Rising Cost of Vital Records

 *Revised from previous post*

County Recorder websites throughout California are announcing a $2 increase to the cost of certified copies of birth and death records beginning in January 2012. This is the due to an increase in the base fee of $3 which has not been updated in several years. The increase will be added to other existing fees that vary county by county. Check with your County Recorder’s office for more information. Additional increases of $2 each year are scheduled for 2013 and 2014 according to the new law, see below.

California Assembly Bill 1053 (Gordon) was adopted, as amended, and chaptered on 2 Oct. 2011 (Chapter 402). The text of the new law follows, in part:

Health and Safety Code Section 103625:

“(l) The nine dollar ($9) increase to the base fee authorized in subdivision (a) for a certified copy of a fetal death record or death record and subdivision (b) for a certified copy of a birth certificate shall be applied incrementally as follows:

   (1) A five dollar ($5) increase applied as of January 1, 2012.

   (2) An additional two dollar ($2) increase applied as of January 1, 2013.

   (3) An additional two dollar ($2) increase applied as of January 1, 2014.” 

This law will be in effect until 2018 unless continued (sunset clause) or amended. For full text, see http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1051-1100/ab_1053_bill_20111002_chaptered.html

Note: In California, only certified copies of vital records can be issued. There are no ‘plain’ or ‘historical’ copies. The fee increase applies to all requests for copies whether the vital record is over 100 years old or only 5 years old.

COMING SOON: News about the limitations being placed on the Social Security Death Index and access to records. Information available at Jan’s blog: http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/2011/11/usa-social-security-death-index-no.html

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