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California Vital Records - Births, Deaths & Marriages

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Address:


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 Office of 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. Average turn-around time for requests with ALL information provided is 4 weeks.

Web site: California Office of Vital Records

Birth Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905. For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

Cost of copy: $15.00

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
The California Birth Index, 1905-1995 is available online as part of a subscription to Ancestry.com.

Death Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905. For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

Cost of copy: $15.00

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
California death records from 1940 through 1997 can be searched online for free at RootsWeb.com.

Marriage Records:

Dates: From 1 July 1905. For earlier records, write to the County Recorder in county where the event occurred.

Cost of Copy: $13.00

Comments: The California Office of Vital Records has an extremely slow turn-around time for marriage certificate requests (up to 2 to 3 years). If you are unable to determine the county, they can provide copies of marriage certificates issued from 1949-1986 and 1988-1999. Be sure to indicate 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 receive much faster service by contacting the County Recorder's Office for a copy of the marriage certificate. For all other years, you must contact the County Recorder's Office in the county where the marriage license was issued.
Application for California Marriage Certificate

Divorce Records:

Dates: The state maintains records of divorces from 1962-June 30, 1984

Cost of copy: $13.00

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 be up to 2-3 years.
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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