Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates

Guidelines for Certified Birth Certificates:
The California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, will permit only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of birth records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a certified copy will receive a certified copy marked “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

The new law describes an authorized person as:

  • 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’s estate.

In order to obtain a Certified Copy, you MUST complete the sworn statement included with the birth certificate application form and sign the statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized. If your mailed request indicates that you want a Certified Copy but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be rejected as incomplete and returned to you without being processed.

Forms:

 

Guidelines For Certified Death Certificates:

The California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, will permit only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of death records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a certified copy will receive a certified copy marked “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

The new law describes an authorized person as:

  • 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’s estate.
  • A funeral director ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

In order to obtain a Certified Copy, you MUST complete the sworn statement included with the birth certificate application form and sign the statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized. If your mailed request indicates that you want a Certified Copy but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be rejected as incomplete and returned to you without being processed.

Marriage Certificate Guidelines:

A marriage record contains information about a marriage between two individuals. On a marriage record, you can at least find the bride’s and groom’s full names, the date of the marriage, and county where the marriage took place. Many marriage records include other information, such as the names and birthplaces of the bride’s and groom’s parents, the addresses of the bride and groom, information about previous marriages, and the names of the witnesses to the marriage.

To obtain a copy of any of a marriage license in the United States, write or go to the vital statistics office in the state or area where the event occurred. To ensure that you receive an accurate record for your request and that your request is filled with all due speed, please follow these steps:

  • Make your letters concise and to the point.
  • Do NOT include more than one or two requests at once, and be careful not to write confusing details of your family lines.
  • Type or print all names and addresses in your letter.
  • Provide complete information on an individual and event for which you need documents. Include all names that may have been used, including nicknames, alternate spellings, etc. List dates and type of event as completely and accurately as possible. If you don’t know the exact date, specify the span of years you wish searched and be prepared to pay for searches that span several years.
  • Always provide an S.A.S.E., (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope).
  • County offices have limited personnel and are often swamped with paper work. Genealogical queries are done as a service which is outside of their realm of responsibility. They ask therefore that you exercise patience and courtesy in your transactions with their offices.
  • Be sure and include following information:
    • date of request
    • full name of husband (last name in caps)
    • full name of wife (maiden name in caps)
    • date of marriage
    • place of marriage (city or town, county, state)
    • relationship to parties
    • the purpose for which the record is needed
    • requestor’s name & address
    • requestor’s driver’s license number & state (some counties require it)
    • requestor’s signature