If you struggle with your research, do not know where to start, have a specific question or do not know Russian (even if you know Russian), you are in a right place.
This is very important for each person. You would assume. But many Russians lived for many years, if not centuries, without one.
Russia does not have a database similar to ancestry.com and familysearch.org where you can locate the birth certificate of your ancestor. But you still can locate the record.
If your ancestor was born before the Revolution (1917), the record of birth was done in church books. The church performed the registering function in Imperial Russia.
So when searching for certificate, you need to know:
I had a case when a girl was born in 1863 in a small village in Saratov region. However, the record of her birth was done 7 years later in a church in a nearest town (the village did not have its own church). This was found in a marriage certificate. We are still searching for a copy of the actual birth record.
Noble families had an option of performing the baptism procedure in a comfort of their home. A certificate of birth and baptism would be obtained from church books much later, when there was a need for one (like sending to boarding school).
If your ancestor was born after Revolution, then the birth was recorded in so called ZAGS- “Departments of vital records” – a body of executive power in Russia registering the facts of birth, paternity, adoption, marriage, divorce, death and name changes.
If your ancestor was born in a big city, then for ZAGS to produce the successful result you need to know not just the city but to have at least the suburb where they lived, otherwise ZAGS will not guarantee anything or will simply not perform the search. Knowing the last known address will make research possible.
In case of a small village or town, you need to locate the nearest regional ZAGS office.
When writing or applying for copy of a birth certificate, you need to have you passport, proof of you direct relationship with the ancestor and a document confirming the payment of fees (for example Moscow ZAGS charges 200 rubles for a copy of a certificate). If you are located overseas, the issue of the copy of certificate will be handled through Russian Embassy in your country.