Registering Vital Records After the Fact
Births, marriages, and deaths are recorded by the Office of Vital Statistics, and evidenced by an official certificate. Occasionally, these certificates are not submitted promptly, or are destroyed or unavailable. If so, any "beneficially interested" party can register it by using the appropriate Court Order Delayed Certificate. (Cal. Health and Safety Code §§103450-103490) The party must first file a court petition to establish the fact of birth, marriage, or death, then submit Form VS-108 (birth), Form VS-122 (marriage), or Form VS-109 (death) to the California Office of Vital statistics.
The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:
- Delayed Certificate of Death
- Delayed Certificate of Birth
- Delayed Certificate of Marriage
In addition, you must obtain the appropriate form from the California Office of Vital Statistics. You must use an original form from the California Department of Public Health; it cannot be photocopied or downloaded. The bottom portion will become the new certificate. Pick up the form from the county recorder’s office, or order it from the California Department of Public Health (916-445-2684 or online at https://apps.cdph.ca.gov/AutoForm2/default.aspx?af=1184
- Form VS-109 (death)
- Form VS-108 (birth)
- Form VS-122 (marriage)
Click here to download this Guide, with step-by-step instructions, including sample forms.
Delayed Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Death: Registering Vital Records after the Fact (Step by Step)
Updated 07/2013 (KF)
Reviewed EN: 3/2014