By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County clerk limits certificates in wake of paper shortage
paper shortage pic
Due to a paper shortage, official certificates like the one above may soon be in short supply. - photo by Photo Contributed

Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder Lee Lundrigan is advising the public that birth, death and marriage certificates which can be obtained through several sources including the Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder (525-5269), the Stanislaus County Public Health Department (558-8070) and the California Office of Vital Records (445-2684) may soon be in short supply.

These vital records require a secure level of both paper and printer security features to protect them from counterfeiting.  Several states, including California, legislatively adopted a printing method known as “Intaglio” as the primary and required sole source of their security. Although a confident method of security, Intaglio printing is only used by a limited number of printing plants in the world. 

Recently several Intaglio printers have either closed their operations or elected to eliminate their Intaglio print divisions. Without advance warning this month, NBN/ Sekuworks  LLC of Cincinnati, Ohio closed its doors. Sekuworks  LLC was the sole supplier of secure bank note paper used by State of California counties to print certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates under Health & Safety Code section 103526.5(b)(1).  There is no known U.S. source of bank note paper which can meet California’s current legal restrictions, although 38 other states allow alternative security features in place of Intaglio printing. 

The sensitized specially printed security paper used to certify and print birth, death and marriage certificates in California is rapidly becoming unavailable.  A statewide solution is being sought for this serious shortage of bank note security paper, including obtaining paper from outside the United States and seeking to legislatively update California printing requirements.

California counties have limited supplies of printed bank note paper on hand and there is concern it will not be sufficient to meet the demand until new sources can be obtained. In order to support the needs of Stanislaus citizens, the following steps are being taken:

1. Customers will be limited to one copy of a certified birth, death or marriage certificate.

2. Birth and death certificates from 2014 or 2015 must be obtained from Stanislaus County Public Health Department.

3. Customers requiring multiple copies of certified birth, death or marriage certificates are asked to obtain them from the California Office of Vital Records in Sacramento.