California Birth Records

California birth certificates are official records of those born in the state and are the first government records individuals receive. This vital record proves an individual was born and is a natural-born citizen of the United States. Without this document, individuals cannot verify their identity for important circumstances such as enrolling in school and applying for a driver’s license. A certificate of birth indicates a person’s name, age and other aspects of his or her identity. Although CA residents can typically receive an original birth certificate at the hospital after the birth has occurred, they may also obtain another copy if need be. While a certified birth certificate can only be obtained by mail, there are two different variations of the form that can be attained. Learn more about the various types of California birth certificates, what they can be used for and how to obtain a copy or replacement.

Find out about ordering other vital records like California marriage certificates in our detailed guide.

How to Obtain Birth Certificate in California

If you want to apply for a birth certificate in California, you must complete the application form provided by the California Department of Health and send it to its headquarters in Sacramento. The California birth certificate application asks you to identify who you are, so it can determine what kind of certified copy you will receive. This is because only certain petitioners, like the subject of the record and parents, can obtain authorized copies of vital records.

The birth certificate form asks you to provide general information that would be listed on the birth certificate, including the name of the individual indicated on the record, the city of birth, date of birth and the names of the parents on the original form. You can only obtain a birth certificate by submitting this application form by mail and paying the service fee. Furthermore, you will have to get a sworn statement notarized for your application to be confirmed. The easiest way to get a copy of the application is to print it from online. If you need to get a duplicate of birth certificate, you will follow the same procedure.

Types of Birth Certificates in California

When someone seeks to obtain a copy of birth certificate in California, there are two variations of the record he or she can access. While both copies are considered a certified birth certificate, one is an authorized copy and the other is simply informational. Authorized copies of birth certificates are only reserved for individuals directly involved with the birth or other entities permitted access to this information by state law. Only names that appear on the birth record, including the individual and parents named on the birth document, can get an authorized copy of a birth certificate aside from government-approved entities. Anyone else seeking a birth certificate copy is only allowed to obtain an informational copy, which only verifies the individual in question was born and when they were born. Certified informational copies of birth certificates cannot be used to validate identity when seeking state-issued identification, such as a California identification card.

Amending a Birth Record in California

Sometimes individuals need a replacement birth certificate in California because information on the original form needs to be changed. Typically, new birth certificates are ordered in California because an acknowledgement of paternity, which means adding the father’s name, needs to be made. Additionally, sometimes a parent listed on the birth certificate wishes to submit an adjudication of facts of parentage. This amendment to a birth record help you change or remove a parent who is listed on the original birth certificate. In order to fulfill these processes, both parents must provide a signed form of acknowledgement. If a parent cannot sign the acknowledgement form, the issue must be taken to court so a judge can decide the existence of a parent and child relationship.

Parents may also order birth certificate amendments in the case of adoption. State registrars are only able to create a duplicate of birth certificate documents in the event of an adoption if a Court Report of Adoption has been filed first. Vital records for adopted children can only be changed after the state has approved the adoption, regardless of the state the child was originally born in.

Why do I need a copy of a birth certificate in California?

California birth certificates are uses for a various official purposes. Enrolling a child in school, for example, requires a copy of a birth record so school officials can verify a student’s identity. You also need a birth record to apply for a passport or visa if you plan on traveling abroad. Whenever you are applying for other official forms, you usually need to supply a copy of a birth certificate so the government entity can confirm your identity. For instance, if you are applying for medical services, a Social Security Number or a driver’s license, you might be asked to provide a copy of your or a family member’s vital records. Furthermore, birth certificates in California are useful for receiving pension payments for old age or settling an estate after the issuance of a death certificate of a family member.

Discover more about when copies of vital records are needed for legal reasons in our in-depth guide.


What Are the Available Health Services in California?

Low-cost, and even free health benefits are available to a large number of California residents, with some being offered to low-income applicants and others being offered to elderly or disabled individuals. However, before you can access these health services, you need to submit the appropriate application and prove that you meet the necessary qualifications. To learn all about the different health benefits you can receive in California and the application procedures that you must undergo to obtain these benefits, download our free comprehensive guide.


Who Is Eligible to Obtain California Health Benefits?

California’s health programs have various eligibility requirements that applicants must meet in order to successfully enroll. Income, age and other factors are all taken into consideration in the eligibility verification process. Find out which health benefits you qualify for here.