Skip to Content

Explore: Sonoma County

CRA
Clerk Homepage
Office Location
About Us
Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates
Notary Bond Registrations
Legal Registrations
Fictitious Business Names
California Department of Fish & Game: Fish & Game Filings
Civil Marriages and Marriage Licenses
Forms
Statement of Economic Interests

Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates

Laws Regulating Vital Records

Attention, please note the following important information

In an attempt to stop the illegal use of vital records, and as part of statewide efforts to reduce identity theft, a new California law (effective July 1, 2003 for birth and death records and effective January 1, 2010 for marriage records) changed the way certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates are issued.

Certified copies to establish the identity of a registrant can be issued only to authorized individuals, as indicated below. All others will be issued Certified Informational Copies that are not valid to establish identity, and contain a legend on the face of the document that states, "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity."

In the case of birth records, the new law describes an authorized person as:

  • The registrant or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
  • 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 § 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code.
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.
  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
  • 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's estate.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of § 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

In the case of death records, the new law describes an authorized person as:

  • A parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the death record in order to comply with the requirements of § 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code.
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.
  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant.
  • 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's estate.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of § 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

In the case of marriage records, the new law describes an authorized person as:

  • A parent, legal guardian, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order (include a certified copy of the court order with this request)
  • A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business
  • 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's estate (if by power of attorney, include a copy of the power of attorney with this request)

Top ↑

Notice:

Important! Effective January 1, 2015, pursuant to Senate Bill 1050, acknowledgements performed by a notary or other officer must have the following consumer disclosure. Documents acknowledged before January 1, 2015 that meet current applicable statute will be accepted.

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.

Acknowledgements Performed Outside the United States

Pursuant to Civil Code §1183, the proof or acknowledgment of an instrument may be made outside the United States, before any of the following:

  • A minister, commissioner, or charge d'affaires of the United States, resident and accredited in the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made
  • A consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States, resident in the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made
  • A judge of a court of record of the country where the proof or  acknowledgment is made
  • Commissioners appointed by the Governor or Secretary of State for that purpose
  • A notary public
    • If the proof or acknowledgment is made before a notary public, the signature of the notary public shall be proved or acknowledged
      • before a judge of a court of record of the country where the proof or acknowledgment is made, or
      • by any American diplomatic officer, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent, or
      • by an apostille (certification) affixed to the instrument pursuant to the terms of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

Overview


The County Clerk has birth, death and marriage records for events occurring in Sonoma County. We maintain the following documents:

  • Birth Certificates from 10/14/1855. Death Certificates from 1873 to the present
  • Marriage Certificates from 09/23/1846 to the present

The cost for certified copies of these certificates is as follows.
View payment information

  • Birth Certificate: $28 per copy
  • Death Certificate: $23 per copy
  • Marriage Certificate: $17 per copy

Payment Methods:

In Person:

  • Cash, checks or credit/debit cards are accepted as payment for any services or products purchased.  An additional $2.50 convenience fee applies with the use of a credit or debit card.
Sonoma County Clerk's Office • La Plaza West Building
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403
Phone: (707) 565-3800

Online Orders:

  • For convenience, Sonoma County has partnered with an independent company, VitalChek Network, Inc., through which an order may be processed. VitalChek can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com. All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa®. (Note - additional fees are charged by VitalChek for using this service.)

By Mail:

  • Check or money order (made payable to the Sonoma County Clerk) only to:
Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive Suite B-177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

Note: Birth, death, and marriage certificates are available at the office of the County Clerk, located at 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-177, in Santa Rosa. For information, visit our office or call (707) 565-3800. Public access terminals are available for limited vital records research at the County Clerk's Office.

Top ↑

Important Details about Birth Records

Copies of birth records may be obtained at the:

Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B177

You must present valid picture identification when requesting copies.

To apply for birth records, you must complete the sworn statement included with the Application for Certified Copy of Birth Record and you must sign the sworn statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail or fax your application, your sworn statement must be notarized and included with your application. If you mail or fax your application and do not include a notarized statement sworn to under penalty of perjury, your application will be rejected as incomplete and it will be returned to you without being processed.

Note: Any member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of a state or local government agency, as provided by law, who orders a copy of a record to which subdivision (a) applies in conducting official business may not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a).


Para descargar la Aplicación para
Obtener una Copia Certificada de Nacimiento, clic el siguiente botón:

Top ↑

Important Details about Death Records

Copies of death records may be obtained at the:

Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B177

You must present valid picture identification when requesting copies.

To apply for death records, you must complete the sworn statement included with the Application for Certified Copy of Death Record and you must sign the sworn statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail or fax your application, your sworn statement must be notarized and included with your application. If you mail or fax your application and do not include a notarized statement sworn to under penalty of perjury, your application will be rejected as incomplete and it will be returned to you without being processed.

Note: Any member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of a state or local government agency, as provided by law, who orders a copy or a record to which subdivision (a) applies in conducting official business may not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a). An agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders death certificates on behalf of individuals specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of Subdivision (a) of § 7100 of the Health and Safety Code shall not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a).

To download a PDF of the Application form for
Certified Copy of Death Record, click the following button:


Para descargar la Aplicación para
Obtener una Copia Certificada de Defunción, clic el siguiente botán:

Top ↑

Certified Copies of Marriage Licenses:

A certified copy of the registered license as proof of marriage may be required for legal purposes. A certified copy is not automatically provided; it must be requested and paid for after the ceremony is performed and the license is registered.

Copies of marriage records may be obtained at the:

Sonoma County Clerk's Office
2300 County Center Drive, Suite B177
Santa Rosa, California 95403

You must present valid picture identification when requesting copies.

To apply for marriage records, you must complete the sworn statement included with the Application for Certified Copy of Marriage Record and you must sign the sworn statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail or fax your application, your sworn statement must be notarized and included with your application. If you mail or fax your application and do not include a notarized statement sworn to under penalty of perjury, your application will be rejected as incomplete and it will be returned to you without being processed.

Note: Any member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of a state or local government agency, as provided by law, who orders a copy of a record to which subdivision (a) applies in conducting official business may not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a).


To download a PDF Application for
Certified Copy of Marriage Record (English), click the following button:


Para descargar la Aplicación para
Obtener una Copia Certificada de Matrimonio clic el siguiente botán:

Top ↑

Regular (Public) Marriage Licenses

  • Regular (public) marriage licenses are recorded at the County Recorder's Office of county issuing the license; in Sonoma County this service is provided by the Clerk's Office for the Recorder. Certified copies are $17 in Sonoma County and may be obtained by completing a Request for Certified Copy of Marriage Record. (PDF: 64 kB)
  • Only those authorized under Health and Safety Code §103526 may receive a certified copy – all others receive a copy marked "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity."

Confidential Marriage Licenses

  • Confidential Marriage Licenses are recorded at the County Clerk's Office of county issuing the license. Certified copies are $17 in Sonoma County and may be obtained by completing a Request for Certified Copy of Marriage Record (PDF: 64 kB)
  • Only a party to the marriage, (or a party entitled to receive a copy as a result of a court order) may receive a certified copy of a confidential marriage license. The existence of the marriage may be verified by the County Clerk to any other party upon payment of a $17 research fee.

Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download the following free software.

If you would like more information about vital records available through the County Clerk's Office, please call our 24 hour information line at (707) 565-3700, or you may call our office phone at (707) 565-3800 during regular business hours, or visit our office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We are always interested in receiving your feedback and/or questions.

Important Notice: The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.

Sonoma County Home | Site Map | Contact Us | Search

County Clerk Home | Accessibility | About Us | Office Location | Civil Marriages and Marriage Licenses

Forms | Fictitious Business Names | Birth/Death/Marriage Certificates | Notary Bonds

Disclaimer, Credits & Copyrights 2010

This site was last revised by webmaster@sonoma-county.org