 VND and change).  In fact, don't do it over 200 dollars when that cute little  ho sacks your luggage while you pass out, dumbass.  Just accept it as a fee for a lesson in being smart.

That said, let's talk about safety and just the general feeling of "I could get really f'd up at any moment."

You never know.

First, you won't hear stories about how police stuck a machine gun in someone's gut and demanded money here. I've been in that situation and I know at least one other guy who this has happened to (John, I'm talking about you). Yes, this place is still corrupt -- somebody will get money from you, probably, eventually, and you'll probably turn corruption in your favor, as well -- but the cops just don't have that kind of firepower here. You won't see many guns here. And the sheer number of people buzzing around on motorbikes makes policing an exercise in herding cats on a good day.

Second, guys here don't have that sense of machismo here.  Yes, stuff happens -- you may get taunted or ripped off -- but you're not going to get challenged as a matter of drunken pride or whatever unless you play an active role in making that happen.

Don't worry, Larry...  they're just kidding.  Right?

Lastly, this country just got shot to hell and back recently, but don't let that blind you to reality.  Mexico is more violent along the borders and in some cities where drug trafficking happens than here.  Further, banditos frequent night-time spots where they look out for dumb-ass night-time travelers. I've stayed in Mexican paradise, but I didn't travel at night. Same here, but you don't have the massive drug trafficking and its concomitant war here, yet, though you do have the same sort of crowd lingering around at night*.  And there is a sense that guns and violence aren't normal here: this has not been an aggressive nation since the Vietnamese took the Mekong from the Kamir.

That was a long time ago, and this is, in spite of the French attempts to save their souls, a Buddhist country.  They weren't screaming "We're going to kick ass because we're awesome" when they fought modern wars.  I'm not taking sides when I say that, in general, people here did what they had to do to get some peace and prosperity.

*Hint: get back home at a decent hour anywhere, but especially in a developing country (or in the US, which is a damn violent country).

Defeated  3 super-powers and loves flowers.

In conclusion, I had some really good times in Mexico.  I experienced some stuff that I will never experience here. Absurd stuff.  Wonderful stuff. Stuff that you find in novels.  In the final analysis this article isn't actually about Mexico vs Vietnam, but is instead an argument for Mexico THEN Vietnam. Seriously, Mexico is a great place. I still dream about retiring in Oaxaca.  But I'm saying don't hang your hat for good somewhere until you've experienced this place, for better or worse.  In fact, I heartily recommend doing Mexico then coming here.  You'll be better prepared.  It's a difficult place, far away from home.  I love it here, though, and can't see hanging my hat elsewhere now. Having done your time in Mexico (or in some other developing country) you will be better-prepared for life here.  In any case, you won't regret it. Not really.  

If you want to know better how to actually get here, live, and perhaps even thrive here, read my step-by-step program for how to get to, live in, and maybe even thrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Coming soon.

Live long and prosper, compadres.

Top 8 reasons Vietnam beats Mexico (for guys): | Food | Women | Beer | Work | Money | Location | Freedom | Safety |

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Addresses for US States' Departments of Vital Records & Secretaries of State

 Note:  This is an old list I took from an old .pdf that was taken from a site that deleted it a long time ago.  Most of these are good, but comment if you find a better address.

Addresses for Departments of Vital Records & Secretaries of State

Alabama Alabama Center for Health Statistics Department of Public Health PO Box 5625 Montgomery, AL 36103-5625 Phone: 334-206-5418 Secretary of State State Capitol 600 Dexter Ave., Rm. E 204 Montgomery, AL 36104 Phone: 334-242-7210 or 800-274-8683
Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics Dept. of Health and Social Services PO Box 110675 Juneau, AK 99811-0675 Phone: 907-465-3038 Office of the Lieutenant Governor 120 Forth Street State Capitol Building 3rd Floor Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 907-465-3520 Fax: 907-463-5364
Arizona Vital Records Section Department of Health Services Office Address: 2727 West Glendale Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85030 Mailing Address: PO Box 3887 Phoenix, AZ 85030 Phone: 602-255-3260 Secretary of State 1st Floor, Suite 103, State Capitol 1700 W. Washington Phoenix, AZ 85007-2808 Phone: 602-542-4285
Arkansas Division of Vital Records Department of Health Slot 44 4815 West Markham Street Little Rock, AR 72205 Phone: 501-661-2336 Secretary of State 256 State Capitol Building Little Rock, AR 72201 Attn: Corporation Phone: 501-682-3409
Colorado Vital Records Section Department of Health 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO 80222-1530 Phone: 303-756-4464 Secretary of State Suite 200, 1560 Broadway Denver, CO 80202 Attn: Elections Division Phone: 303-894-2680 ext 1
Connecticut Vital Records Department of Health Services 150 Washington Street Hartford, CT 06106 Phone: 860-509-7897 Secretary of the State Attn: Authentications 30 Trinity Street Hartford, CT 06106 Phone: 860-509-6135
California Office of Vital Records 304 S Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: 916-445-2684 Fax: 1-800-858-5553 California  Sacramento (main Office): Secretary of State Notary Public Division Office Address: 1500 11th St., 2nd Floor; Sacramento, CA 95814 Mailing address PO Box 942877; Sacramento, CA 94277-0001 Phone: 916-653-3595 Fax: 916- 653-9580 Email Address: Fresno: Secretary of State Fresno Branch Office 2497 W. Shaw Suite 101 Fresno, CA 93711 (559)243-2100 Los Angeles: Secretary of State Los Angeles Branch Office 300 S. Spring Street, Rm 12513 Los Angeles , CA 90013 (213) 897-3062 San Diego: Secretary of State San Diego Branch Office 1350 Front Street, Suite 2060 San Diego , CA 92101 (619) 525-4113 San Francisco: Secretary of State San Francisco Branch Office 121 Spear Street, Suite 420 San Francisco, CA 94105-1584 (415) 904-2344
Delaware Office of Vital Statistics Jesse Cooper Building, Room 144 Federal & William Penn Streets Dover, DL 19901 Phone: 302-739-4721 Secretary of State Division of Corporations Federal Street Dover, DE 19901 Attn: David Krauss Phone: 302-739-6479
District of Columbia Vital Records Office 825 N. Capitol Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Phone: 202-442-9009 Marriage Certificates from: District of Columbia Superior Court Marriage Bureau 500 Indiana Avenue, NW Room 4485 Washington, DC 20001 Notary Commissions and Authentications Section One Judiciary Square 441 4th Street, NW Room 840-S Washington, DC 20001 Phone: 202-727-3117

Florida Vital Statistics 1217 N. Pearl St. Jacksonville, FL 32202 Attn: Patricia Hasan Phone: 904-359-6932 or 6934 904-359-6900 for recording Secretary of State Bureau of Notaries Division of Elections Room 1801, The Capitol Building Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 Phone: 850-413-9732 850-921-5268 Tampa Branch: Tampa: 1313 Tampa Road, room 712 Phone: 813-272-2552
Georgia Vital Records Unit Department of Human Resources 47 Trinity Avenue SW, Room 217-H Atlanta, GA 30334-5600 Phone: 404-656-4900 or 7456 Fax: 404-524-4278 Secretary of State Elections Division Suite 1104, West Tower 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, SE Atlanta, GA 30334 Att: Sue Moreland Phone: 404-656-2852 FOR APOSTILLES: (for countries which signed the Hague agreement) Notary Division 1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30345 Phone: 404-327-6023
Guam Office of Vital Statistics Dept of Public Health and Social Services Government of Guam PO 2816 Agana, Guam 96910 Phone: 671-734-4589 Lt. Governor Authentication Office ATTN:Sandra Marlow Lt. Governor's Chambers RJB Complex Adelup, Guam 96932 Phone: 671 -475-9211
Hawaii Vital Records Section State Department of Health PO Box 3378 Honolulu, HI 96801 Phone: 808-586-4533 Office of the Lieutenant Governor 415 South Beretania Street Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone: 808-586-0255
Idaho Vital Statistics Unit Department of Health and Welfare 450 West State Street Statehouse Mail Boise, ID 83720-9990 208-334-5988 Secretary of State Office Address: 700 W Jefferson, Room 203; Boise ID 83702 Mailing address: PO Box 83720; Boise ID 83702 Phone: 83720-0080 or 208-334-2300 Fax: 208-334-2282
Illinois Division of Vital Records Department of Public Health 605 West Jefferson Street Springfield, IL 62702-5097 Phone: 217-782-6553 Illinois Secretary of State Index Department 111 E. Monroe Springfield, IL 62756 Phone: 217-782-7017 Chicago Branch: Secretary of State 17 N. State Street, Suite 1137 Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312-793-3380 (main office) 312-814-2067 (certifications)
Indiana Indiana State Dept of Health Office of Dept of Vital Records 2 North Meridian Street Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone: 317-233-2700 (Recording) Secretary of State Room 201 Statehouse 200 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone: 317-232-6531
Iowa Vital Records Section Department of Public Health Lucas Office Building 321 East 12 Street Des Moines, IA 50319 Phone: 515-281-5871 Secretary of State Corporate Division Hoover Building, 2nd Floor 1305 Walnut Street Des Moines, IA 50319 Phone: 515-281-5204 Fax: 515-242-6556
Kansas Office of Vital Statistics 900 SW Jackson Street Topeka, KS 66612-2221 Phone: 785-296-1400 Secretary of State 300 SW 10th Street, Room 231 2nd Floor, State Capitol Topeka, KS 66612 Attn: Georgia Phone: 785-296-4564 Fax: 785-291-3051
Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics Department for Health Services 275 East Main Street Frankfort, KY 40621 502-564-4212 Secretary of State Corporate Records Attn: Pat McLean 700 Capitol Building, Rm. 156 Frankfort, KY 40601 Phone: 502-564-7330
Louisiana Vital Records Registry Office of Public Health Office Address: 325 Loyola Avenue; New Orleans, LA 70112 Mailing Address: PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160-0630 Phone: 504-568-8353 Fax: 504-568-5391 Secretary of State PO Box 94125 Baton Rouge, LA 70804 Phone: 504-342-4479 Fax: 504-342-5577
Maine Office of Vital Records Human Services Building 11 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333 Phone: 207-287-3181 Department of Secretary of State Notary Public Division 101 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0101 Phone: 207-287-4181
Maryland Division of Vital Records Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 6550 Reisterstown Road Baltimore, MD 21215-0020 Phone: 410-764-3038 ec.htm Secretary of State Office Address: 16 Francis Street; Jeffrey Building, 1st Floor Annapolis, MD 21401 Mailing address Certification Desk; State House; Annapolis, MD 21401 Phone: 410-974-5521 ext 460

Massachusetts Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics 470 Atlantic Avenue, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02210-2224 Phone: 617-753-8600 Secretary of the Commonwealth Commissions Office 1 Ashburton Place Room 1719 Boston, MA 02108 Phone: 617-727-2836
Michigan Michigan Department of Community Health Office of the State Registrar PO Box 30195 Lansing, MI 48909 Phone: 517-335-8000/8656/8666 Secretary of State Treasury Building, 1st Floor 430 W. Allegan St Lansing, MI 48918 Phone: 517-373-2510 Fax: 517-373-0727 or Office of the Great Seal Michigan Historical Center, First Floor 717 W. Allegan Lansing, MI 48915 Phone: 517-373-2531
Minnesota Section of Vital Statistics Department of Health 717 Delaware Street SE PO Box 9441 Minneapolis, MN 55440 Phone: 612-676-5120 Secretary of State 180 State Office Bldg. 100 Constitution Ave St. Paul, MN 55155-1299 Phone: 651-296-2803 Fax: 651-297-5844
Mississippi Vital Records State Department of Health 2423 North State Street Jackson, MS 39216 Phone: 601-576-7981 Secretary of State 202 N. Congress 6th Floor Jackson, MS 39201 Phone: 601-359-1615 Fax: 601-354-8243
Missouri Bureau of Vital Records Department of Health PO Box 570 Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: 573-751-6387 Secretary of State (updated 2/98) Commission Division Office Address 600 W. Main, Room 367; Jefferson City, MO 65101 Mailing Address PO Box 784; Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: 573-751-4756
Montana Bureau of Records and Statistics Department of Health and Environmental Sciences Helena, MT 59620 Phone: 406-444-2614 Secretary of State Room 225, State Capital PO Box 202801 Helena, MT 59620-2801 Phone: 406-444-2034 Fax: 406-444-3976 TDD: 406-444-3976
Nebraska Bureau of Vital Statistics Department of Health 301 Centennial Mall South PO Box 95007 Lincoln, NE 68509-5007 Phone: 402-471-2871 Secretary of State State Capitol, Suite 1305 PO Box 95104 Lincoln, NE 68509 Phone: 402-471-2558 Fax: 402-471-4429
Nevada Division of Health-Vital Statistics Capitol Complex 505 East King Street Carson City, NV 89710 Phone: 775-885-4480 Secretary of State Capitol Complex 101 N. Carson St. #3 Carson City, NV 89701-4786 Phone: 775-684-5708 Fax: 775-684-5725
New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records Health and Human Services Building 6 Hazen Drive Concord, NH 03301 Phone: 603-271-4654 New Hampshire Dept. of State Statehouse, Rm 204 107 N. Main St. Concord, NH 03301 Phone: 603-271-3242
New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics Department of Health Office Address: South Warren and Market Streets, CN 370 Mailing Address: PO Box 370 Trenton, NJ 08625 Phone: 609-292-4087 FAX: 609-392-4292 Office of Secretary of State Business Services Bureau Office Address: 225 West State Street, Third Floor; Trenton, NJ 08608 Mailing Address: PO Box 452; Trenton, NJ 08625-0452; Attn: Notary Section Phone: 609-292-9292 (main) 609-633-8257 (notary section) 609-292-2121 (charge)
New Mexico Vital Statistics New Mexico Health Services Division 1180 St Francis Drive Santa Fe, NM 87503 Phone: 505-827-2338 Secretary of State State Capitol, Room 420 Santa Fe, NM 87503 Phone: 505-827-3600 Fax: 505-827-3634
New York Vital Records Section Department of Health Empire State Plaza, Tower Building Albany, NY 12237-0023 Phone: 518-474-3075 For New York City: Bureau of Vital Records Department of Health of New York City 125 Worth Street New York, NY 10013 Phone: 212-788-4520 or 4500 Fax: 1-800-908-9146 NY City County authentications: New York County Clerk/Notary Section 60 Centre Street New York, NY 10007 Phone: 212-374-8589 Secretary of State Certification Unit 123 William Street, 19th Floor New York, NY 10038 Phone: 212-417-5684 or Miscellaneous Records Department of State 41 State St. Albany, NY 12231 Phone: 518-474-4770
North Carolina Vital Records Section 1903 MSC (Mail Service Center) Raleigh, NC 27699-1903 Phone: 919-733-3526/3000 NC Secretary of State Authentication Division 300 N. Salisbury Street Raleigh, NC 27603-5909 Attention: Bernice Pruitt Phone: 919-733-3406

North Dakota Division of Vital Records State Capitol 600 East Boulevard Avenue Bismark, ND 58505 Phone: 701-328-4508 Secretary of State 600 E. Blvd Ave, Dept 108 Bismark, ND 58505-0500 Phone: 701-328-2900 Fax: 701-328-1690
Ohio Division of Vital Statistics Department of Health G-20 Ohio Department Building 65 South Front Street Columbus, OH 43266-0333 Phone: 614-466-2531 Secretary of State Elections Division 180 E. Broad St. 15th Floor Columbus, OH 43215 Phone: 614-466-2655 Fax: 614-544-0649
0klahoma Vital Records Section Department of Health 1000 Northeast 10th Street PO Box 53551 Oklahoma City, OK 73152 Phone: 405-271-4040 Oklahoma Secretary of State Certifications Office State Capital Building 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 101 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Phone: 405-521-3911
Oregon Oregon Vital Records Office address: 800 NE Oregon St. #205 Portland OR 97232 Mailing address: PO Box 14050 Portland OR 97293 Phone: 503-371-4095 Secretary of State Notary Public - Authentication Corporation Division Suite 151 Public Service Building Salem, OR 97310 Phone: 503-986-2200 Fax: 503-373-7414
Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records Department of Health Central Building 101 South Mercer Street PO Box 1528 New Castle, PA 16103 Phone: 724-656-3100 or 724-656-3143 Department of State 303 North Office Bldg. Harrisburg, PA 17120 Phone: 717-787-5280
Puerto Rico Demographic Registry Department of Health PO Box 11854 Fernandez Juncos Station San Juan, PR 00910 Phone: 787-728-7980 Secretary of State Department of State Box 3271 San Juan, PR 00902-3271 Phone: 787-723-4334 787-725-7303
Rhode Island Division of Vital Records Department of Health 3 Capitol Hill, Room 101 Providence, RI 02908-5097 Phone: 401-277-2811 Secretary of State 100 N. Main Street Providence, RI 02903 Phone: 401-277-2357
South Carolina Office of Vital Records 2600 Bull Street Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: 803-898-3630 or 3631 Secretary of State Edgar Brown Building 1205 Pendleton Street Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: 803-734-2512 or 2119
South Dakota Vital Records Center for Health Policy and Statistics Department of Health 523 East Capitol Avenue Secretary of State 500 East Capitol Street, Suite 204 Pierre, SD 57501 Phone: 605-773-3537

Pierre, SD 57501 Phone: 605-773-3355 Fax: 605-773-6580
Tennessee Vital Records 421 5th Avenue North 1st Floor Central Services Building Nashville, TN 37247 Phone: 615-741-1763 Secretary of State James K. Polk Building Suite 1800 Nashville, TN 37243-0306 615-741-3699 Fax: 615-741-5962
Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics Department of Health Office Address 1100 West 49th Street; Austin, TX 78756-3191 Mailing Address PO Box 12040; Austin, TX 78711-2040 Phone: 512-458-7111 Secretary of State Elections Division Office Address: 1019 Brazos, Room 214; Austin, Texas 78701 Mailing Address PO Box 12887; Austin, TX 78711-2887 Phone: 512-463-5701 800-252-8683 Fax: 512-475-2761
Utah Bureau of Vital Records Department of Health 288 North 1460 West PO Box 16700 Salt Lake City, UT 84116-0700 Phone: 801-538-6105 Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office 210 State Capitol Building Salt Lake City, UT 84114 Phone: 801-538-1040 801-538-1513 801-538-1977 Fax: 801-538-1557
Vermont Vital Records Section Department of Health Box 70 80 Main Street Burlington, VT 05402 Phone: 802-863-7275 Vermont Public Records Reference & Research U.S. Route 2 - Middlesex Drawer 33 Montpelier. VT 05633-7601 Phone: 802-828-3286 Office of the Secretary of State 26 Terrace St. Drawer 9 Montpelier, VT 05609-1103 Phone: 802-828-2308 or 802-825-2363
Virginia Department of Vital Records Third Floor James Madison Building Office Address 109 Governor's Street; Richmond, VA 23219 Mailing Address PO Box 1000; Richmond, VA 23208-1000 Phone: 804-225-5000 Secretary of the Commonwealth Office Address 830 E. Main St, 14th Floor; Richmond, VA 23219 Mailing Address PO Box 2454; Richmond, VA 23218 Phone: 804-786-2441
Washington Vital Records PO Box 9709 Olympia, WA 98507-9709 Phone: 360-753-5936 Audrey Roos Document Specialist Office of the Secretary of State State of Washington Legislative Building, 2nd Floor P.O. Box 40220 Olympia, WA 98504-0220

Phone: 360-902-4161

Fax: 360 586-5629

West Virginia Vital Registration Office Capitol Complex Building 3, Room 516 Charleston, WV 25305 304-558-2931 Vital Records office will walk documents to the Secretary of State office
Wisconsin Vital Records 1 West Wilson Street, Room 158 Madison, WI 53702 Phone: 608-266-1374 Secretary of State 30 W Mifflin St 10th Floor Madison, WI 53702 Phone: 608-266-8888 FAX: 267-6813 FAX Contact: 266-1437
Wyoming Vital Records Services Hathaway Building Cheyenne, WY 82002 Phone: 307-777-7591 or 307-635-4103 Secretary of State State Capitol Building Cheyenne, WY 82002 Phone: 307-777-5333 Fax: 307-777-6217 TTY: 307-777-5351 Email:

Correspondence Section - Passport Office
Born Overseas to American Parents 1111 19th Street Suite 510 Washington, DC 20524 Phone: 202-955-0307