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Birth Certificates

General information

Birth certificates are used for many official purposes such as Social Security, passport applications and school enrollment.

For birth certificates involving an adoption or legal name change, please contact the State of California Department of Health Services at (916) 445-2684.

Who Can Request and Receive an Authorized Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate?

The law is very strict about who may request and receive authorized, certified copies of birth certificates. Its intent is to protect an individual’s privacy and keep their personal information safe from identity theft. Only those listed below are authorized to obtain certified copies of birth certificates.

  • The registrant or a parent/legal guardian of the registrant
  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of the registrant
  • Person (s) entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code
  • 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’s estate
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business

Application Process, (Note: For requests pre 1966 records, contact County Clerks Recorder’s Office at 650-363-4500.)

By Mail

A completed application and a notarized Certificate of Identity form signed under penalty of perjury by the authorized requestor are required for all orders sent by mail. Mail the notarized application, a self-addressed envelope, and the required payment by a check or money order only (payable against a USA bank) payable to Office of Vital Statistics.

Mail to:

Office of Vital Statistics
225 37th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403

Mail processing time is 3-5 days. If you wish to have us expedite your request, please enclose a pre-paid priority envelope with the required completed mailing forms from the US Postal Service along with your notarized application and check or money order. We are unable to expedite mail using UPS or FedEx.

In Person

In person processing time is 5-15 minutes. If you are an authorized individual, you may come into our office to purchase a certified birth certificate. You must complete the application form online at the Kiosk in our office, which includes a sworn statement under penalty of perjury, in order to receive an authorized certified copy.

Forms are for mail in requests only

For the public and non-public agencies

2021 application: EnglishEspañol

Please note if you are requesting a fee exempt birth record for a homeless person you will need to complete the Affidavit of Homeless Status for Fee Exempt Certified Copy of Birth Certificate form .

For government agencies

2015 application EnglishEspañol


Public and non-public agencies: $30
Government agencies: $28

Payment types accepted are cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa and Mastercard only).

Informational-Only Copies of Birth Certificates

Those who do not meet the criteria for an authorized certified copy may receive an informational only copy. The words “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” will be imprinted across the face of the copy.

The Office of Vital Statistics provides authorized certified or informational only birth certificates for birth dates from 1966-present. For certificates prior to 1966, you must contact or go to the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

Apostille Requests

The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the U.S. apostille requests are processed at and issued by the County Recorder’s Office located at 555 County Center, 1st Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063

Solicitudes de Apostile

El apostillado consiste de un sello especial que estampa la Oficina de la Secretaria del Estado de California (California Secretary of State’s Office) para certificar que un acta de nacimiento o defuncion es una copia verdadera de un original y pueda ser aceptado fuera del territorio de los Estados Unidos de America. Solicite el acta de nacimiento o defuncion en el County Recorder’s Office en 555 County Center, 1er piso, Redwood City, CA 94063

Additional Resources

Forms: Vital Records, Data and Statistics Forms

Other Places to Get Birth Certificates

County Clerk-Recorder’s Office (note: only certificates prior to 1966)
555 County Center, First Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
(650) 363-4500

Forms: Vital Records, Data and Statistics Forms

Mailing address:
MS 1503
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899

Street address:
1501 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2684