California Vital Records

California Vital Records
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Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death certificates and records in California, including the dates for which California vital records are available, where they are located, and links to online California vital records databases.

California Vital Records
California Department of Health Services
Office of Vital Records - M.S. 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Phone: (916) 445-2684

Check or money order should be made payable to CDPH Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. Call or visit the Web site to verify current fees or to apply for a birth, death or marriage certificate. 

Note: Because of the large volume of requests processed at the State level (check current processing times), you can often obtain a vital record certificate more quickly from the county office (sometimes within one week).  Also, many of the county offices will accept your request by phone, FAX, or online, with the use of a credit card. The fee for a certificate may vary from the state fee, so contact the county vital record office in question or visit their website for current information and fees.

Web site: California Office of Vital Records

 

Birth Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905*

Cost of copy: $25.00

Comments: Certified copies are limited to the registrant and immediate family members and their representatives.

Anyone who is not eligible to receive a certified copy can request a certified informational copy - a true copy of the original birth certificate with the statement "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity" stamped across the face.

With your request, include as much as you can of the following information: the full name of the person listed on the certificate, date of birth, place of birth, full name of father, full maiden name of mother, your relationship to the person whose certificate you are requesting, the reason for your request, your address and signature.


Application for California Birth Certificate

* For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

Online:
California Birth Index, 1905-1995
(requires Ancestry.com subscription)

 

Death Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905*

Cost of copy: $21.00

Comments: Certified copies are limited to the registrant and immediate family members and their representatives. Anyone who is not eligible to receive a certified copy can request a certified informational copy - a true copy of the original death certificate with the statement "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity" stamped across the face.

With your request, include as much as you can of the following information: the full legal name of the deceased; the date of death; the county; sex; date of birth or age at death; race; name of spouse; name of parents; the reason why you are requesting the record; and your relationship to the person named on the death certificate.
Application for California Death Certificate

* For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

 

Marriage Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905*

Cost of Copy: $15.00

Comments: The California Office of Vital Records can provide copies of marriage certificates issued from 1949-1986, 1988-1999 and 2010 to present.

The turn-around time can be pretty slow, however, so check current processing times to make sure it will meet your needs. The state office may be the best option if you are unable to determine the county of marriage; be sure to indicate with your request that you are unable to identify the county where the license was issued.

If you know the county where the marriage license was issued, you'll generally receive much faster service by contacting the County Recorder's Office for a copy of the marriage certificate. For all other years other than those listed above, you must contact the County Recorder's Office in the county where the marriage license was issued.
Application for California Marriage Certificate

For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

 

Divorce Records:

Dates: 1962 – 30 June 1984 (state)

Cost of copy: $14.00

Comments: The State Vital Records Office can only issue a Certificate of Record for divorces that occurred between 1962 and June 1984. A Certificate of Record includes the names of the parties to the divorce, the county where the divorce was filed, and the court case number. A Certificate of Record is not a certified copy of the divorce decree. The turn-around time for this type of request can often exceed six months.
Application for California Divorce Certificate

If you need a certified copy of the actual divorce decree, and for all other years, you'll need to contact the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed.
 

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