How to get a birth certificate copy in California

Always being prepared with your legal documents is essential to living a worry-free life.

Always being prepared with your legal documents is essential to living a worry-free life. Like your social security number or driver’s license, it is imperative that you have your birth certificate in order too. Your birth certificate will be important if you wish to get admitted to a school or college, to apply for a passport, and to get the various other amenities and conveniences that a citizen of America is entitled too.

If you happen to be born in the state of California and have lost your California birth certificate, it is possible that you obtain a copy.

To obtain a copy of your birth certificate, you will have to apply through the CDPH. From the CDPH home page, go to the ‘Birth, Death, & Marriage Certificates’ link on the upper left corner.

Now, the first step to getting a birth certificate copy is to figure out what kind of copy you are entitled to. Depending on who you are and whose certificate copy you are applying for, you are entitled to either an ‘authorized copy’ or an ‘informational copy’. An informational copy is the same as an authorized copy, only that it is not a valid document that can be used to establish identity. In the state of California, ‘authorized copies’ are given to only the person whose name is on the certificate, parents of the person whose name is on the certificate, and certain other people. Among the other people, there can be your children, your grandchildren, a person having the right to obtain your birth certificate through a court order, a licensed and authorized adoption agency, a representative of the law (like a police officer), your attorney, or anyone appointed by the court to act on your behalf.

Both ‘authorized’ and ‘informational’ copies are certified.

The next step is to download the required forms. You can download these forms from the CDPH website in PDF form. In the pamphlet you will receive, you will find comprehensive information about the fees and processes, in addition to answers to many frequently asked questions. Make sure you read the pamphlet carefully. Fill the form supplied with the pamphlet, which asks information about who is requesting the certificate and what their relation is to the person named in the birth certificate. Next, if you are requesting an ‘authorized’ copy, you will have to find a notary public to notarize your sworn statement. In the sworn statement, you declare under penalty of perjury that you are who you say you are and are entitled to the document you are requesting. Only one sworn statement will be enough for multiple records.

A fee must accompany your application for the certificate. The current fee is $25. You must make your check or money order payable to CDPH Vital Records, while the check must be from a United States bank. Cash is not accepted.

All this done, you are now ready to send your application. Send your completed request, with the notarized sworn statement if you are applying for an authorized copy and the application fee to California Department for Public Health.

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