In an attempt to stop the illegal use of birth and death certificates, and as part of the effort to reduce identity theft, there has been a change in California law and the way that certified copies of birth and death certificates are obtained.

Effective July 1, 2003, there are two types of certified copies of birth and death records. The first type is a regular certified copy identical to those issued prior to July 1, 2003. These will be issued only to authorized individuals as defined by California Health and Safety Code Section 103526. The second type is also a regular certified copy; however, it will have a legend across the face with the statement
Both of these documents are certified copies of the original document on file with our office. With the exception of the "legend," they are exactly the same and contain exactly the same information.

The new law describes an authorized person as:

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