Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates
Because of the increased occurrence of identity theft, new laws were passed to protect birth and death records from misuse. Beginning July 1, 2003, the California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only specific individuals to receive an authorized certified copy of a birth or death record. An authorized certified copy of a birth record is required to obtain a driver's license, passport, social security card and other services related to an individual's identity. An authorized certified copy of a death record may be required to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security and obtain other services related to an individual's identity. Those who do not meet the criteria for an authorized certified copy may receive an "informational" certified copy with the words "Informational, not a valid document to establish identity" imprinted across the face of the copy.
The following persons are authorized by law to receive a certified copy of a birth, death, or non-confidential marriage record:
- The registrant or a parent or legal guardian 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 governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.
- A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, 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 estate.
- An agent or employee of a funeral establishment ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of any authorized individual specified above or in Health and Safety Code Section 7100. Reference: Health and Safety Code Section 103526 (c).
Effective January 1, 2019, an authorized person for DEATH records also includes:
a. An individual described in paragraphs (1) to (8), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code: agent under power of attorney for health care, competent surviving spouse, surviving competent adult child, surviving competent parent, surviving competent adult sibling, surviving competent adult person in the next degree of kinship, or conservator.
NOTE: Applicants that are authorized by court order or power of attorney are required to submit a copy of all supporting documents.
Ordering in Person
An authorized individual must complete the county's approved application, including a sworn statement under penalty of perjury, to receive an authorized certified copy. Applications must be received in person no later than 4:30 pm.
Ordering by Mail
An authorized individual must complete the county's approved application and have it notarized, including a sworn statement under penalty of perjury by the authorized requestor. Please include any required supporting documents.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If there is any question whether the record is registered in Madera County, contact the office of the Recorder for a check of the records before ordering on-line. Also, be aware that VitalChek assumes that the customer will require "UPS Next Day" delivery. Be careful to change the "default" setting if regular mailing is desired.
Madera County Recorder does not accept credit cards or online orders; however, 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. 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®.
Fees For Certified Copies
- Birth $25.00
- Death: $21.00
- Marriage: $15.00
Download an Application
- Birth Application (English)
- Birth Application (Spanish)
- Death Application (English)
- Death Application (Spanish)
- Application for Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Application for Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate- Spanish
Confidential Marriage Certificate
Certified copies of confidential marriage certificates are only available to the parties of that confidential marriage and identification must be presented at the time of the request. Informational copies are not available for confidential marriage certificates.
Vital Record Amendments
To amend a vital record, please visit the California Department of Public Health website for more information.