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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a copy of a Vital Record if I am NOT an authorized Party?

Effective July 1, 2003, the California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 will permit only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of birth records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a full certified copy may request a certified copy marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY."

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1. Who can order a Certified Copy of a Vital Record? (Who is an authorized Party?)
2. How can I get a copy of a Vital Record if I am NOT an authorized Party?
3. Does my partner have to be present when buying the marriage license?
4. Can we walk in and have a ceremony?
5. Initially, I wanted to list a name change pursuant to the Name Equality Act of 2007 but have changed my mind. Can I correct this information?
6. I was born in another county (or state). Can I purchase a certified copy of my birth record in Humboldt County?
7. Can my birth certificate be e-mailed to me?
8. What is the difference between a certified copy and a certified informational copy?
9. Does the sworn statement need to be notarized?
10. I currently live in a foreign country and need to apply for an authorized copy of a vital record. How can I get the sworn statement notarized?
11. Will I receive a refund for my request if no record is found by your office?
12. I ordered my birth certificate from a private third party. Can I get my money refunded?
13. How do I get my birth certificate if I was born overseas but to U.S. citizens?
14. I am homeless and do not have the funds to obtain a birth certificate. Is there any assistance offered to homeless individuals?