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Frequently Asked Questions

The Orange County Health Care Agency, Office of Vital Records has Orange County birth and death certificates that occurred in the last 2 years (24 months).  Please see the section on How to Obtain a Birth or Death Certificate.

If the birth or death occurred more than 2 years ago (more than 24 months ago), contact the Orange County Clerk-Recorder at (714) 834-2500 or visit www.ocrecorder.com .

Allow 10 business days after the birth or death event for record registration and availability for purchase.

If you come to our office and no record is found, be advised that Health and Safety Code 103650 requires our office to retain the fee and issue a Certificate of No Public Record.

NOTE:  We do not verify whether records are registered or ready for purchase over the phone or by email. 

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, except holidays

We are closed the following legal holidays:

New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day

Birth Certificates:  $32.00 each

Death Certificates:  $24.00 each

California Health and Safety Code 103526 defines individuals who can obtain an authorized birth or death certificate. 

If you cannot obtain an authorized certificate under California law, you can obtain an informational certificate.  An informational certificate contains the same information as an authorized certificate but will have a legend across it with the statement "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity."  Certain items will be redacted. 

NOTE:  An informational certificate cannot be used to obtain identification.

If you gave birth in a setting other than a hospital, please read the Out of Hospital Birth Pamphlet  and complete the Out of Hospital Birth Checklist.

Schedule an appointment to register the birth by phone at (714) 480-6707 or by email at OHB@ochca.com .  Visit the Out of Hospital Birth Registration section for more information. 

The Orange County Office of Vital Records does not make corrections or changes to birth or death certificates.

All corrections/changes/amendments are reviewed and registered by the California Department of Public Health Vital Records Section (CDPH-VR).  Instructions can be found on the CDPH-VR website at:  http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Correcting-or-Amending-Vital-Records.aspx 

Contact CDPH-VR Customer Service Unit at (916) 445-2684 or by email at AmendVR@cdph.ca.gov for more information.

Burial Permits are required by California law prior to the disposition of human remains such as burial, cremation, or scattering of cremated remains.  Permits may be obtained through any California licensed funeral establishment or by an application process with our office.

Burial permits can also be applied for by the next of kin and purchased at this office where the death occurred in Orange County, or where the final resting place will be in Orange County.  Please visit the Burial Permits for the General Public section for more information.

The Apostille is a certificate that verifies the authenticity of the signature of official who signed the birth or death certificate.  The California Secretary of State provides the Apostille for certificates which contain the County Clerk-Recorder signature or his/her authentication.

If you are seeking a birth or death certificate with an Apostille to be used outside of the United States, please obtain the certificate from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder to avoid the additional fee for authentication.   Contact the Orange County Clerk-Recorder at (714) 834-2500 or visit www.ocrecorder.com .

For more information on and to apply for the Apostille, contact the California Secretary of State at (213) 897-5310 or visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/request-apostille .

NOTE:  If the birth or death certificate you already have was issued by our office and has the signature of the Orange County Health Officer, prior to presenting the certificate to the California Secretary of State for the Apostille, one of the following will be required:

  • Have that birth or death certificate authenticated by the Orange County Clerk-Recorder

OR

  • Obtain another certified copy of the birth or death certificate from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder