How To Request A Birth Or Death Record
Beginning July 1, 2003 the California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only specific individuals to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth or death record. An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth record is required to obtain a driver's license, passport, social security card and other services related to an individual's identity. An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a death record may be required to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security and obtain other services related to an individual's identity. Please see below for a list of authorized individuals.
Individuals permitted to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY:
- The registrant or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant
- A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code
- A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business
- A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of the registrant
- An attorney representing the registrant or the registrant's estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant estate
- Any funeral director that orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of any individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code
Those who do not meet the criteria for an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY may receive an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY with the words "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY" imprinted across the face of the copy.
When ordering in person, an authorized individual must complete an approved application including signing a sworn statement under penalty of perjury before the clerk to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY. A notarized Certificate of Identity and a completed application form signed under penalty of perjury by the authorized requestor are required for all orders sent by mail. Applications and Certificate of Identity forms are usually available for download from your local County Registrar website.