Vital Records Online is the safest website in the nation to order your California birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. You are assured that your documents will arrive securely and your private information will remain confidential.

History of Vital Records in California

California Government-Issued Vital Records

California is home to over 39 million residents. The Golden State’s birth, death, and marriage records go back to the early 1800s, and the state has made many of them freely available in public archives. The California Department of Public Health Office of Vital Records (CDPH-VR) publicly releases vital records 50 years after a person’s death. All living California citizens’ records are kept safe and confidential, allowing access only to authorized individuals for certified copies of original documents.

Each state typically houses vital records and uses outlined rules to regulate access and usage. The CDPH-VR maintains vital records in California. The agency manages statewide registration and preservation of birth, adoption, death, fetal death, marriage, and divorce registers.

Learn how to obtain certified copies of official California vital records, including birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. Find out what information they contain, where to order them, and why they are essential to possess.

Start your application online for CA vital records

Certified Birth Certificate
California Birth Certificate

Request a Certified Copy of Live Birth for your baby or child.

Certified Marriage Certificate
California Marriage Certificate
Obtain Marriage records for yourself or a family member.
Certified Death Certificate
California Death Certificate
Get an Original Copy of a Death Certificate replacement for a lost record.

Why Do I Need Certified Copies of My California Vital Records?

Birthdeath, and marriage certificates are essential for many life events. Vital records are critical documents you can use to prove your identity, citizenship, and family relationships. Vital records can help settle legal disputes, claim an inheritance, and investigate family history. They can provide key details about your ancestors, such as their full names, dates of birth and death, and locations. If you lost a birth, marriage, or death certificate, you should file a police report and request a certified replacement as soon as possible.

REAL ID ACT

  • The DMV prefers a birth certificate when verifying your identity for the REAL ID;
  • The Real ID ACT is postponed until 2023.

Where to Get Vital Records

Each county certifies and issues vital records that take place within its jurisdiction. You can search where to request a replacement from the complete list of CA County vital record issuing agencies. The list contains locations, contact information, and access to online applications for requesting birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Visiting Vital Records Office

  • Long waiting lines
  • Complex and tedious application process
  • Strict business hours and closed during holidays
  • Extremely busy phone line
  • No trackable application
  • Only checks and money orders

Visit Directory

Ordering Vital Records Online

  • No waiting in long lines
  • Simplified and streamlined application process
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Online assistance by specialists
  • Verification and error checking
  • Custom trackable application interface
  • Convenient fee payment by credit card

Get Started Online

How to Order California Vital Records

Californians have several ways to request vital records from their home state. In-person and mailing options can work, but online requests are the most reliable and often the only option. The California Department of Public Health Office of Vital Records produces and certifies the vital record copies if you meet the requirements and follow the detailed instructions for each birth, death, and marriage certificate. Each type of vital record has different requirements. Once you understand those requirements, the process becomes straightforward.

The type of certificate you need and how you order it impacts the associated costseligibilityrequirements, and processing times. Whether ordering by mail or in person, it is crucial to study the steps and conditions before requesting a certified vital record copy from the CDPH-VR.

❗️If you’re seeking ancestral records for genealogy research in California, they are freely available from various public archives.

Ordering Online

Ordering California Vital Records online is quick and effortless and involves 2-3 simple steps:

  1. Complete the online application and upload your documents;
  2. Choose a package and process your order;
  3. Mail your application packet with payment.

If you meet the eligibility requirements as an authorized person, you can apply to order a California birthdeath, or marriage certificate online. Confirm that you possess the required documents beforehand, so you are prepared. You will have to upload copies of these documents during the secure online application process.

Vital Records Online is a simplified system to help you quickly collect and generate the required documents. It also directs you on how and where to submit the requisite documents efficiently. The application is easy to execute from any device with an internet connection, and you can finish the entire process in as little as five minutes. Vital Records Online’s process ensures your application will not get rejected because of a common mistake or missing document.

  • All packages include first-class mail tracking, including the lowest $49 electronic-download option. Download your completed application and documents to ship on the same day.
  • The notary of your application required by the CDPH-VR can be conducted virtually during the online ordering process.
  • You can bypass the last (third) step by choosing the premium rush or full-service package that includes your state’s fee(s), automated document processing, and shipping handling.

✔︎ Vital Records Online’s support team manages scanning, printing, and finding a notary for your application and documents. Learn more about how the online ordering and premium handling process works.

Ordering In-Person or By Mail

Applying in person is not feasible for everyone, such as those who do not live near a state health department office that issues certified copies of their vital records. You may deal with long in-person wait times even if you live near a provider. You can rely on mail or order online to avoid the hassle.

The requirements for requesting vital records are the same for applying in person, by mail, or online. An in-person application has several additional steps you will have to perform manually, including

  • gathering your documents;
  • getting photocopies of your documents;
  • obtaining a public notary;
  • completing the correct form;
  • purchasing an envelope;
  • including a physical check or a money order;
  • issue it to the CDPH-VR; and
  • presenting everything to the health department during regular business hours.

❗️Before receiving approval, you must also get your documents and application notarized with a sworn statement for identity verification purposes.

Alternatively, you can rely on mail or order online if the office is not currently open and you prefer to avoid long wait lines. Mail is ideal if you currently reside in a state other than the issuing state, and ordering online is often the only option if you live overseas.

If you choose to mail your application and documents, we recommend purchasing mail tracking to confirm their arrival at the correct office. There are risks of having your application rejected due to errors or missing information. Be sure to check for unique requirements for each vital record type.

❗️Be certain that your documents, application, and payment are submitted to the correct health department that issues certified copies from the preserved original record.

Requirements

Understanding the conditions and requirements is essential before gathering the documents for your vital record application.

Proof of Identity for Verifying Authorization

The California Department of Public Health requires all applicants to prove their identity. You will need a photocopy of your ID and a notarized sworn statement attesting that you are authorized to obtain the record. A driver’s license or a state photo ID will suffice for most types of records (check other acceptable IDs per certificate needed.)

What Documents Are Required to Order Vital Records in California?

The CDPH-VR stipulates that an individual seeking a certified vital record must present the following information to authenticate their request:

  • Full legal name;
  • Proof of identity of the person requesting the birth certificate, such as a government-issued ID (driver’s license, permanent resident card, or a passport);
  • A phone number;
  • Relationship to the person listed on the certificate;
  • The city where the health department recorded the event;
  • The county where the health department recorded the event;
  • Include a method of payment for the Vital Records fees.

The CDPH-VR also defines unique conditions for each type of certificate and personal circumstance. Check the details of eligibility conditions and requirements for California birth, death, and marriage replacements.

❗️The Vital Records processing department of the CDPH-VR can produce an informational copy if your application is not entirely approved. You cannot get a refund in this scenario. Avoiding a rejection can save you from accumulating additional costs and an extended wait time.

Who is Authorized to Order

Who can request vital records in California?

The certificate holder can request a certified copy of their vital records and must prove their identity when obtaining a notarized sworn statement for their application.

If you need to request a vital record on another person’s behalf, you can check the eligibility requirements for each birth, death, and marriage certificate to ensure you are authorized. The third party may legally request a copy of a vital record declared by the CDPH-VR unless the requester is a family member or legal representative of the individual on record.

✔︎ If you can provide documentation of legal interest or hold a Power of Attorney from the person on record, you are eligible to request the vital record for that person.

Notarized Sworn Statement

Do I need a notary with my application?

The Health Department of California requires applicants to prove their identity by notarizing a sworn statement with their application and documents. Many states use this process. Please refer to our Notarized Process Page to learn more about this process. We have analyzed and included this document as part of your application packet. You must bring your ID to a public notary to create this document.

❗️The Health Department does not require a photocopy of your ID. The notarized application document will be enough proof of identity.

Costs and Fees

The costs for vital record replacements depend on the CDPH-VR’s fees for each type of certificate. How you submit your application and whether a notary is required to prove your identity will add to the total cost.

When ordering birth, marriage, divorce, or death records through Vital Records Online, the online Application Assistant starts at $49. CDPH-VR will charge a $29.00 fee for each certified copy of a birth record, a $17.00 fee for each certified marriage certificate copy, and $24.00 for each death certificate copy.

✔︎ Additional copies can be requested in the same order to save future costs in case your vital records are lost, destroyed, or stolen.

Vital Record TypeCertified CopyAdditional Copies
CA Birth Certificate$29$29
CA Marriage Certificate$17$17
CA Death Certificate$24$24

VitalRecordsOnline.com Starting package $49. View all Packages.

Processing and Delivery Times

How long will it take to receive my vital records from California?

Birth, death, or marriage certificate processing and replacement times vary. When processing your order on Vital Records Online, you can choose to include the notarization online as an extra step during the checkout. Otherwise, account for additional time to obtain a notary from a local entity.

  • You can request birth and death certificates from the CDPH-VR or your County Recorder’s Office within the first three months after they recorded the event.
  • A marriage record will be available from the County Recorder’s Office within the first six months after the wedding.

❗️If a record is requested from CDPH-VR during the 3 or 6 months waiting period, then there will be a record not yet available in its database. When that happens, a “Certificate of No Public Record” (CNPR) will be issued, and a fee for this service will be required, as authorized by State law.

❗️We also advise allowing 2-3 additional days in your application process to ensure that you obtain a notary and meet your state’s application submission deadline.

How to Track My CA Vital Record?

If you submit your application through Vital Records Online, you can check the order status to monitor your application and order processing status. You can track your application packet to the CA Department of Public Health with the prepaid mail postage included with every package.

Once your local vital records issuer has processed the application and documents, you can track the certificate with the first-class prepaid mail tracking included in Vital Records Online’s Rush or Full-Service Packages.

If you mail the application packet to the vital records health department, remember to purchase first-class mail tracking to know if and when your application arrives successfully. The CDPH-VR ships all vital records via USPS first-class mail to your home for protection. The CDPH-VR does not claim responsibility for any misdirected or lost certificates. You should immediately file a report if your birth certificate is lost. A simple error, typo, or missing document can multiply your waiting time, repeat shipping costs, or put your personal information in the wrong hands.

California (CA) Vital Record Office Locations

Local Vital Records offices may be closed to the public.

Online Applications are available 24 hrs, 365 days per year.

Find California vital records issuing agencies in your county

Address Hours Application
(CDPH-VR)

Physical address (not open to the public)
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
1501 Capitol Avenue #71
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing address for vital records application
California Department of Public Health Vital Records
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA Sacramento

Phone: (916) 445-2684

Mailing Address:

Mailing address for vital records application
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA Sacramento
* The CDPH-VR Only Accept mail-in applications

Monday to Friday: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM PST Time
Saturday to Sunday - Closed

The CDPH-VR Only Accept mail-in applications
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Berkeley Vital Statistics
1947 Center Street, 1st Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
168 West Alisal Street, First Floor (or P.O. Box 29)
Salinas, CA 93902
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Francisco Health Department
101 Grove Street, Room 105
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554-2700
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Alameda County
1106 Madison Street, First Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Alpine County
99 Water Street, (or P.O. Box 155)
Markleeville, CA 96120
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Amador County
810 Court Street
Jackson, CA 95642
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Butte County
155 Nelson Avenue
Oroville, CA 95965
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Calaveras County
891 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA 95249
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Colusa County
546 Jay Street, Suite 200
Colusa, CA 95932-2491
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Contra Costa County
555 Escobar Street, (or P.O. Box 350)
Martinez, CA 94553
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Del Norte County
981 H Street, Suite 160
Crescent City, CA 95531
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
El Dorado County
360 Fair Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Fresno County
2281 Tulare Street Room 302 (or P.O. Box 766)
Fresno, CA 93712
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Glenn County
516 West Sycamore Street, Second Floor
Willows, CA 95988-2746
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Humboldt County
Courthouse, 825 Fifth Street, Fifth Floor
Eureka, CA 95501
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Imperial County
Courthouse, 940 West Main Street, Suite 202
El Centro, CA 92243-2865
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Inyo County
168 North Edwards Street (or P.O. Drawer F)
Independence, CA 93526
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Kern County
1655 Chester Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Kings County
Government Center, 1400 West Lacey Boulevard
Hanford, CA 93230-9910
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lake County
Courthouse, 255 North Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Lassen County
220 South Lassen Street Suite 5
Susanville, CA 96130
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Los Angeles County
12400 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, CA 90650
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Madera County
200 West Fourth Street
Madera, CA 93637
(559) 675-7724
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Marin County
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 232
San Rafael, CA 94903
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Mariposa County Hall of Records Building
4982 Tenth Street (or P.O. Box 35)
Mariposa, CA 95338
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Mendocino County
501 Low Gap Road, Room 1020
Ukiah, CA 95482
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Merced County
2222 M Street, Merced, CA 95340
(209) 385-7627
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Modoc County
204 South Court Street, Room106
Alturas, CA 96101
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Mono County
74 School Street, Annex 1 (or P.O. Box 237)
Bridgeport, CA 93517
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Monterey County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Napa County
900 Coombs Street, Room 116, (P.O. Box 298)
Napa, CA 94559-0298
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Nevada County
950 Maidu Avenue, Suite 210
Nevada City, CA 95959
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Orange County
12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 101 (or P.O. Box 238)
Santa Ana, CA 92702-0238
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Placer County
2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn, CA 95603
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Plumas County
520 Main Street, Room 102
Quincy, CA 95971
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Riverside County
2724 Gateway Drive, (or P.O. Box 751)
Riverside, CA 92502-0751
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sacramento County
600 Eighth Street, (or P.O. Box 839)
Sacramento, CA 95812-0839
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Benito County
Courthouse, 440 Fifth Street, Room 206
Hollister, CA 95023
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Bernardino County
222 West Hospitality Lane, First Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0022
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Diego County
1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 260, (or P.O. Box 121750)
San Diego, CA 92112-1750
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Joaquin County
44 North San Joaquin Street, Suite 260, (or P.O. Box 1968)
Stockton, CA 95201-1968
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Luis Obispo County
1055 Monterey Street, Room D120
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Mateo County
Center Drive, First Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1665
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Santa Barbara County
1100 Anacapa Street, (or P.O. Box 159)
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0159
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Santa Clara County
70 West Hedding Street, East Wing, First Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Santa Cruz County
701 Ocean Street, Room 230
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Shasta County
1450 Court Street, Suite 208
Redding, CA 96001-1670
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sierra County
100 Courthouse Square, Room 11, (or P.O. Drawer D)
Downieville, CA 95936
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Siskiyou County
311 Fourth Street, Room 107
Yreka, CA 96097
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Solano County
675 Texas Street, Suite 2700
Fairfield, CA 94533-6338
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sonoma County
585 Fiscal Drive, Room 103
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Stanislaus County
1021 I Street, Suite 101, (or P.O. Box 1670)
Modesto, CA 95353-1670
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Sutter County
433 Second Street
Yuba City, CA 95991
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Tehama County
Courthouse, 633 Washington Street, Room 11, (or P.O. Box 250)
Red Bluff, CA 96080-0250
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Trinity County
11 Court Street, (or P.O. Box 1215)
Weaverville, CA 96093-1215
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Tulare County
Civic Center, 221 South Mooney Boulevard, Room 103
Visalia, CA 93291
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Tuolumne County
2 South Green Street, Third Floor
Sonora, CA 95370
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Ventura County
Hall of Administration, Main Plaza, 800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009-1260
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Yolo County
625 Court Street, Room B01, (or P.O. Box 1130)
Woodland, CA 95776-1130
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Yuba County
915 Eighth Street, Suite 107
Marysville, CA 95901
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
San Francisco County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Find additional California Vital Records locations at onlinevitals.com

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Apostille

An Apostille is needed when a vital record is filed with a foreign government. Apostilles are issued for vital records initially filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. You may request the following records in an apostille: birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates.

How can I get an apostille for a vital record?

You must submit any request for vital records and documents to the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento at the following address:

California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

The only way to obtain an Apostille for California vital records is through the California Secretary of State. You can reach the Secretary of State’s office at (916) 653-2255 or online at www.ss.ca.gov.

Correcting or Amending Vital Records

The deadline to obtain a Real ID has been extended to May 3, 2023.

The REAL ID Act is a new federal law regarding driver’s licenses that may affect those individuals whose vital records do not match their driver’s licenses. To prevent delays when applying for your Real ID driver’s license, you are encouraged to review your birth and/or marriage to ensure your name, sex, and date of birth are listed correctly.

To assist, CDPH has provided a list of common scenarios requiring an amendment to the person’s birth and/or marriage certificate.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides a straightforward process when an individual must correct or amend a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or a family member’s death certificate as authorized by law. There are different forms depending on the information that needs to be amended. An amendment is required when a vital record is changed. Supplemental changes become addendums to the original vital record. However, no entity can alter the original document.

The requirements for requesting the changes or amendments vary depending on which vital record needs changing.

Typically, requests to correct or amend vital records will require

  1. A completed amendment application;
  2. Supporting documentation;
  3. Appropriate fee(s);
  4. A notarized sworn statement completed by an authorized person – Only if requesting an authorized certified copy.

Learn more about amending birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Search Public Records

Where can I search for free public records?

Finding free public records can be complicated, but many vital records in California are freely and readily available to the public. With its search engine, you can search through California’s confidential birth, marriage, and divorce records to find the information you want, but be prepared to devote substantial time reviewing records.

Are California Vital Records Open to the Public?

Most state records are public in California. The access, however, will depend on the types of records you’re looking for and the year when the birth, death, or marriage occurred.

Some third-party websites make it easy to research specific types of vital records. Generally speaking, these sites are not limited based on geographical availability and can be a great point of reference when researching records. However, the data on these third-party sites may differ from official government reports. To find a record on a third-party website, the person requesting must provide:

  • The location of the record you’re looking for, including the city, county, or state where it was recorded.
  • The name of the person on record, if it is not a minor.

Californians have the right under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) to inspect or obtain copies of public vital records.

How to Verify if Your Vital Record Is Official

Each state, county, and municipality has different vital records. Depending on which municipality or agency issued your Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificate, you may want to check what the documents look like to ensure you have the official certified copy. One way to recognize informational copies of vital records is that they come with a stamp or large print across the face of the document that reads “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” or something similar.

What Are the Differences Between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?

Authorized Copy

Certified copies constitute legal documents that can be used for official identification, while parties cannot use informational copies to establish identity. As a result, certified copies of vital records are only issued to individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in the document.

If you request an authorized birth, death, or marriage certificate, you must complete the Sworn Statement, which includes an acknowledgment of your legal rights to the authorized copy. Anyone who requests a birth, death, or marriage certificate will have to provide a notarized Sworn Statement attesting they are eligible to make that request for the authorized copy (declaring under penalty of perjury that you are entitled by law to receive an authorized copy). Without the notarized Sworn Statement, the request will be rejected as incomplete and returned to you without processing, leading to further delays.

Informational Copy

If you request an informational copy, you do not need to provide a Sworn Statement. No documentation is required to obtain informational copies of a public vital record. In compliance with the California Public Records Act (CPRA), citizens have the right to inspect or obtain copies of public records.

Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.

Vital Records Online is Secure, Compliant, Supportive, Flexible

Vital Records Online is owned and operated in the US and has assisted over 1 Million US citizens to obtain authorized copies of their vital records with a secure track record since 2018. Vital Records Online is also a preferred vendor by the CDPH-VR.


Find More Online Resources and Information for California Vital Records

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