Vital Records

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Birth 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 or death record:

  1. The registrant or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
  2. 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
  3. A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.
  4. A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of the registrant.
  5. 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.
  6. Any funeral director 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).

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.

Ordering Online

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

Download an Application


Marriage Certificate

NOTICE: ONLY individuals who are authorized by Health and Safety Code Section 103526 can obtain a Certified Copy of a Non-Confidential (public) Marriage Record. (Page 1 of the application identifies the individuals who are authorized to make the request.) All others may receive a Certified Informational Copy which will be marked, “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity.” Certified copies of confidential marriage certificates are only available to the parties of that confidential marriage. Informational copies are not available for confidential marriage certificates.

The Recorder's office can provide certified copies of public marriage records if the couple obtained their marriage license in Madera County. A certified copy may be purchased in person, by mail, or on-line at www.vitalchek.com. (NOTE: Additional fees for orders placed with VitalChek).

Download Marriage Application


Vital Record Amendments

To amend a vital record, please visit the California Department of Public Health website for more information.

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