How to Obtain Birth Certificates in California
When you need to prove your legal identity, age or citizenship, you need a copy of your birth certificate. Some instances where you might need this document are applying for school, joining the military, traveling, or a driver’s license, to name a few.
If you were born in California, you just need to follow the steps below to obtain a copy.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) handles birth records. Whether you order them online, through the mail or in person, you must first fill out an application. You will need the following information:
- A certified copy or not.
- Full name of the person on birth record.
- Your relationship to the person on record.
- City and county of birth.
- Date of birth.
- Mother’s full name.
- Father’s full name.
- Your full name.
- Your address.
- Your phone number and email address.
If applying for your copy by mail, you must have the application notarized. If no copy is found you will be mailed a “Certificate of No Public Record.”
If you are applying through the mail, you can send in your completed application along with the fee to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records –
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Regular processing times are about twenty-two business days. If you need your copy quicker, you can visit one of the county recorder’s offices in person and apply there. Be sure to bring your completed application, driver’s license, and fee.
You must also bring with you a check or money order for the $25 non-refundable fee payable at the time of application.
Checks and money orders must be made out to DPH Vital
Records. No other form of payment is accepted.
You also have the option of using an online service such as VitalChek.com to locate and order a copy of your birth certificate. This service is government-approved for certified copies, and you can order expedited shipping to get them quicker. You may also pay online using a debit or credit card.