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Purchase a Birth Certificate

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Why Do I Need a Birth Certificate?

You’ll need an authorized birth certificate to apply for a driver’s license, passport, or social security card.

Certificates Available Four Weeks after Birth

Birth certificates start at medical facilities, pass through the Health Department, and arrive at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. This process takes time—in most cases, the Office can issue a certificate four weeks after the birth of a child.

Information You'll Need

For the person listed on the certificate, you'll need to know:

  • first and last names
  • date of birth
  • city of birth
  • gender
  • father and mother's birth names

Make sure you have accurate information for the person listed on the birth certificate and be certain that the person was born in the County of Santa Clara.

The certificate fee pays for the record search and you’ll be charged the fee even if no record is found.

You'll need to provide your:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • relationship to the person listed on the certificate
  • government-issued id (driver's license, passport, permanent resident card)
You may designate another person to purchase a certified copy of your Authorized birth certificate. If that person is not an authorized party, please complete the mail-in application form, have it notarized, and add the name of the person picking up the certificate to the form under “Name of Person Receiving Copies.”
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Two Types of Certificates: Authorized and Informational

Certified Authorized Copy

A Certified Authorized Copy provides proof of your identity.

To purchase an Authorized birth certificate, you’ll need to be the person listed on the certificate or that person’s:

  • parent
  • child
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • sibling
  • spouse or domestic partner
  • legal guardian

For official business, governmental agencies and legal representatives can request a copy of a birth certificate.

When you request a Certified Authorized Copy by mail or online, state your relationship to the person listed on the birth certificate and sign that statement with a notary public present.

Certified Informational Copy

A Certified Informational Copy is generally not accepted as proof of your identity.

If you don’t have a direct relationship to the person listed on the certificate, you can purchase an informational birth certificate.

On a Certified Informational copy, signatures are concealed and the words, “Informational, not a valid document to establish identity” are printed across the face of the certificate.

The request form for this type of certificate does not need to be notarized.​

Get a Birth Certifcate in Person, by Mail, or Online

icon of three simplified human figures In Person

Cost

Cash or check $28 .00
$28 .00
+ $2 .501
Credit or debit card $30 .50

Time

Order usually processed while you wait

To Do

  1. Show up at the Clerk-Recorder's Office.
  2. Bring a valid id:
    driver’s license, passport, permanent resident card.2
  3. Submit your info to our Self Service application before you arrive to speed up the process.
icon of a letter and envelope By Mail

Cost

Check or Money Order $28 .00

Time

3–4 weeks to process

To Do

  1. Download and fill out an order form.3
  2. Get the form notarized.4
  3. Prepare a return envelope (not required):
    • Regular mail: self-addressed, stamped standard-letter envelope
    • Expedited mail: pre-addressed, pre-paid Airbill for Express Mail, FedEx, or UPS
  4. Mail the form, payment, and return envelope to the Clerk Recorder’s Office.
icon of a computer with a mouse cursor arrow Online

Cost

$28 .00
+ $7 .005
Credit or debit card $35 .00

Time

Usually 1 week to process (may vary due to volume of requests)

To Do

  1. Fill out VitalChek’s online form.

    VitalChek is the only authorized online service for Santa Clara County birth certificates.

  2. Submit your payment online.
  3. Print VitalChek’s form and get it notarized.4
  4. Fax or email the notarized form to the Clerk-Recorder's Office.

    Your credit card will not be charged until the Clerk-Recorder’s Office receives the notarized form.

Purchase Details

  1. $2.50 debit/credit-card convenience fee
  2. You can send someone who is not an authorized party to purchase your Authorized birth certificate—first complete the mail-in application form, have it notarized, and add the name of the person picking up the certificate to the form under “Name of Person Receiving Copies.”

  3. If you are unable to download the form, please call (408) 299-5688 and we will mail or fax you a form.
  4. Only Certified Authorized birth certificates purchased by mail or online require a notarized form.
  5. VitalChek's non-refundable $7.00 online-purchase convenience fee
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A birth certificate records:

  • the child’s full name and gender
  • the time, date, and location of birth
  • information about the child’s parents

The Clerk-Recorder maintains birth certificates for all the people born in the County of Santa Clara.

The Clerk-Recorder's birth certificate records extend back to 1873.

Vital Records' Location and Hours

Clerk-Recorder’s Office
70 W. Hedding, 1st Floor, East Wing
San Jose, CA 95110

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(Office is closed on County holidays)

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Last updated: 9/6/2019 4:11 PM