We are taking a friend of my daughter's on our cruise tomorrow and he was born in South Carolina. All he has is a "birth card" which has the state emblem but no seal.
I was on the phone all day yesterday with Carnival, Bureau of Immigration, and finally the Washington Passport Agency, and they said that some states do not have a raised seal on their birth certificates.
I live in South Carolina (Isle of Palms) and you need to go to the SC government website and get a certified sealed copy for your trip. We got the "birth cards" for both children when they were born, but that is not what Carnival will want. You need the certified or raised seal version.
Take the paperwork and anything handy and go to a notary public and get their seal put on it.
April 13, 2003 Carnival Conquest
November 2, 2003 Norwegian Dream
February 26, 2004 Carnival Miracle
June 4, 20004 American Queen
November 20, 2004RCCL Grandeur/Seas
January 29, 2005 Carnival Sensation
September 11, 2006 Carnival Holiday
Both my sons as well as my wife and all her kids but one were born in SC and that card is considered a legitimate original birth certificate. We even used my wife's card to obtain her passport. Just have this card and a photo ID issued by a governement agency like a Drivers License and you will be fine. DO NOT muck it up with a notary! They will question something like that. Now the notarized permission letter is fine and yes required by CCL. Make sure it not only gives permission for the minor to travel with you out of the USA but that you have full authority to give medical permission for any and all proceedures you deem necessary.
My husband was born in SC, and he has a card for his birthcertificate. It is the size of a credit card, and has the state emblem on it. It says that it is a birth cerftificate. We have cruised three times, twice with Carnival. And we havent had any problem. That is how SC birth certificates are. I was born in Ohio and mine is totally different, a certificate with seal.