Birth Registration FAQ
To register each birth, the hospital birth recorder must complete and submit paperwork to the California Department of Public Health within 10 days of the delivery. At El Camino Health, our goal is to finalize your baby’s birth certificate before you leave the hospital, which allows for processing time.
What if I don’t have a name for my child?
If you don’t have a name for your child, a birth certificate will still be prepared and registered. A dash will be entered for each name that isn’t provided (first, middle, last). Once the registrar receives the registration, the Santa Clara County registrar will send you a supplemental name report form to complete.
You’re not required to name your child in order to complete the birth certificate paperwork. However, if you decide to wait, the amended certificate will become a two-page document with the name listed on the second page.
What if I notice an error on the birth certificate?
It’s important to let the birth recorder know of any errors before you sign the certificate so it can be corrected right away. If you notice an error after you’ve signed, please call the birth recorder:
- Mountain View birth recorder: 650-988-7537
- Los Gatos birth recorder: 408-866-4094
What if I want to change my baby’s name after I sign the birth certificate?
Once the birth certificate is signed, it becomes a legal document. Changing anything — such as the baby’s name, mother’s name, or changing the informant or certifier — requires a court order through the Superior Court.
Is the birth certificate process different for unmarried parents?
Unmarried parents must establish paternity, or the legal father of the child. The easiest way to do so is by signing a special form, provided by the birth recorder. Both parents must sign the form. Once completed, the birth recorder will submit it to the state for processing. Please note: If you don’t complete the paternity form, the father’s name can’t be added to the birth certificate.
Will the birth certificate be mailed to me automatically?
No. Once you’ve completed the birth certificate, the birth recorder will give you an application to obtain a certified copy of the birth record. You’ll need to complete and submit the application to the County of Santa Clara to have a copy mailed to you.
How do I get a social security number for my child?
Along with the birth certificate paperwork, the birth recorder will provide you with a social security number application for your child, which is optional. By completing this step in the hospital, you won’t have to go to the Social Security Administration office to obtain a number. However, you must have a name for your child to apply for a social security number.
If you choose to participate, the California Department of Public Health will transmit your request to the Social Security Administration and a social security card will be mailed to you within eight weeks.
The birth recorder is available to answer your questions and assist with completing the forms.