AB-2490: Vital Records: Homeless Persons

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Chiu
Status: Signed into Law (Chaptered)
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

This bill would require the State Registrar to issue, without a fee, a certified record of live birth to any person who can verify their status as a homeless person or a homeless child or youth.

AAP Positional Letter



May 30, 2018

The Honorable Ed Hernandez
Chair, Senate Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 2191
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 2490 (Chiu): Vital Records: Homeless Persons
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Chair Hernandez:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians statewide, supports proposed legislation AB 2490 (Chiu) to require the State Registrar to issue, without a fee, a certified record of live birth to any person who can verify their status as a homeless person or a homeless child or youth.

Difficulties in accessing government-issued identification disproportionately affects persons of lesser financial means. In one study, 15 percent of individuals earning less than $35,000 per year did not have government-issued identification, compared to 11 percent among all voting-age citizens.

The rates were significantly higher among minorities, adolescents, and homeless youth.

Homeless youth require access to vital documents such as birth records in order to secure eligibility for important services such as housing, school enrollment, and work. Currently, this process may involve fees for youth or homeless service providers who already lack sufficient financial resources.

Local registrars and county recorders already issue a certified record of live birth without a fee to any person who can verify his or her status as a homeless person or a homeless child or youth. Local registrars and county recorders only issue birth certificates for individuals born in their respective jurisdiction. If an individual is unaware of which county they were born in, the only option for receiving a birth certificate is to request a birth certificate from the State Registrar. Currently, there is no process in place that allows homeless individuals to access their birth certificate, without a fee, from the State Registrar. The State Registrar requires a notarized sworn statement, if applicable, completed application, and a $25 fee per copy requested.

AB 2490 (Chiu) would expand existing law by requiring the State Registrar to issue a certified record of live birth without a fee to any person who can verify his or her status as a homeless person or a homeless child or youth.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support legislation AB 2490 (Chiu) and urge an AYE vote. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.

Sincerely,

Kris Calvin
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Health
Assemblymember David Chiu, Author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne; Alejandro LaRiviere, MD, Senior Policy Analyst