CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - There will be no more waiting for weeks to receive a birth certificate in Craighead and surrounding counties.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, you can now get a birth certificate or death certificate at the Craighead County Health Department in Jonesboro.
Don Adams, director of the Center for Local Public Health, says the planning for the localized service began two years ago.
"We started the roll out this year," Adams said. "Craighead is one of the first counties that we rolled this service out to. The primary reason we are offering this service in the local health units is to make it more convenient for the citizens."
Instead of waiting 7-14 business days plus shipping time to receive a certificate in the mail, the service at Craighead County Health Department is same-day-pickup.
"Anyone in the state can go get their certificate there, but because we are doing a phased roll-out, not all surrounding counties are issuing birth certificates at this point, so we are seeing some adjacent county residents traveling into the local health units where we are issuing."
People like Kim Bartee living and working in Jonesboro and surrounding areas were thrilled to hear the news.
"Recently I became the director of the HUB in Jonesboro and we help the homeless get the documents they need so they can work," Bartee said. "So, just the convenience of not having to wait that time, it just makes it a lot easier and those people can get on track much faster."
Adams said shortly, the service will be offered at all local health units across the state.
So far in less than a month, the Craighead County unit has issued 521 birth certificates.
Residents seeking a birth certificate at the local health unit must be born in Arkansas and have an I.D.
The department excepts cash or checks at this time but plans to add debit/credit service soon.
The first copy of a certificate is $12 and an additional copy of the same record is $10.
The Craighead County Health Department is located at 611 East Washington in Jonesboro.
Crittenden County, another local health unit, is set to begin issuance later this month.