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Map of California showing Counties

Whether you need your birth certificate to enroll in school or obtain a passport, if your parents did not keep your birth record, you will have to get it yourself. No two states are the same in how they store birth records. Here are the steps to obtaining a birth record.

  • You must determine where you were born. Your birth record will often be in the county where you were born.
  • Once you determine the county and state, you have to find out which agency in that area keeps the records. In many states, the Department of Health is responsible for keeping the birth records. In some states births are recorded at local courthouses.
  • After you find out who has the birth record, you need to determine the policy for obtaining a copy. Some larger states will allow you to order a copy of your birth certificate online. If you order a birth record online, you have to wait for it to be mailed. Most states however, will require you to apply in person. Some states have extended the requirement to allow immediate family members to pick up the records. Make sure you ask about fees as most states charge for copies of birth certificates.

You can make the task of searching for birth records easier. You can eliminate an important step by searching for birth records online. How does it work?

  1. Find a reputable online record search company that has access to birth records.
  2. Fill out your information. Reputable companies will keep your information confidential.
  3. Learn about the specific payment plans. In many cases, if you are just looking for one birth record, it will cost less than $20. If you need a lot of birth records, you can sign up for a plan that will give you unlimited searches for less than $50.

You will not be able to purchase a copy of the birth record from an online search service, you will be able to find the birth record faster. An online record search company stores birth records from across the country in one place. You won’t have to call agency after agency in different parts of your state or in different parts of the country. By the time you get ready to request the birth record of make the drive to health department, you will know that the record is in that county.

Information on records available directly from the State of California:

Office of Vital Records
Department of Health Services
1501 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814

The California Birth Index contains birth records of all births in California between 1905 and 1995. Each record is an abstract of a birth certificate, including date of birth, full name, county of birth, gender, and mother's maiden name. People who have been adopted are sometimes listed by their birth name, sometimes listed by their adopted name.

 
 
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