How to Obtain Certified Copies of Birth Records in California

According to California Health and Safety Code 102400, each live birth which happens to occur in California should be registered within 10 days following the date of birth in the local registrar for the district in which the birth occurred. Birth certificates that are submitted for registration after the 10 days mandate has expired might be accepted by the local registrar, but they have to be properly registered within one year of the date of birth.

California Birth certificate can be obtained both in-person and by mail—e-mail requests are not entertained. There are two types of birth certificates that can be requested. One is an Authorized Certified Copy, with is for authorized individuals only and will require a Sworn Statement, and the other is an Informational Certified Copy, for all other individuals and not requiring a Sworn Statement.  

The Office for Vital Records, California, can deliver birth certificates from as far back as 1960 only. To obtain a birth certificate at the office, the supplicant is required to provide the child’s full name as stated in the birth certificate, the mother’s full maiden name (name prior to marriage, if it occurred), the child’s date of birth, and the child’s place of birth.

To obtain a regular certified copy, the law required you to sign a sworn statement, under the penalty of perjury, that you are an authorized individual (California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526) with the right to obtain said copy. According to the law, an authorized individual could be a parent or legal guardian of the registrant; a person or party entitled to receive the document as a direct result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency that might be seeking the record to comply with the requirements of the Family code; an attorney representing the registrant or the registrant’s estate, or an individual or agency empowered by statute or appointed by the court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant’s estate; a member of a law enforcement agency or another governmental agency who might require the document in order to conduct official business; or, a child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant. If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized.

If you are in a hurry to obtain your document—if you might be leaving the country or state, or if you need to obtain a passport within 14 days of birth—it is advisable that you request for a certified copy of the birth certificate from the Office of Vital Records in person. The cost for a certified copy of a birth certificate is $28.00. Payment may be done in cash, check, or money order. If you wish to order a certified copy by mail, the cost is still $28.00, but cash payments are not accepted.