Why Do I Need a Birth Certificate?
You’ll need an authorized birth certificate to apply for a driver’s license, passport, or social security card.
Certificates Available Four Weeks after Birth
Birth certificates start at medical facilities, pass through the Health Department, and arrive at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. This process takes time—in most cases, the Office can issue a certificate four weeks after the birth of a child.
Information You'll Need
For the person listed on the certificate, you'll need to know:
- first and last names
- date of birth
- city of birth
- father and mother's birth names
Make sure you have accurate information for the person listed on the birth certificate and be certain that the person was born in the County of Santa Clara.
The certificate fee pays for the record search and you’ll be charged the fee even if no record is found.
You'll need to provide your:
- phone number
- relationship to the person listed on the certificate
- government-issued id (driver's license, passport, permanent resident card)
You may designate another person to purchase a certified copy of your Authorized birth certificate. If that person is not an authorized party, please complete the mail-in application form, have it notarized, and add the name of the person picking up the certificate to the form under “Name of Person Receiving Copies.”
Two Types of Certificates: Authorized and Informational
Certified Authorized Copy
A Certified Authorized Copy provides proof of your identity.
To purchase an Authorized birth certificate, you’ll need to be the person listed on the certificate or that person’s:
- spouse or domestic partner
- legal guardian
For official business, governmental agencies and legal representatives can request a copy of a birth certificate.
When you request a Certified Authorized Copy by mail or online, state your relationship to the person listed on the birth certificate and sign that statement with a notary public present.
Certified Informational Copy
A Certified Informational Copy is generally not accepted as proof of your identity.
If you don’t have a direct relationship to the person listed on the certificate, you can purchase an informational birth certificate.
On a Certified Informational copy, signatures are concealed and the words, “Informational, not a valid document to establish identity” are printed across the face of the certificate.
The request form for this type of certificate does not need to be notarized.