Registering a Homebirth in San Francisco

[NOTE: not updated since 2016 so things might be different now, although I suspect not that different?]

Congratulations on your homebirth! Now let's get your baby a birth certificate so he/she can run for President:

  1. Get your midwife to fill out the medical portions of "Worksheet for Out-of-Hospital Births" and sign the accompanying Affidavit; there's also a section for the parents to fill out

  2. Fax the forms to Grace Alano at the Office of Vital Records at 415-554-2815 or email it to

  3. Upon receiving your forms, Grace should call you to set an appointment time, but you can reach her at 415-554-2714...appointments are usually M-F between 8-4, at least 2 days after calling, and state law requires registering within 10 days of the birth (but there is no penalty for missing the deadline, as long as you do it in the first year)

  4. Come to your appointment at 101 Grove Street, Room 105 with the following:

    1. Worksheet for Out-of-Hospital Births/Affidavit

    2. Both parents with photo ID

    3. If photo ID doesn't have current address, proof of current address (e.g. PG&E or water bill)

    4. Baby

    5. Contact info (name, address, phone) for your pediatrician

    6. Credit card (you have to purchase at least 1 certified certificate for $25...they recommended we get 2, which we agree with, so if you send in a passport application you have 1 extra)

  5. Enjoy the hilarity of medical marijuana certificates and homebirth registration being in the same office

Social Security

You have to wait ~4 weeks after registering the birth before social security will let you get a card (yay bureaucracy!)...they'll want to see the following:

  • at least one parent in person (no baby required)

  • certified birth certificate

  • affidavit

  • baby's medical insurance information

  • a letter from your midwife certifying the birth

  • ...if you have any other form of ID (e.g. a passport) for the baby, bring that, too!


You need a certified birth certificate to get a passport, but you don't need the social security number. See How to Get a Passport in SF for more info.