(Birth Certificate)

On buses prior to Oktober of 1958 (as well as type1 and type3 that didn't have m code plates) there was no M-code plate from the factory.. In order to find out information on your VW such as date of manufacture, paint and upholstery codes,port of delivery, options, and etc,  you must contact the VW museum and have them pull it from the archives for a fee.
(They no longer do it for free)

UPDATE: 2005
If you want the information regarding your VW of any make or model, of any year (vintage only),

They now require you to send 15Euro or equivalent US dollars.  They also accept personal check made out to "Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen" or your credit card number with cardholder name, card number, type of card, and the expiration date. (Visa, Mastercard, or Dinners club only. No American Express!) Don't forget to include the name you want on the cert, and your home mailing address.

Mail check, credit card info, or currency to:

Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen
Brieffach 1003
Frau Neefe
Dieselstrasse 35
D-38436 Wolfsburg Germany

Or fax your credit card info, VIN#, address and full name to:
011 49 53 61 5 20 10

Or now you can pay online 2ways using your Credit card information!

EXT1.AUTOMUSE@VWMAIL.DE was a good email where you could send your CC info to the museum. Unfortunately it has been out of commission. I was informed by a fellow VW nut that the new addy is automuseum@wolfsburg.de but I have not tried that.

This is the sure fire way to get your birth cert-. You must go to the museum website @  http://automuseum.volkswagen.de/  and click on "kontakte"  
http://automuseum.volkswagen.de/automuseum/english/kontakt/automane.htm?c6297ece and fill out their feedback form with your mailing info. Then put your cardholder name, card number, type of card, and the expiration date, along with your name and a short message stating your vehicles VIN number and the fact that you want a cert in the comments box at the bottom of that form.

I have done it multiple times using their online form and have had no problems so far.
They charged me $15 Euro and 90 for a copy of the english mcode list and a copy of a list of paint codes in german. (because I asked for extra info)
Heres the certificate for my 55 barndoor panel
bdcert.jpg (69073 bytes)

And heres the one I got for my 57 singlecab
57truckcert.jpg (58210 bytes)

Here's the certificate Everett received on his 54 singlecab
54singleletter.jpg (78180 bytes)

Heres the letter Allen received after trying to pay with American express.
birthcertifequest.jpg (43185 bytes)

At one point they were allowing people to get the information for free using an online form, but were flooded with requests and discontinued the online service. I stumbled across an online form one time, so I went ahead and filled it out and this is the response I received in my mailbox at home:

Museum Letter

Blank certificate they also sent me as sort of a taunt!! =)

letter.jpg (88879 bytes) lettercertif.jpg (105542 bytes)

I know of a few people who had their money returned, with a letter stating that the microfiche was too old and too fragile to be deciphered. I also know a 71 'thing' owner who said they told him that too, but he tried again a few years later and he received all the information! So don't give up!