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Birth Certificates

 

​Birth certificates are used for many official purposes such as social security, passport application, and school enrollment. The law is very strict about who may request, and receive, authorized certified copies of birth certificates. Its intent is to protect individuals' privacy and keep their personal information safe from identity theft. Only those listed in the application are authorized to obtain certified copies of birth certificates:

​A parent or legal guardian of the registrant.

A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record in order to comply with requirements of the Family Code. A Certified copy of documentation is required.

Any law enforcement or state or local government representative, who is conducting official business.

A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.

An attorney representing the registrant or the registrant's estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointment by a court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant's estate. A certified copy of documentation is required.

Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of their client. 

Hospital Births
For every birth, birth information is collected and completed by a designated birth recorder at each birthing hospital in Santa Clara County and is sent to Vital Records and Registration (VRR), for registration. 
 
Out of Hospital Births (e.g. home, ambulance or car en route)
Parents who have a baby out of the hospital must register the birth with the Vital Records and Registration Office directly.
  1. A home birth packet must be obtained and completed. If you do not have pdf view/print capability, call the office to obtain a home birth packet by mail.
  2. Call the office at 1-408-885-2010 to set-up an appointment for signing required documents.
  3. Please be sure to keep your appointment with all required parties.  If you are late to your appointment, you will be asked to reschedule.  
Informational only copies of birth certificates
Those who do not meet the criteria for an authorized certified copy may receive an informational only copy. The words "informational, not a valid document to establish identity" will be imprinted across the face of the certified copy.
 
​  Fees 
​Birth search/ Birth certificate ​$28
​ Birth certificate for government agencies $19
​ Still birth certificate (what's this?) $ 9
​ Fetal death certificate $18
 
 
For birth certificates involving an adoption or legal name change, please contact the State of California Department of Health Services at (916) 445-2684.
 

Application process
 

In-Person:
If you are an authorized individual (see application below), you may come into our office to purchase a certified birth certificate. The fee for vital records must be paid in advance by the applicant.  If no record is found, the fee will be retained for searching as required by California statute [H&S 103625, GC 27369]. In order to receive an authorized, certified copy, you must complete the application form, which includes a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury. Valid identification is required, i.e. state identification, state driver's license, passport, birth certificate, etc. Reminder: Do Not Sign the sworn statement until you are in the presence of VRR staff.
 
 
 
By Mail:
A completed application and a notarized sworn statement form, signed under penalty of perjury by the authorized requestor are required for all orders sent by mail.  Mail the notarized application and the required payment by check or money order only, payable to Office of Vital Records. 

Mail to:
Office of Vital Records and Registration
976 Lenzen Avenue, Suite 1300
San Jose, CA 95126  

Apostille Requests

The California Secretary of State provides authentication of public official signatures on documents to be used outside the U.S. How to process the Apostille requests? (What is an Apostille Request?)
 
Apostille Requests are processed at:
  • If the document is issued by the SCCPHD Vital Records & Registration Office, the document needs to be authenticated by the SCC Office of the Clerk Recorder at 70 West Hedding St., San Jose, CA 95110, before sending the document to the Office of the Secretary of State (Mailing address).
  • If the document is issued directly from the County Clerk Recorder Office there's no need to authenticate the signature and the request can be sent directly to the Office of the Secretary of State (Mailing address).

Solicitudes de Apostille

El apostillado consiste de un sello especial que estampa la Oficina de la Secretaria del Estado de California (The California Secretary of State) para certificar que la acta de nacimiento o defuncion es una copia verdadera de una original y pueda ser aceptada fuera del territorio de los Estado Unidos de America.

Correcting or Amending Certificates

The California State Office of Vital Records (OVR) has published a variety of informative pamphlets that describe different amendment options in detail—from correcting a minor spelling error to adding a father to the birth certificate. Not sure which form you need? Try looking on our Frequently Asked Questions page, or call us at 1-408-885-2010 for more information.
 
Original forms must be used and submitted to the state. Forms can be obtained from our office, a local registrar office in another county, any County Recorder’s office, or ordered online from the California State OVR Forms page. 
 
 

Pamphlet Type


 

Vital Records and Registration
976 Lenzen Avenue, Ste. 1300

San Jose, 95126
 
Phone: 1.408.885.2010 
Fax:    1.408.885.4899 
 
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday, Holidays
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