Getting a certified copy of your high school diploma isn’t always easy. The longer it has been since you graduated, the less likely you’ll be able to find one. Methods for requesting a copy differ among school districts.

Find the Records

Contact the high school that you attended. The staff can help you if they still have your records. If not, they’ll likely direct you to the school district office, if it's a public school. You might have to pay a fee and show ID to obtain a copy of your diploma, and it could take several weeks for your request to be processed. If the high school you attended has closed, contact the school district office directly. If you attended a private school that has closed, you might be out of luck, unless the school transferred its records to the public school district office upon closing.

Diploma vs. Transcript

A certified copy of your transcript might be what you're looking for, rather than a diploma. To prove that you graduated from high school, you'll need a certified transcript, not a diploma, which is not an official document. According to the Houston Independent School District, “Diplomas are considered 'commemorative' items, whose function is primarily ceremonial.”