Whether you need to apply for a passport or get documentation for your newborn baby, it’s a good idea to have copies of birth certificates for your family handy.
The process for getting copies of birth certificates varies depending where you live, but is typically easy to do. If you need to order a birth certificate for someone born in Los Angeles County, there are several locations where you can order one.
The main office of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Birth, Death and Marriage Records Section is in Norwalk, California. If you live close to Norwalk, it’s the best place to order a birth certificate in person. The hours of this branch are extended, making it more convenient for anyone needing to order a Norwalk birth certificate and get it the same day. It’s also convenient if you need to order an L.A. County hall of records death certificate, which can also be obtained at that location.
If you live in another part of Los Angeles County, you can find a registrar’s office branch near you at which to order a birth certificate. You can order a birth certificate in Van Nuys, near the Los Angeles airport or in Lancaster, as well as other locations around the county.
Ordering a Norwalk Birth Certificate
You can order a birth certificate three ways in Los Angeles County: in person at one of the registrar branches, by mail or online. If you choose to order a birth certificate in person, be sure to bring all of the information needed so you don’t have to leave and come back.
In all branch locations, including Norwalk, a birth certificate is easy to get but may take some time. This is especially the case if you don’t fill out the paperwork beforehand.
To order a Norwalk birth certificate in person, you should have a valid photo identification, such as a driver’s license, passport or Social Security card. You’ll also need to bring the required fee, which can be paid by cash, check, credit or debit card or money order.
You must complete an application for certified copies of your birth certificate. This can be filled out when you get to the Norwalk birth certificate registrar’s office, or you can fill it out in advance online. If you opt to fill it out online and want a same-day copy, you still need to go to a branch office to make your payment. Be sure to have your application confirmation number with you when you do.
To complete the application, some of the information you’ll need includes:
- The full name and date of birth of the person whose birth certificate you need
- The reason for ordering the birth certificate
- The parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name
- Your relationship to the person
Filling out the application online saves you a little bit of time when you get to the registrar’s office. Be prepared to stand in line even if you fill out your application in advance, especially if you go during busier times of the day. Most branches are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the exception of Norwalk. You can order an in-person Norwalk birth certificate 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.
The process for obtaining an in-person birth certificate in Van Nuys or any of the other branch locations is the same.
When you receive the birth certificate depends on the year of the birth. If you need a birth certificate from 1964 or later, you can get it the same day that you go into a registrar’s office as long as you provide all the needed information. If you need a birth certificate from before 1964, you’ll receive it in the mail within 20 business days.
If you need a birth certificate issued between 1972 and 1977, you’ll also receive it in the mail within 20 business days, even if you order in person. That is because Social Security numbers were included on birth certificates during those years, and they need to be redacted by the state before they are distributed.
Read More: How to Read a Birth Certificate
Ordering a Birth Certificate By Mail
If you can’t get to a branch office or live outside the state of California, you can opt to order a birth certificate by mail. If you don’t need the birth certificate immediately, this can be more convenient, though you do need to get a document notarized.
To order a Los Angeles County birth certificate by mail, you must fill out the application for a birth record and get a notarized certificate of identity. In the absence of showing a valid identification in person, this certificate proves that you are authorized to order the birth certificate.
If you are not authorized to order a particular birth certificate or don’t have time to get to a notary, you can receive an informational certified copy of the birth certificate you need. That copy cannot be used to establish identity, but is sufficient if you just need record of a birth.
The forms and needed fees should be mailed to the Norwalk branch of the registrar’s office for processing. Do not mail your request for a birth certificate to Van Nuys or one of the other registrar branches, as it will not get processed. Once the needed information is received at the Norwalk office, your request is processed within 20 business days and the document is mailed to you.
Ordering a Birth Certificate Online
The most convenient way to order a birth certificate is online, since this can be done at anytime and from anyplace. It does cost slightly more to order one online since it is done through an independent company and not directly through the registrar’s office.
To order a Los Angeles County birth certificate online, visit www.vitalchek.com to fill out the appropriate online form, authenticate your identity and make a credit card payment. Once you submit that information, it is electronically sent to the Norwalk registrar’s office for processing and will be processed within 20 business days.
Who Can Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate
You can’t order just anybody’s birth certificate. In order to get a copy of a birth certificate in Los Angeles County, it must be yours or a close relative’s. You can order a birth certificate for your child, parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse or domestic partner.
If you need a copy of a birth certificate because of a court order, adoption proceedings or for law enforcement purposes, you can also order via one of the methods above. You can also get a copy of a birth certificate if you are an attorney who represents an estate.
Ordering a Death Certificate
The other vital record you may need is a death certificate. You may need several copies if a loved one passes away, or just one copy to do some research on your family background. If you need to order a death certificate in Los Angeles County, the process is the same as for a birth certificate.
Getting an L.A. County hall of records death certificate requires you to fill out the same application and pay the same fees as for a birth certificate. You can order a death certificate in person, via mail or online, and receive it either the same day or within 20 business days, depending on how you apply.
- If you are requesting a birth certificate copy for a child under six months old, contact the County Recorder in the county where the child was born for a certified birth certificate. A list of county recorders is available under Resources.
- You do not need to have the Sworn Statement page notarized if you are requesting an informational copy of a birth certificate.
Leslie Bloom earned a J.D. from U.C. Davis’ King Hall, with a focus on public interest law. She is a licensed attorney who has done advocacy work for children and women. She holds a B.S. in print journalism, and has more than 20 years of experience writing for a variety of print and online publications, including the Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy.