Sample California Vital Records
Modern Era - 1905 to Present
Since 1905, the California Department of Health has required all
county Recorders to forward copies of birth, marriage and death records to the
state. This requirement prompted a move away from recording vital records
in chronological registers to recording them on certificates, so that copies of
the certificates could be easily forwarded to the state. Prior to that
date, births, marriages and deaths were generally recorded in old-fashioned
semi-alphabetical, chronological registers.
The links below provide examples of modern style birth, marriage
and death records. Keep in mind that the actual information on each
certificate varied over time. Also, modern copies to individuals who are
not immediate relatives will have a stamp on them that says "Informational - Not
A Valid Document To Establish Identify." The birth certificate below
illustrates these stamps.