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Birth & Death Certificate

EFFECTIVE MONDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2012

 

San Francisco County Clerk can only issue certificates for:

  • individuals born in San Francisco County more than 3 years ago and back to 1906
  • individuals deceased in San Francisco County more than 3 years ago and back to 1906

 

Recent Birth and Death Certificates:

 

Newborn certificates are available approximately 4 weeks after the birth date and birth years up to 3 years old and death certificates where event date is up to 3 years old are available from the San Francisco Department of Public Health
 


Who can obtain birth and death certificates?

State law requires this office to issue 2 different types of certified copies to requesters: authorized and informational. Both types are certified copies of the original document on file with our office.  Records and the information are released on certified copies of the record only and cannot be released by fax, email, or over the phone.  Persons requesting an authorized copy must sign a statement, under penalty of perjury, that they are an “authorized person” as defined by Health & Safety Code section 103526(c).


Authorized Copy of Birth Certificate:

An authorized copy establishes the identity of the registrant (child named on the certificate) and may only be issued to the following authorized persons:

  • The registrant (person listed on the certificate) or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant (legal guardian must provide documentation).
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order (include copy), 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 governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business. (Companies representing a government agency must provide authorization from the government agency.)
  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
  • 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.
  • Appointed rights in a power of attorney, or an executor of the registrant’s estate. (Please include a copy of the power of attorney, or supporting documentation identifying you as executor.)


Authorized Copy of Death Certificate: 

An authorized copy establishes the identity of the registrant (decedent named on the certificate) and may only be issued to the following authorized persons:

  • A parent or legal guardian of the registrant (person listed on the certificate) (Legal guardian must provide documentation.)
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order (Please include a copy of the court order.)
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business. (Companies representing a government agency must provide authorization from the government agency.)
  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
  • 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.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.
  • Appointed rights in a power of attorney, or an executor of the registrant’s estate. (Please include a copy of the power of attorney, or supporting documentation identifying you as executor.)


How to Obtain Authorized Copy of a Birth or Death Certificate:

A non-refundable record search fee will be charged. If the record is found, a certified copy of the record will be issued. Each additional certified copy is available for a fee. If the record is not found, a Certificate of No Record will be issued. Copies may be purchased in person or by mail. We DO NOT expedite orders for authorized copies. Please plan accordingly.

In Person:  You are required to complete an Application for Certified Copy, and present valid legal photo I.D. Processing time for orders in person is approximately 20 minutes.  Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.  Last fully completed application accepted at 3:50pm.

Online or By Phone:  For your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service, VitalChek Network, Inc.  VitalChek can be reached through its website, vitalchek.com or by phone at (800) 708-6733.  An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®.  Neither our office nor VitalChek have control over the services and fees other Internet vendors offer and charge, nor can we guarantee the confidentiality of any vital record data provided to vendors other than VitalChek.  Processing time for orders is approximately 5 - 10 business days from receipt of completed application and payment.  Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.  We are not responsible for non-delivery or non-receipt of fulfilled orders by your chosen return delivery method.

 

By Mail:  You are required to complete an Application for Certified Copy, sign the Sworn Statement before a Notary Public, AND have your signature acknowledged by the Notary (Certificate of Acknowledgement). Mail the application, acknowledgement, money order or CA personal check including name and address payable to SF County Clerk (no out of state checks), and include a self-addressed stamped/prepaid envelope to our address below. Please note: If you require return tracking or guaranteed delivery of your fulfilled order, you must provide a prepaid return air bill guaranteeing tracking and delivery, i.e. Federal Express, USPS Priority, UPS, or other. We are not responsible for non-delivery or non-receipt of fulfilled orders by your chosen return delivery method.  Processing time for orders by mail is approximately 7 - 10 business days from receipt of application and payment. Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.

Please note: Acknowledgements executed by Notaries Public outside of USA are not accepted. Sworn Statement must be taken before an Embassador, Minister, Consul, Vice Consul, or Consular Agent of the United States, or before any Judge of a Court of record having a seal in such foreign country. (CA CCP 2014) 
 

 

Informational Copy of Birth or Death Certificate:

 
Informational copies are available to all requesters. An informational copy cannot be used for identity purposes. The certificate bears an inscription across the face of the document, stating, “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

 
How to Obtain Informational Copy of Birth or Death Certificate:


A non-refundable record search fee will be charged. If the record is found, an informational copy of the record will be issued. Each additional informational copy is available for a fee. If the record is not found, a Certificate of No Record will be issued. Copies may be purchased in person or by mail. We DO NOT expedite orders for informational copies. Please plan accordingly.

In Person:
You are required to complete an Application for Certified Copy. You are not required to sign the sworn statement nor required to submit notarized acknowledgement. Processing time for orders in person is approximately 20 minutes.  Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.  Last fully completed application accepted at 3:50pm.

 

Online or By Phone: For your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have partnered with to provide you this service, VitalChek Network, Inc. VitalChek can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com or by phone at (800) 708-6733. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®. Neither our office nor VitalChek have control over the services and fees other Internet vendors offer and charge, nor can we guarantee the confidentiality of any vital record data provided to vendors other than VitalChek.  Processing time for orders is approximately 5 - 10 business days from receipt of completed application and payment.  Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.  We are not responsible for non-delivery or non-receipt of fulfilled orders by your chosen return delivery method.

By Mail: You are required to complete an Application for Certified Copy. You are not required to sign the sworn statement nor required to submit notarized acknowledgement. Mail the application, money order or CA personal check including name and address payable to SF County Clerk (no out of state checks), and include a self-addressed stamped/prepaid envelope to our address below. Please note: If you require return tracking or guaranteed delivery of your fulfilled order, you must provide a prepaid return air bill guaranteeing tracking and delivery, i.e. Federal Express, USPS Priority, UPS, or other. We are not responsible for non-delivery or non-receipt of fulfilled orders by your chosen return delivery method.  Processing time for orders by mail is approximately 7 - 10 business days from receipt of application and payment.  Records not on file with our office will require additional processing time.

 

Questions regarding the birth or death certificate process can be emailed to county.clerk@sfgov.org


1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., City Hall #168 SF CA 94102-4678 Map Directions

Last updated: 6/2/2015 9:38:52 AM