TN 68 (11-22)

GN 00308.012 California Vital Records

A. Process

The state of California issues two types of birth and death certificates, and both types are certified copies of the original document on file with the BVS. The fee is the same for both, and both types are acceptable for SSA proof of age or verification purposes.

  • “The first type is a regular certified copy. It can only be issued to authorized individuals, the sworn statement included with the birth certificate application form must be completed, and the sworn statement must be notarized if the request is mailed.

  • “The second type is also a certified copy, but it will bear the legend “Informational - Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.” It does not require the sworn statement or notarization.

Divorce records are available from the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was granted. The cost of copy varies. Direct birth record requests to the County Recorder at the address shown unless another custodian is listed. All counties and cities are “YES” unless otherwise indicated.

B. Procedure — state sources

1. Address and FO Code

CA Department of Public Health
Vital Records - M.S. 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

FO Code 955

FO 955 ONLY verifies birth, death, and marriage records of those individuals born, deceased, or married in Sacramento County. If any other CA county is involved, the FO must contact that County directly.

NOTE: You can find the most up-to-date information from the California Department of Public Health Vital Records (CDPH-VR) . In addition, you can find EIN information here .

2. Payment and additional information:

  • The FO should visit the CDPH website for current cost and payment information.

  • Cost to SSA is as follows: birth record $22.00, death record $24.00, marriage record $12.00

    and divorce record $11.00.

3. Type of payment:

Money order, certified check or personal check

4. Remarks:

The FO should write directly to above address to obtain birth/death or marriage records. If SSA is paying for the record, include a third party draft, money order or certified check payable to the California Office of Vital Records. Make the request on SSA letterhead form. If SSA letterhead is not used see the CDPH website for the cost of copy to the public for these records.

Final divorce decrees entered from 1962 through June 1984 will consist of a summary of divorce actions (party names, filing date, county that issued the divorce decree and case number), it will not provide a copy of the divorce decree. For additional information, for divorce records see here.

If the county is known, go directly to the county. See the county listing here. California Civil Code 4213 permits a cohabiting couple to marry privately without a license. As private marriage is not a matter of public record, it is not recorded. A record of a section 4213 private marriage can be obtained only as follows:


  1. 1. 

    The claimant may furnish the marriage certificate.

  2. 2. 

    The claimant (or FO with claimant permission) may seek a certified copy from whoever performed the marriage.

  3. 3. 

    The claimant may obtain a certified copy from the county. (Tell the claimant to inquire about getting a record which is sealed from the public. The claimant may not realize the degree of secrecy with which these records are maintained.)

Can FO verify, certify, or obtain free copy of birth/death record? No

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 00308.012 - California Vital Records - 11/09/2022
Batch run: 11/09/2022