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Los Angeles Public Records
Los Angeles County, with a population of 9,818,605 as of the 2010 census, is the largest county in the United States to date. This county encompasses a piece of the California coastline on the southern end of the state, and it includes the city of Los Angeles, as well as San Clemente and Santa Catalina Islands. Los Angeles County was first established in 1850 and has been home for much of the western history in the U.S. Discovering this history often involves a Los Angeles public records search to uncover facts about the residents who lived, worked and died within the county limits. Launching a LA County public records search involves knowing where records are kept on file and what is required to retrieve them.
When initiating a search of public records in Los Angeles, it is important to keep the following facts in mind:
Los Angeles County Public Records Search: Who can Access Them?
Like other states across the country, California limits who can gain access to some public records in Los Angeles County. Authorized certified copies of birth, death and marriage records are limited to the individuals on the certificate, immediate family members of those individuals or legal representatives of any of these parties.
According to California public records law, informational certified copies are available to members of the general public, but cannot be used as identification or for other official purposes.
Sources for Los Angeles County Public Records
There are many potential sources for Los Angeles County public records today. The Los Angeles County court records, which are kept on file at the Superior Courts in the state, include LA marriage and divorce records. The Los Angeles County Clerk and Records keeps an archive of birth, death and marriage records for the county as well.
In addition, the County of Los Angeles Public Health has some birth records on file, and the Los Angeles Public Library keeps archived files of births, deaths and marriages that date all the way back to the 1800s.
Los Angeles County Public Records Online
To make searches as fast and convenient as possible, online public records for Los Angeles County are now available. Some LA County court documents may be found online at the website for the Superior Courts, while the Los Angeles County Clerk and Records offers online services through a separate company known as VitalChek. These online searches can be performed any time right from home, but there is an additional fee to use the VitalChek service.