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How to get a birth certificate in California

birth certificate in California

A birth certificate is an official document that provides information about a person’s birth. It is required for a variety of purposes, such as obtaining a driver’s license, passport, or social security card. In California, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Vital Records office is responsible for issuing birth certificates. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of obtaining a birth certificate in California.

Step 1: Determine Which Agency to Request the Birth Certificate From

Two agencies issue birth certificates in California: the CDPH Vital Records Office and the County Recorder’s Office. The CDPH Vital Records office issues birth certificates for all births that occurred in California from 1905 to the present. If you were born outside of California, you will need to request a birth certificate from the state or country where you were born.

If you were born in California before 1905, you will need to contact the County Recorder’s Office in the county where you were born to request a birth certificate.

Step 2: Gather the Required Information

Before you can request a birth certificate, you will need to gather some important information. You will need to provide the following information:

Step 3: Choose Your Method of Requesting a Birth Certificate

There are three ways to request a birth certificate in California: online, by mail, or in person.

Online: You can order a birth certificate online through the CDPH Vital Records office’s website. You will need to provide the required information and pay a fee using a credit card.

By Mail: You can request a birth certificate by mail by filling out a Birth Certificate Application form, which can be downloaded from the CDPH Vital Records office’s website. You will need to mail the completed form, along with a check or money order for the fee, to the address listed on the form.

In Person: You can request a birth certificate in person by visiting a CDPH Vital Records office or a County Recorder’s Office. You will need to provide the required information and pay a fee using cash, check, or a credit card.

Step 4: Pay the Required Fee

The fee for a birth certificate in California varies depending on the method of request. The fee for an online request is $30, while the fee for a mail or in-person request is $25. Additional fees may apply for expedited processing or additional copies of the birth certificate.

Step 5: Receive Your Birth Certificate

Once your request has been processed and your fee has been paid, you will receive your birth certificate in the mail. The processing time for a birth certificate request can vary depending on the method of request and the workload of the agency.

In conclusion, obtaining a birth certificate in California is a simple process that requires some basic information and a fee. By following these steps, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate for a variety of purposes.

FAQ

Who is eligible to obtain a birth certificate in California?

Any person who is listed on the birth certificate, a parent or legal guardian of the person listed on the birth certificate, or a person authorized by law can obtain a birth certificate in California.

Can I obtain a copy of someone else’s birth certificate in California?

No, you cannot obtain a copy of someone else’s birth certificate in California unless you are the person listed on the certificate, a parent or legal guardian of the person listed on the certificate, or a person authorized by law.

What information is included on a birth certificate in California?

A birth certificate in California includes the person’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s full maiden name, father’s full name (if listed), and the date the birth was registered.

How long does it take to receive a birth certificate in California?

The processing time for a birth certificate request in California can vary depending on the method of request and the workload of the agency. Online requests are usually processed within 5-10 business days, while mail-in requests can take up to 4 weeks. In-person requests can be processed on the same day if all requirements are met.

Can I request a certified copy of my birth certificate in California?

Yes, you can request a certified copy of your birth certificate in California. A certified copy includes a raised seal and is typically required for official purposes, such as obtaining a passport or driver’s license.

What should I do if there is an error on my birth certificate?

If there is an error on your birth certificate in California, you can request a correction through the CDPH Vital Records office. You will need to provide documentation to support the correction, such as a hospital record or legal document. There may be a fee for the correction process.

How much does it cost to obtain a birth certificate in California?

The fee for a birth certificate in California varies depending on the method of request. As of 2021, the fee for an online request is $30, while the fee for a mail or in-person request is $25. Additional fees may apply for expedited processing or for additional copies of the birth certificate.

Can I request an expedited processing of my birth certificate in California?

Yes, you can request an expedited processing of your birth certificate in California for an additional fee. As of 2021, the fee for expedited processing is $19.75 for online requests and $15 for mail or in-person requests.

Can I obtain a birth certificate for someone who was adopted in California?

Yes, you can obtain a birth certificate for someone who was adopted in California. However, the birth certificate may be sealed and require a court order to access. The CDPH Vital Records office can provide information on how to obtain a court order.

Can I obtain a birth certificate for someone who was born in another state or country?

No, you cannot obtain a birth certificate for someone who was born in another state or country from the CDPH Vital Records office in California. You will need to contact the vital records office in the state or country where the person was born to request a birth certificate.

Can I request a birth certificate in a language other than English?

Yes, you can request a birth certificate in a language other than English from the CDPH Vital Records office in California. The office offers birth certificates in Spanish and several other languages for an additional fee.

How long are birth certificates valid in California?

Birth certificates do not expire and are considered a permanent record of the person’s birth. However, some organizations may require a birth certificate that was issued within a certain timeframe, such as within the last 6 months or 1 year.
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