Birth and Death Certificates
Vital Statistics Program
- Registers all births and deaths occurring in Santa Cruz County
- Provides birth and death certificates for recent years, promptly, at the door or by mail
- Provides amendment forms and instructions to correct birth or death records
- Conducts interviews to register out-of-hospital births (by appointment only)
- Issues burial permits for California dispositions or transport of remains to other states or countries
- Generates reports from the data on birth and death certificates
Identity theft is on the rise, and the release of birth and death records is a vulnerable point in this regard. Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 103526, only specific persons are allowed to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth or death record.
An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth or death record is required in order to obtain:
- A driver’s license, passport, social security card, and other services related to a person’s identity.
- Insurance benefits, or to close personal business of the deceased.
Individuals permitted to received an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a death or birth certificate are:
- The registrant, or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
- A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner 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 government 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 the registrant’s estate.
- A funeral director ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of the registrant's family.
Those who are not eligible to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a birth or death record may receive an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY with the words "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY" imprinted across the face of the certificate.
- The County of Santa Cruz can only provide certificates for births or deaths that occurred in Santa Cruz County, regardless of the place of residence. For births or deaths occurring outside Santa Cruz county, please contact the county where the birth or death occurred.
- The Office of Vital Records has certificates only for the years 2017 - 2019. Click here if you need a certificate for a birth or death that happened before 2017.
- If you plan to obtain a Certified Copy in person, you MUST sign the sworn statement in the presence of the Deputy Registrar.
- If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized. You must sign the request in the presence of the notary. If your mailed request indicates that you want an Authorized Certified Copy, but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be returned to you without being processed.
To Purchase Copies of Birth & Death Certificates
Birth Certificates - $28.00 per copy (check or money order only, in exact amount).
Death Certificates - $21.00 per copy (check or money order only, in exact amount).
Frequently Asked Questions
What information do I need to obtain a birth certificate?
- The child's full name as stated on the birth certificate
- The mother's full MAIDEN name
- The father's full name
- The child's date of birth
- The child's city and location of birth (hospital, home, etc.)
What information do I need to obtain a death certificate?
- The full name of the deceased at the time of death
- The date of death
- The place of death
- The date of birth of the deceased, if known
Can I request a birth or death certificate by mail?
Yes. You can print a copy of the birth or death certificate request form and mail it to us, with a check or money order. If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized. You must sign the request in the presence of the notary. If your mailed request indicates that you want an Authorized Certified Copy, but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be returned to you without being processed.
- Click on the appropriate form above (under Purchase Copies of Birth & Death Certificates)
- Print the application after it displays.
- Fill in the required information.
- Enclose a check or money order for the total amount. Make checks payable to HSA Vital Statistics.
County of Santa Cruz
P.O. Box 962
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Can I request a birth or death certificate via the Internet with a credit card?
Yes. If the birth or death occurred over six weeks ago, you can request a certificate by using your credit card, for an additional $13 fee, by clicking here. You will be connected to the "VitalChek Network". VitalChek works through the Recorder’s Office and may not be any quicker than ordering by mail.