Your Baby Needs a Birth Certificate

Your Baby Needs a Birth Certificate (PDF): English | Arabic | Chinese | Farsi | Spanish | Vietnamese

Babies born here are US citizens.

Mother’s and father’s information is not reviewed by immigration agents (ICE).

The birth certificate is a legal document.

  • Check it before you sign.
  • Try to complete the birth certificate before you leave the hospital. That way you won’t have to drop it off to the health department in Oakland.
  • To fix it after, you will need to pay a fee and have a second page added. You may need to go to court.
  • It has 2 uses. The top portion is for the family. The rest is used to plan for schools and public health programs, so that families can access services to be healthy.

For baby’s name

The required order of the names is

  • first name – up to 30 letters
  • then, middle name, if you want – up to 24 letters
  • then, last name (family) – up to 34 letters

Having two last names is OK, with or without a hyphen. Example of a hyphen -- Perez-Lee.

How will I use baby’s birth certificate?

  • Get a social security number
  • Get health insurance
  • Register for school
  • Get a driver’s license
  • Get a work permit

What will hospital staff ask baby’s mother (woman giving birth)?

  • Full name, date of birth
  • Home address, with zip code
  • Social security number - if you have one
  • US state or other country where you were born
  • If you are single or married If you are Hispanic? yes, or no
  • Your race, choose up to 3 of these
    • White
    • Black or African American
    • American Indian or Alaskan Native
    • Asian (examples -- Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, etc.)
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (examples -- Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, etc.)
  • Your job and level of education (grade or degree completed)
  • Date of your first prenatal care visit
  • The number of times you went for prenatal care
  • Date of your last menstrual period
  • Did you receive WIC?

What will staff ask about baby’s father (man contributing to pregnancy)?

  • Full name, date of birth
  • Home address, with zip code
  • US State or other country where he was born
  • If he is Hispanic? yes, or no
  • His race, choose up to 3 of these
    • White
    • Black or African American
    • Asian (examples -- Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, etc.)
    • American Indian or Alaskan Native
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (examples -- Fijian, Tongan, Samoan, Hawaiian, etc.)
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