FAQs

Q: I adopted a child and want to get a Birth Certificate, what do I have to do?

A: The court where you adopted the child usually reports the adoption to the California Department of Public Health and a Birth Certificate is created after they receive the paper work from the court.

Q: I need a copy of a Birth Certificate

A: Go to Alameda County Recorder’s website: http://www.acgov.org/auditor/clerk/birth1.htm

Q: I need a copy of a Death Certificate

A: Go to Alameda County Recorder’s website: http://www.acgov.org/auditor/clerk/death1.htm

Q: I haven’t seen my neighbor/friend in a long time and I am wondering if he/she died

A: Go to Alameda County Recorder’s website: http://www.acgov.org/auditor/clerk/vitalresearch.htm

Changes to Certificate


Q: There is a misspelling and/or wrong information on the Birth or Death Certificate. What can I do to correct it?

A: Corrections to misspelled names or to parent’s information and/or other typographical errors can be made with an Affidavit to Amend a Record form. These forms are available at the hospital where the birth occurred or at the Alameda County Recorder (for Birth Certificate) or the Mortuary (for Death Certificate) who did the service. Send the completed Affidavit form to the State Office of Vital Records.

Address:

California Department of Public Health

Office of Vital Records - MS 5103

P.O.Box 997410

Sacramento, CA 95899-7410



If the amendment occurs more than one year from the date of birth or death, include the $20 fee that is charged by the State to make changes and issue a copy of the amended record. For more information call (916) 445-2684.



Q: Is it possible to change my name through an amendment form?

A: No. The amendment form (VS-24) is only used to correct misspelled names (child, mother, father physician) or add the first and middle name when there was no name registered in the past.

Q: Can I add the father's name on my child's birth Certificate by using an amendment form (VS-24)?

A: No. To add the Father's Name to a Birth Certificate, you have to use different forms. If the parents are married, you may use the Acknowledgement of Paternity Form (VS-22) and submit that signed by both parents, along with the Copy of the Marriage License. However, if the parents are not married, you may use the Declaration of Paternity Form (CS909) and the Acknowledgement of Paternity Form (VS-22). For more information call 1-866-249-0773.

Q: I want to change the name on the Birth Certificate. What should I do?

A: A court order is necessary to change any part of a baby's name or any part of the parents’ names except for adding a middle name (use Form VS-24). Contact the Alameda Superior Court at (510) 891-6003 located at 1225 Fallon Street, Room 109, Oakland, CA 94612 to obtain information about the court order.

Q: Can I change or delete the Father's name on my (child's) birth certificate?

A: No. Only if you have a court order that allows you to do that. For more information call the Alameda Superior Court at (510) 891-6003.

Q: How do I change the Father's Name on my (child's) birth certificate?

A: If you have a court order allowing you to do so, submit a certified copy of the court order along with the Application to Amend a Birth Record - Adjudication of Facts of Parentage Form (VS21) and $20 fee to the State Registrar in Sacramento, CA and your request will be processed in accordance with their Processing Time.

Q: How can I correct a misspelling of a name on a birth/death certificate?

A: It is possible to correct a name misspelled on a birth/death certificate. You just need to send the following documents to the California Department of Public Health along with the appropriate fee:

    • Form VS24 (no erasures, whiteouts, photocopies or alterations of this form are allowed) • Application Form with a notarized sworn statement (if you wish to receive a copy of the amended record) • If you are correcting a misspelling on the parent's name or an error on parent's date of birth, you MUST include a photocopy of the parent's birth certificate.

  • If you are correcting an error from the hospital, please attach documentation from the hospital.
  • Fee to process the request:
  • Within one year of the birth:
  • There is no fee to amend a record, but you do not get a copy of the amended record.
  • $14.00 fee is required if you wish to get a copy of the amended record.
  • $20.00 fee, which includes one Certified Copy of the Amended Record.
  • Additional copies are $14.00 each.
  • If the birth occurred more than one year ago:
  • Where should I send the documentation to?

Address:

California Department of Public Health

Office of Vital Records - MS 5103

P.O. Box 997410

Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

 

  • How do I send the fee?

You must send a Check or Money Order payable to OFFICE OF VITAL RECORDS. Do not mail cash or other types of payment, as the State will be unable to accept them.

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