EFFECTIVE SINCE JULY 1, 2003
The occurrence of identity theft is on the rise and the legislature has identified the release of birth and death records as a vulnerable point in this regard. Legislation was enacted to help protect the records from misuse. As of July 1, 2003 there is a new process for ordering birth or death certificates.
Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 only specific individuals are allowed to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth or death record. An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth record is required to obtain a driver's license, passport, social security card and other services related to an individual's identity. An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a death record may be required to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security and obtain other services related to an individual's identity. Please see below for list of authorized individuals.
Those who are not authorized may receive an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY with the words "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY" imprinted across the face of the copy.
When ordering in person an authorized individual must complete an approved application including a sworn statement under penalty of perjury to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY. A notarized Certificate of Identity and a completed application form signed under penalty of perjury by the authorized requester are required for all orders sent by mail. Applications and Certificate of Identity forms are available at the Los Angeles County Registrar Website
Individuals permitted to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY:
- 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 requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of 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 estate
- Any funeral director that 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
As the custodian of the vital records maintained in the department of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, we have a responsibility to safeguard the records from misuse on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles County. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
If you have any further questions you may call (562) 462-2137 or visit the Los Angeles County Registrar Website.