Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if there is an error on the Birth Certificate?
After the Certificate has been registered, the original certificate cannot be changed. Some Errors may be corrected by filling out an Affidavit to Amend a Record . Please visit the State Office of Vital Records website for additional information.

What if the father's name was not listed on my child's Birth Certificate?
For unwed mothers only, if the father was not available or present at the time of birth, the parents must sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form (VS22) in front of a qualified witness from the Department of Child Support. Further instructions will be made available at the Department of Child Support Services office.

 If the parents were married at the time of birth, it may have been a hospital error and can be corrected by completing and sending an Acknowledgement of Paternity/Parentage (VS22) and a copy of the marriage certificate to the State Office of Vital Records.

Is there a fee for my child's Birth Certificate?
Yes, there is a fee. There is no complimentary copy. The current fee for a certified copy of the Birth Certificate is $28.00 each. Check our website for fee changes that take effect at the beginning of each year. 

Can I pay and request a Birth Certificate over the phone?
No, our office does not have the capacity to receive a request by phone or fax at the present time.

When can I pick up a Birth Certificate?
Please allow up to 2 weeks to purchase Certificates after the time of event. An application, sworn statement, identification, and fee are required.

I need to travel, how soon can I get my child's Birth Certificate?
There is no expedited service for birth certificate registration. We suggest not making travel arrangements within the first three weeks since it is difficult to assure documents will be made available.

Can I request a copy of my child's Birth Certificate to be faxed to me?
Faxing is not available. Our office provides certified copies upon request and receipt of payment in-person or by mail only. Copies of birth certificates are not considered certified and would not be valid.

How do I get a Social Security Number for my baby?
When filling out the Newborn Automatic Number Assignment (NANA) form in the hospital, if you selected "yes", the Social Security card will be mailed to you within six weeks. If you selected "no", you will have to visit the Social Security Office in person with evidence of your child's identity, birth date, and citizenship.

Who needs to sign the Birth Certificate?
After the Birth Certificate is prepared, the parent signs it. Only one signature is required. If both parents are there, they may both sign it. If the patient is discharged before the certificate is signed, the hospital staff signs it.

What if I want to change my child's name?
Changing information on the birth certificate requires a court order name change . You will need a court order for changing a first, middle or last name; transposing first and middle names; or adding or deleting last names. Court orders can be obtained through the Superior Court.

 To amend a birth certificate after court order is obtained, send a completed Amendment of Birth Record to Reflect Court Order Change of Name (VS23) with certified copy of the court order and appropriate fees to the State Office of Vital Records in Sacramento.

Where can I obtain amendment forms?
Amendment forms are available by contacting our office at (805)681-5151 or by visiting the State Office of Vital Records website at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Vital-Records.aspx