Vital RecordsCalifornia Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death records, also referred to as vital records, supply details about significant events in your ancestors life. Vital records, typically kept by a civic office, can provide you a more complete picture of one’s ancestor, make it easier to differentiate concerning two people utilizing the same name, and enable you to uncover links to a brand new generation. They can include information and facts like the occasion date and place, parents’ names, profession and residence. The cause of death is also listed in the majority of California death records.

California vital records really are a foundation of California genealogy and family history research because they were normally documented at or close to the time of the occurrence, making the record more likely to be reliable. This web page contains links, details that will help you obtain copies from California state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the milestones of our lives and are the foundation of genealogy and family tree research.

California Department of Health, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in California.  To verify current fees or for information on how to expedite a document, call (916) 445-2684.

  • Ordering California Birth  Certificates: The Department of Public Health has Birth Certificates from July 1905 to present. The fee  is $18. For earlier records, contact the County Recorder in the county where the event occurred.
  • Ordering California Death Certificates: The Department of Public Health has Death Certificates from July 1905 to present. The fee  is $14. For earlier records, contact the County Recorder in the county where the event occurred.
  • Ordering California Marriage Certificates: The Department of Public Health only has indexes for public marriage certificates that occurred from 1949-1986 and 1998-1999.  The fee  is $14. For all other years, contact the County Recorder in the county where the event occurred; for confidential marriages, contact the County Clerk where the marriage license was issued. Full certified copies may be ordered from County Clerk in county where license was issued. The fee for the copy varies.
  • Ordering California Divorce Certificates:  The Department of Public Health has Certificate of Records between 1962 and June, 1984. The fee  is $13. It only includes the names of the parties to the divorce, the filing date, the county where the divorce was filed, and the court case number. Full certified copy may be obtained from Circuit or Chancery Clerk in county where divorce was granted. For all other years or for a copy of the decree, contact the Superior Court in the county where the event occurred. The fee for the copy varies.

How to Order California Vital Records

  • Physical Address: California Department of Public Health, Vital Records – MS 5103, 1501 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814; PH (916) 445-1719 or (916) 445-2684; Fax: (800) 858-5553
  • Mailing Address: CA Department of Public Health – Vital Records, MS: 5103, P.O. Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899-7410. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to CDPH Vital Records. Do not send cash.
  • Website Address:
  • Ordering Vital Records Online – get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from or
  • Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for California Birth CertificateMarriage CertificateDivorce CertificateDeath Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-7 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
  • In Person:  Stop in the State Office or local County Registrars and Recorders office. Most certificates can be issued while you wait. List of County Registrars and Recorders Office locations. Birth and death records for current-year events and one year prior are available from the county health department; records for all years are maintained by the county recorder. Marriage records may be obtained from the county recorder; confidential marriage records are available only through the county clerk of the county where the license was issued.

Background of California Vital Records


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