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Birth and Death Certificates: Authorized Persons


Effective July 1, 2003 the California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only specified individuals to receive an authorized certified copy of a birth or death record. An authorized certified copy 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 or to provide notification of death to social security. Please see the list of authorized individuals below.

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 for custody issues in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 and 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.
  • 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 registrant’s estate.

Those individuals who do not meet the criteria for an authorized certified copy may receive an informational certified copy with the words “Informational, not a valid document to establish identity” imprinted in red across the face of the copy.

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