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Pasadena Public Health Department

CA Law for Obtaining Birth and Death Records

New California Law Effective July 1, 2003

Please read the following information carefully. California Health and Safety Code 103526 was passed to protect birth and death records from misuse. Only specific individuals are permitted to receive an Authorized Certified Copy of a birth or death record. An Authorized Certified Copy is commonly used to verify identity for a driver’s license, passport, obtaining death benefits, claim insurance benefits and obtain services related to an individual’s identity.

Authorized Individuals

  • The registrant or 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 the Family Code.
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, 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 appointed by a court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant’s estate.
  • Any funeral director who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of any individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

Those who are not authorized by law to receive certified records will receive a certified copy marked “informational, not a valid document to establish identity.”

Record Requests

Requests made by mail must include an application and a notarized sworn statement, which confirms the requestor’s identity. Requests made in person must include an application and a sworn statement signed in the presence of Vital Records staff under penalty of perjury.