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California Birth Certificate: How to Get a Birth Certificate in California

A birth certificate is an important legal document that can be used as identification in various official places. Under the California Health and Safety Code, every new live birth must be registered with the State within the first ten days of the child's birth. If the deadline is passed, then their registration can be done by the local registrar, but this has to be completed within a year of the child's birth.

While a birth certificate is an extremely valuable document, it can get lost. The State of California makes it easy to order a birth certificate, in the event that the original document has been misplaced or cannot be found. It is also possible to obtain a copy of a birth certificate. Either the person whose birth certificate of is or their family can obtain authorized versions of this document, while all others can only obtain an informational version.

How do you get a birth certificate in the State of California?

All birth records in California are stored at the California Department of Public Health. The birth records here date back all the way to 1958, and up until the present day. Anyone who wants to register or apply for a birth certificate in California must either appear at or send an application to the Office of Vital Records. They need to know the following information before they start their application process, as if any of these details are wrong, the birth certificate may not be properly processed. The applicant should know:

  • The full name of the child, the same as the one on the birth record
  • The mother's full maiden name
  • The place and date of birth of the child

CA birth cert footprints

What are the different kinds of birth certificates available in California, and how can they be obtained?

There are two kinds of birth certificates in the State of California. Neither of these contains different information, the birth data is exactly the same in both. The first category of birth certificates is known as the 'Authorized Certified Copy'. These copies can only be given the authorized people, and such people should also carry a notarized sworn statement with them. The people legally authorized to ask for such a copy include the person whose birth record it is, their parents, their children, their grandparents, their grandchildren, any law enforcement officer that has been authorized, legal representatives and attorney, and any person authorized to obtain an authorized copy by virtue of a court order.

Everyone else must apply for the 'Informational Certified Copy', where no notarized document is required. The main difference between the authorized copy and the informational copy is that the authorized copy is a valid document that can be used in identification, while the informational document cannot be used in identification.

The State Office of Vital Records usually charges a processing fee of $28 in order to obtain a copy of a birth certificate.

CA birthcert health

What is the process for applying for a birth certificate in California?

All information, as well as public records pertaining to birth certificates, can be obtained from the California Department of Public Health. Anyone that wants to apply for a copy must first go to this website in order to download the forms that are necessary for the application process. Birth certificates have to be obtained either in person or through the mail.

After filing in the details, the application form needs to be sent to:

California Department of Public Health

Vital Records - MS 5103

P.O. Box 997410

Sacramento, CA 95899710

If a physical address is required, or a courier service has been hired to forward the application, then the address that the application should be sent to is:

California Department of Public Health

Vital Records - MS 5103

Sacramento, CA 95814

The department usually takes a period of fifteen working days to process the application, after which the birth record will be accessible. Irrespective of whether a birth record is authorized or informational, they are all certified by the government.


Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on September 21, 2019
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