Apostille Vital Records

Before you present your vital record to a foreign agency or entity, ask them first what is required in order to have your record accepted. Is an authentication (apostille or certification) even necessary?  Does your vital record and/or supporting documents need to be translated?  Does the translation itself also require notary and/or an apostille?

Apostille Birth CertificatesCA apostille vital records, Notary San Rafael, Terrie Gillett

Look closely at the bottom right corner of your vital record to see who signed it.  Vital records, including birth certificates, must be signed by specific government officials in order to be apostilled:

  • County clerks or Recorders
  • State registrars

If your vital record has been signed by a Medical Doctor (MD) or “health officer,” the birth certificate will not be acceptable for an apostille by the Secretary of State, and a new vital record must be requested from the appropriate county government official.

Documents must be original, official, embossed certified copies issued by the county.  Photocopies, emailed vital records, and faxed copies are not acceptable.   Documents with signatures that come from a signature stamp are not acceptable.

Some documents have bar-codes which has no effect for apostille purposes.

Click on your county below to request a certified copy of a birth certificate, death certificate or marriage certificate:

Marin County

San Francisco County

Sonoma County

Contra Costa County

Alameda County

Divorce Documents & Apostilles

Divorce documents must be stamped as FILED and “wet ink” signed by the superior court to be acceptable for an apostille. Divorce decrees, agreements, and certificates of no marriage record, need to be certified by the court and signed by the clerk of the court including an affixed court certified copy seal.  Photocopies are not acceptable.

Letters, Affidavits, Statements & Apostilles

Notarized documents for either personal or business use, including letters, powers of attorney, declarations, certificates and affidavits must contain the notarial verbiage printed on your document directly or a loose acknowledgment will be provided and must be stapled to the document.

School Documents & Apostilles

School diplomas transcripts or school records must be notarized first by the school registrar before an apostille can be generated.

Click here for more information from the California Secretary of State.
Click here for where to write for vital records.


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