Public Records Search

California Public Records

Certificate Information

Birth and death certificates are maintained and issued by the California Department of Public Health. Short term records are kept by the local registrar for 2 years after a birth or death event. The county recorder keeps a full archive of all events that occured with their jurisdiction.

Processing times for certified copies of records through the CDPH are quite extensive. Birth & death records from 1905 to 1969 take approximately 7 weeks of processing time, newer records around 3 weeks. Certified copies of certificates cost $18 dollars and $14 dollars for birth and death records respectively. Fetal death certificates and still birth certificates cost $11 and $20 dollars. Records are available either by mail or by visiting a local county office.

California Department of Public Health
Vital Records - MS 5103
1501 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814

Birth Certificate Application (PDF)
Death Certificate Application (PDF)

Marriage records are issued from the county recorder in the county where the license was issued, not where the ceremony is held. While divorce decrees are handled by the Superior Court in the county where the decree was granted. The Department of Public Health doesn't not collect sexual orientation as part of their marriage or divorce data. Court records through the CDPH take an extremely long time to process, estimated at 6 months.

Marriage or Divorce Record Application

Below is the directory for local registrars and recorders in California. Since processing time is usually much faster at the local offices, we recommend using this as your primary source.

County Registrars & Recorders

Adoption Records

Adoptions in the state of California are considered confidential information. All original birth certificates are sealed when a new certificate is is prepared. A written acknowledgement of paternity form must be completed to retrieve sealed records for adopted children.

Acknowledgement of Paternity/Parentage (PDF)

Property Records

Parcel records, including sales, tax, building specifications and grade and owner history are maintained by the County Assessor's Office. Below are the links to the largest counties online parcel search applications.

Los Angeles County Property Assessment
San Diego County Property Assessment
Orange County Treasurer/Tax Collector Parcel Viewer
Riverside County Property Information Center
San Bernardino County Property Information Management System
Santa Clara County Property Assessment Information System
Alameda County Parcel Viewer
Sacramento County Parcel Viewer
Contra Costa County GIS Resource
Fresno County Real Property Value Inquiry
San Francisco Parcel Information
Ventura County Parcel Map
Kern County Assessor Parcel Map