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The California Birth Certificate: Make Sure It is You

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A birth certificate is considered a legal document and contributes to the Vital Records in your state of residence.If you were born in California, a certified copy of your birth certificate could be obtained by submitting an application to the County Recorder’s Office where the birth or death took place with certified copy fees.  Applications can only be processed by the person who needs to verify his/her identity, the person’s parents, and any other person permitted by law.  All individuals must have the legal authority to obtain a California birth certificate.

A birth certificate cannot provide evidence of a true identity. Only biological evidence such as DNA, facial recognition, or fingerprints provides proof of valid identification. A Certificate of Live Birth is obtained if the mother’s birth takes place in a hospital. This certificate is made part of the medical records and contains all the vital information of the child, including identification of the parent’s vital statistics. However, this certificate does not replace a Certified Birth Certificate.

As of 2014, California is the home of more than two million undocumented immigrants or almost one-quarter of all undocumented immigrants in the United States. Undocumented immigrants make up 6% of California’s population. The documents that are needed to secure or prove citizenship include a California Birth Certificate, which many times is fraudulently obtained to create a new identity.

There are vulnerabilities in the privacy and security of birth certificates, which include:

  • Lack of State Statues to protect birth records
  • States allow public access to birth records
  • ID is not required even in States that have more significant restrictions
  • Insufficient security over forms and records

The annual cost of false identification in the United States is billions of dollars.






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