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Is making a fake PDF image of a birth certificate a crime? Mike Zullo answers!

Here’s what Mike Zullo said:

Let me say something Carl. You know we have been focused on this issue and, you know, your listeners, everybody is so intently focused on the birth certificate. And I just really want to make it clear. The birth certificate as it’s, in the form that it is now, a PDF file is absolutely of no evidentiary value. It’s useless. And it doesn’t really matter to an extent other than from a conspiratorial standpoint in the commission of felonies. It doesn’t matter about all these anomalies because this thing has no evidentiary value. It is nothing. It is absolutely nothing, and the American people were shown absolutely nothing.

So, no, creating a fake PDF of a birth certificate in and of itself is not a crime.

Mike Zullo also said:

We are here looking at a fraudulent document1. This document should never have been perpetrated, should never have been proffered in the manner it does. As a matter of fact, to merely create this document is a federal offense.

So yes, creating a fake birth certificate PDF is very definitely a federal crime.

I hope that clears it up.


1Some birther apologists may argue that the “document” referred in the second quote is not the PDF (an abbreviation for “portable document format”), but that cannot be for two reasons. First Zullo and the rest of the birthers claim that there was no paper Obama birth certificate to start with, and that the PDF was assembled electronically from bits and pieces. Second, the only thing the President posted for the general public, and the only thing Zullo could possibly be “looking at,” is the PDF.

42 Responses to Is making a fake PDF image of a birth certificate a crime? Mike Zullo answers!

  1. avatar
    Joey October 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Mike Zullo is obviously unfamiliar with the Federal Rules of Evidence which permit the introduction of a properly Sealed and Signed COPY of a Certified Birth Certificate into evidence as a permitted exception to the hearsay rules.
    In a “trial on the merits” in Georgia, Judge Michael Mahili ruled that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen eligible to be on the Georgia ballot. That court ruling was appealed all the way to SCOTUS which refused to overturn the original trial court’s ruling.

  2. avatar
    john October 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    Joey:
    Mike Zullo is obviously unfamiliar with the Federal Rules of Evidence which permit the introduction of a properly Sealed and Signed COPY of a Certified Birth Certificate into evidence as a permitted exception to the hearsay rules.
    In a “trial on the merits” in Georgia, Judge Michael Mahili ruled that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen eligible to be on the Georgia ballot. That court ruling was appealed all the way to SCOTUS which refused to overturn the original trial court’s ruling.

    Actually that case was never affirmed. It was dismissed on appeal. In other words, the courts ruled that the trial never should happened in the first place and dismissed it. They never actually addressed the merits of the trial court’s decision.

  3. avatar
    Arthur October 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Mike Zullo is an expert in quantum birtherism and is simply illustrating the fact that when he wants it to be, the pdf of the president’s birth certificate is “nothing,” but when he wants it to be “a fraudulent document,” it can be that, too.

    Seems perfectly reasonable.

  4. avatar
    Arthur B. October 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Joey:
    In a “trial on the merits” in Georgia, Judge Michael Mahili ruled that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen eligible to be on the Georgia ballot. That court ruling was appealed all the way to SCOTUS which refused to overturn the original trial court’s ruling.

    Actually, that’s not correct. ALJ Malihi did rule on the merits, but that ruling was vacated on appeal when the Superior Court of Fulton County concluded that “[b]ased upon Georgia law and governing precedent, the Court finds it has no authority to exercise jurisdiction over the Democratic Party of Georgia’s selection of the names(s) [sic] to be included in the Presidential Preference Primary,” and dismissed the appeal on that basis. The original decision on the merits was never taken up in an appellate ruling.

  5. avatar
    The European October 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Arthur:

    “quantum birtherism”

    Arthur, you might win the Nobel Prize for that ! (What category ? Dunno.)

  6. avatar
    CarlOrcas October 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Arthur:
    Mike Zullo is an expert in quantum birtherism and is simply illustrating the fact that when he wants it to be, the pdf of the president’s birth certificate is “nothing,” but when he wants it to be “a fraudulent document,” it can be that, too.

    Seems perfectly reasonable.

    Let’s cut to the chase: Zullo is an idiot.

  7. avatar
    Joey October 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    john: Actually that case was never affirmed.It was dismissed on appeal.In other words, the courts ruled that the trial never should happened in the first place and dismissed it.They never actually addressed the merits of the trial court’s decision.

    You are dead wrong. The Georgia Superior Court upheld the trial court’s ruling and SCOTUS denied the plaintiffs’

    john: Actually that case was never affirmed.It was dismissed on appeal.In other words, the courts ruled that the trial never should happened in the first place and dismissed it.They never actually addressed the merits of the trial court’s decision.

    The bottom line is that the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia, Brian Kemp accepted Judge Mahili’s ruling and cleared Barack Obama for the ballot in Georgia.

    The trial court judge stated, “None of the testifying witnesses provided persuasive testimony,” and he said none of the written submissions had any probative value.

    In conclusion, Malihi stated, “Given the unsatisfactory evidence presented by the plaintiffs, the court concludes that plaintiffs’ claims are not persuasive.”

    Judge Malihi also addressed the claim that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States and is, therefore, ineligible to run in Georgia’s presidential primary election.

    Malihi said he considered, for the purpose of analysis, the following facts: 1) Obama was born in the United States; 2) Obama’s mother was a citizen of the United States at the time of birth; and 3) Obama’s father was never a U.S. citizen.

    It was the plaintiff’s contention, because Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth, Obama is constitutionally ineligible for the office of President of the United States.
    Malihi wrote, “The court does not agree.”

  8. avatar
    Bernard Sussman October 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    A PDF of the birth certificate will not suffice to get the Prez (or anyone else) a passport, and it probably won’t be accepted in court, but it’s unfair to say that the American people were shown nothing. The PDF is a picture of the President’s bc. Short of having the State of Hawaii print out the birth certificate on 300 Million sheets of expensive security paper (required by a 2004 federal law for birth certificates) and put its impression seal on every one of them and then putting these in 300 Million envelopes and mailing them to every American – imagine the expense and time involved even if someone will willing to pay for all this – the PDF was the best way to show it to everyone.

    The original of the PDF – that is, the copy of the birth certificate printed by the Hawaii State Health Dept on the security paper and certified with the impression seal – is in the office of the White House Counsel, in DC. Although Crazy Joe Arpaio is willing to spend many thousands sending his buddies on junkets to Hawaii, he hasn’t gone or sent anyone to DC (and flights leave Phoenix airport daily) to examine the document itself.

    I might add, as I often have, that the security paper (the green pattern paper used by Hawaii for its bc is called Green Basketweave) is required by a 2004 federal anti-terrorism law because the security paper is supposed to prevent (or at least frustrate) falsification – either by altering a bc or by counterfeiting it – and in the case of Obama’s bc the security paper has succeeded admirably – it assures that photoshop type programs attempting to copy the paper will give crazy-quilt readings, the very readings that these self-styled Sherlocks say is suspicious.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I would make one small correction. The Hawaiian security paper, as best I have been able to identify it, is not particularly expensive. The bank-note style paper used by some states with microprinting, thermal ink, color gradations, intaglio printing, watermarks and the like can approach a dollar a sheet. The Hawaii paper supposedly as UV threads in it that won’t photocopy. I bought 500 sheets of the Hawaiian paper and as best I recall it was around $28.

    In my view, when Obama’s attorney held up the birth certificate before the assembled press at the morning briefing, that constituted showing it to the American people. (See also.)

    Paper birth certificates are moving towards obsolescence. There is now a national electronic verification system (EVVE) in place so that when you apply for an ID, the facts of your birth can be verified quickly via a transaction to the state where you were born. The central problem is not fake certificates, but real certificates that belong to someone else, and those are pretty easy to get..

    Bernard Sussman: A PDF of the birth certificate will not suffice to get the Prez (or anyone else) a passport, and it probably won’t be accepted in court, but it’s unfair to say that the American people were shown nothing. The PDF is a picture of the President’s bc. Short of having the State of Hawaii print out the birth certificate on 300 Million sheets of expensive security paper (required by a 2004 federal law for birth certificates) and put its impression seal on every one of them and then putting these in 300 Million envelopes and mailing them to every American – imagine the expense and time involved even if someone will willing to pay for all this – the PDF was the best way to show it to everyone.

  10. avatar
    Arthur October 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    The European: Arthur, you might win the Nobel Prize for that ! (What category ? Dunno.)

    Perhaps you were thinking of the Ig Noble Prize. Unfortunately the 2014 award in physics has already been given to Japanese scientists Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, “for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor.”
    http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/

  11. avatar
    Arthur B. October 7, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Joey: You are dead wrong. The Georgia Superior Court upheld the trial court’s ruling and SCOTUS denied the plaintiffs’

    Sorry, Joey, you’re the one who’s wrong on this one. I quoted from the Superior Court’s ruling above.

    They dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal. But they neither upheld nor overturned Malihi’s ruling; rather, they vacated it. It’s true that the chain of appeals failed all the way up to SCOTUS. But the appeals from that point forward simply affirmed the Superior Court’s decision to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds.

  12. avatar
    bob October 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    The Georgia Superior Court dismisssed the petitioners’ (i.e., the birthers) request to review the administrative judge’s decision.

  13. avatar
    Arthur B. October 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    bob:
    The Georgia Superior Court dismisssed the petitioners’ (i.e., the birthers) request to review the administrative judge’s decision.

    That’s right, and they did it in a way that explicitly stated that they were not affirming the President’s eligibility, as they had no authority to do so.

    “[T]he Court finds it has no authority to exercise jurisdiction over the Democratic Party of Georgia’s selection of the names(s) to be included in the Presidential Preference Primary or to examine the qualifications of those individuals. Therefore, these actions should be DISMISSED…” (emphasis added)

  14. avatar
    Rickey October 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Birthers have repeatedly been asked to cite the precise Federal statute which has been broken if the PDF of the birth certificate were proven to be a forgery. The silence in response has been deafening.

    The fact of the matter is that as far as we know the PDF has never been used for an official purpose. It has been used only for informational purposes on the White House website and on coffee mugs.

  15. avatar
    Benji Franklin October 8, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    Rickey: The fact of the matter is that as far as we know the PDF has never been used for an official purpose. It has been used only for informational purposes on the White House website and on coffee mugs.

    Well, the last thing in the perpetually oh-so-very-soon-to-be shattered Universe I want to do is hurt the President, but I have to confess that I only voted for President Obama because I was so impressed to find out that his original long-form birth certificate was actually a genuine Hawaii State Department of Health coffee mug.

  16. avatar
    Lupin October 8, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    Zullo behaves exactly like any con man and liar whose lies are unraveling and struggles to maintain a good face despite everything else.

    What is astounding here is not his behavior or what he says but that the birthers as a whole still believe and respect such an obvious, pathetic little grifter, just because blackity-black-black.

  17. avatar
    The Magic M October 8, 2014 at 4:50 am #

    I hope that clears it up.

    German Law is quite clear in that regard. Forgery/falsification of a document requires an actual document in the legal sense. A photocopy or a scan or a PDF rendition of a scan are not documents in the legal sense unless “used as such”, which in turn means somebody would’ve had to use the copy/scan in place of the original in some sort of legal process.
    However, just showing something to the public does not constitute “use”. (Applying for a passport, for example, does.)
    I also don’t recall the PDF ever being used in a court case in a place where the original would’ve been required.

    So falsification of documents (§267 of the German Criminal Code) is out.

    Next one would have to check if the prerequisites for fraud are met. Although we don’t have case law as a legal construct (as in “binding for other courts”), our case law (and yours likely as well) has well established that lying w.r.t. an election does not constitute fraud (although at first sight the prerequisites – deceit, unlawful financial advantage, legal dealings – are met).
    Otherwise those candidates deemed ineligible for residency requirements (as has happened in your country) would’ve been criminally liable for fraud as well (but I don’t recall such a case).

  18. avatar
    bovril October 8, 2014 at 5:17 am #

    In general (broad brushstroke etc) the act of making a copy without intent is not a criminal act per-se.

    Making a perfect replica of the Mona Lisa to hang on the bathroom wall is not, making one in homage to the painter isn’t, making it with the intent and activity to pass it off as the original, slap wrists.

    So there would have to be an act (make a copy of the BC), an intention (with the goal to pass this off as an original government document) and an action (use the document to defraud such as apply for a passport).

    (I am not going to delve into exceptions around copyright and intellectual property rights such as copying a digital artifact, stripping Digital Rights Management, Fair Use, the benighted and cretinously applied DMCA etc.)

  19. avatar
    JPotter October 8, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I bought 500 sheets of the Hawaiian paper and as best I recall it was around $28.

    Hmmm … and what are you going to do with that ream? Hey, I know, print some of your favorite lines on them, autograph and them them, sell them, and donate any proceeds to literacy programs.

    Or wall paper a room or two. I’m sure Mrs. Conspiracy wouldn’t mind.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 8, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    A printout of the PDF was submitted by Obama’s the Mississippi Democratic Executive Committee’s attorney in Taitz v Mississippi Democrat Party, but that was ostensibly for the purpose of providing a legible copy of an unreadable version that Orly Taitz submitted; i.e., not where an original would have been required.

    The Magic M: I also don’t recall the PDF ever being used in a court case in a place where the original would’ve been required.

  21. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 8, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Another new day. The sky is still blue, water is still wet, and John is still dumber than a sack of dirty diapers.

  22. avatar
    Benji Franklin October 8, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    bovril: So there would have to be an act (make a copy of the BC), an intention (with the goal to pass this off as an original government document) and an action (use the document to defraud such as apply for a passport).

    And here’s where the Birthers channel their hatred for Obama into trying to parse the President out of office and into a noose. Their thinking? If there isn’t a law that throws this bastard out of office, there OUGHT to BE! And as far as proving Obama is a criminal, ANY LAW WILL DO, and his actions automatically satisfy every condition relating to deciding when such a law has been violated.

    The CRIMINAL act?: Somebody made a copy – doesn’t matter who – Obama’s criminally at fault and needs to be thrown out of office and into prison awaiting hanging.

    The CRIMINAL intent?: He intended to convince voters that Hawaii could supply an official certified copy of his birth certificate showing when he was born there.

    The CRIMINAL action:? A black man allowing potentially every voter to see that the Birthers were wrong because those voters could see that the black man was Constitutionally eligible to the Presidency of the United States.

  23. avatar
    realist October 8, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: A printout of the PDF was submitted by Obama’s attorney in Taitz v Mississippi,

    And in Alabama.

  24. avatar
    Thinker (mobile) October 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Technically, that was submitted on behalf of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Same lawyers, but it happened months before they appeared on behalf of President Obama in that case.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    A printout of the PDF was submitted by Obama’s attorney in Taitz v Mississippi, but that was ostensibly for the purpose of providing a legible copy of an unreadable version that Orly Taitz submitted; i.e., not where an original would have been required.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    A little of it went to RC for Xerox testing. The rest is keeping some of my shelves from floating away.

    JPotter: Hmmm … and what are you going to do with that ream?

  26. avatar
    y_p_w October 9, 2014 at 1:08 am #

    Bernard Sussman:
    A PDF of the birth certificate will not suffice to get the Prez (or anyone else) a passport, and it probably won’t be accepted in court, but it’s unfair to say that the American people were shown nothing.The PDF is a picture of the President’s bc.Short of having the State of Hawaii print out the birth certificate on 300 Million sheets of expensive security paper (required by a 2004 federal law for birth certificates) and put its impression seal on every one of them and then putting these in 300 Million envelopes and mailing them to every American – imagine the expense and time involved even if someone will willing to pay for all this – the PDF was the best way to show it to everyone.

    Wasn’t there a bill in the Hawaiian legislature that sought to make an exception to the authorized categories of birth certificate requestors, just for Barack Obama II’s birth certificate? I don’t recall the particulars, but I thought that it might create something like the “informational copy” that California can issue to anyone, as well as charge a premium price that would be a moneymaker for the Dept of Health.

    Also – Doc C mentioned that the paper isn’t particularly expensive. When I was researching it (Simpson DesignSecure basketweave green), there was actually a considerably cheaper price if willing to buy an entire case of 5000 sheets. The place I found has it for $164. Now the actual paper might have been the VoidSecure paper that costs a little bit more, but I didn’t notice any void pantograph in the WH PDF.

    As for the talk about bank note paper – I’ve got several of California’s basic design, issued by city, county, and state agencies. They’re from companies like Pacific Bancnote, American Bank Note, and Midwest Bank Note. I’ve got multiple copies of our marriage license, and the county apparently changed suppliers. They all have an “OFFICIAL VITAL RECORD” watermark, but the pattern is slightly different and the ones from Pacific Bancnote have an eagle in the pattern, while Midwest has a flag.

    One agency doesn’t have the official seal anywhere on the paper other than the embossed seal. All the others we’ve got have a large but faint image of the official seal in the center of the page. The one that the California Dept of Public Health uses seems to have the most features, including a custom repeating watermark with “OFFICIAL VITAL RECORD” cross-diagonal all over the page along with a watermarked version of the state seal.

    And the different embossed seals can be odd. A couple of agencies have seals that are nice and sharp. One is so sharp that it shows up clearly in photocopies. The one from the state looks bad. Can’t read what it says, but it looks like the great seal of the state. And it also tended to punch a hole in each sheet.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 9, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    “Void” didn’t show up in any of my testing either.

    Hawaii did use banknote paper at one time. I found a certified copy from 1991 printed on banknote paper.

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Peter_Boy_Certificate.pdf

    y_p_w: Now the actual paper might have been the VoidSecure paper that costs a little bit more, but I didn’t notice any void pantograph in the WH PDF.

  28. avatar
    Matt October 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    “Void” didn’t show up in any of my testing either.

    Proof that Mitt Romney isn’t eligible to be President. If he had an actual valid birth certificate, VOID would not have appeared when he copied it. [/birtherlogic]

  29. avatar
    y_p_w October 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Matt: Proof that Mitt Romney isn’t eligible to be President. If he had an actual valid birth certificate, VOID would not have appeared when he copied it. [/birtherlogic]

    And Michigan issues birth certificates to people who weren’t born in Michigan. According to birther logic, that means that recordings of Michigan births may be untrustworthy.

    I can’t find it now, but a few years ago I found a family that posted a copy of an adopted daughter’s Michigan BC. She was born in China and that’s what it said on the BC.

  30. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) October 10, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    y_p_w: According to birther logic, that means that recordings of Michigan births may be are untrustworthy.

    FIFY. 😉

    Besides, since there is no corroborating everdunce of Mitt’s birth – as we all birthers know is required because birf surficashuns ain’t worth zilch -, this makes me strongly suspect Mittens was born in Marseille, France.
    T’écoutes, Mitt? T’es pas éligible! *lol*

  31. avatar
    Bernard Sussman October 11, 2014 at 3:45 am #

    Ypw asked about a bill in the Hawaiian legislature making a special case for the President’s bc. I do recall news of a proposal in the Hawaiian legislature, circa 2011, which would essentially command the State Health Dept to ignore letters inquiring about Obama’s bc – because there seemed to be many hundreds of such letters and the postage alone for the replies was becoming ruinous. I don’t know if this actually passed.

    Ypw also talked about the variety of birth certiicates from different states. I was, early in my career, a passport agent in NYC and saw literally thousands of birth certificates, certainly from every state and almost every decade of the 20th century, and even a few foreign ones. Depending on when and where – and the level of printing/copying technology at the time the document was made – the variety of documents, their certification, their efforts at preventing falsification, etc., varied wildly. When this fuss about Obama’s bc started a lot of people offered up their own bcs, printed in negative, white on black, issued in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Frankly, some of those old bcs wouldn’t be issued now. Federal privacy laws excluded more and more of the data that originally appeared on those old bcs. In 2004, as part of anti-terrorism legislation, states were required to use security paper for their bcs. Hawaii’s green basketweave may not be as expensive as some really elegant banknote paper used for bcs in some other states, the sort of special design and printing used for money orders, but it’s still more costly than plain xerox paper – and it gives anomalous readings when copied by Photoshop.

    However, as a former passport agent, I can tell you that the original of Obama’s short form on green paper (and also the long form on green paper) would be good enough to get him a US passport without any questions. Compared to some Republican candidates in past years – Charles Evans Hughes (1916) born to two Brits, George Romney (1964, father of Mitt, Gov of Michigan) born – and raised – in Mexico – Barack H. Obama is Yankee Doodle Dandy.

  32. avatar
    y_p_w October 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Found the application for a Michigan “Delayed Registration of Foreign Birth”. It’s from Ottowa County, but the application seems to be a statewide form. It also only has check marks that imply that it’s only for adoptees.

    http://www.miottawa.org/Courts/Probate/pdf/DelayedRegistrationOfForeignBirth.pdf

    It literally says that the probate court will determine the date and place of birth (if in question), but the implication is that it should only be allowed for births that are known to be foreign.

    As for why you’d need one – there are quite a few cases where you’d want to have a government document that establishes date of birth even if it can’t be used as proof of jus soli citizenship. It could probably be used for Little League to establish age, as well as establishing age to attend school. I suppose a naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship would also work. A foreign birth certificate might need to be translated, and I think that’s effectively done with this process.

  33. avatar
    y_p_w October 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Bernard Sussman:
    Ypw also talked about the variety of birth certiicates from different states.I was, early in my career, a passport agent in NYC and saw literally thousands of birth certificates, certainly from every state and almost every decade of the 20th century, and even a few foreign ones.Depending on when and where – and the level of printing/copying technology at the time the document was made – the variety of documents, their certification, their efforts at preventing falsification, etc., varied wildly.

    California’s vital record paper is actually pretty standardized these days. A lot of people have seen images of them because California birth/marriage/death records are public. Reporters have dug up things like the BC of Prince Albert’s lovechild, Nixon’s court ordered delayed BC, Tom Cruise’s kid’s BC, and especially Michael Jackson’s death certificate and addendum.

    Regardless of the agency, the paper itself looks almost the same but with minor variations, with a prescribed faded color pattern from red to green. The border pattern might be different They’re required to have a VOID pantograph, although I’ve got copies that are extremely clear but it doesn’t show up; you’ve got to dial up the darkness to see it show up.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=103001-104000&file=103525-103590

    103526.5. (a) Each certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage
    record issued pursuant to Section 103525 shall include the date
    issued, the name of the issuing officer, the signature of the issuing
    officer, whether that is the State Registrar, local registrar,
    county recorder, or county clerk, or an authorized facsimile thereof,
    and the seal of the issuing office.
    (b) All certified copies of birth, death, and marriage records
    issued pursuant to Section 103525 shall be printed on chemically
    sensitized security paper that measures 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches and
    that has the following features:
    (1) Intaglio print.
    (2) Latent image.
    (3) Fluorescent, consecutive numbering with matching barcode.
    (4) Microprint line.
    (5) Prismatic printing.
    (6) Watermark.
    (7) Void pantograph.
    (8) Fluorescent security threads.
    (9) Fluorescent fibers.
    (10) Any other security features deemed necessary by the State
    Registrar.
    (c) The State Registrar, local registrars, county recorders, and
    county clerks shall take precautions to ensure that uniform and
    consistent standards are used statewide to safeguard the security
    paper described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to,
    the following measures:
    (1) Security paper shall be maintained under secure conditions so
    as not to be accessible to the public.
    (2) A log shall be kept of all visitors allowed in the area where
    security paper is stored.
    (3) All spoilage shall be accounted for and subsequently destroyed
    by shredding on the premises.

    I can personally attest to the last part about spoilage. The employee who produced one BC copy pulled up the wrong record and had it printed on the security paper. When he realized the mistake, he wrote down the paper number on a daily spoilage sheet and tossed it in his file to be shredded at the end of the day.

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Birth certificates for foreign born adoptees is pretty much standard across the country.

    Modifications were added [in 1977] to provide for filing birth certificates for foreign-born children adopted by citizens in the State where they
    are adopted. This revision gave special attention to privacy concerns, confidentiality, and fraudulent use of vital records, and strengthened penalty provisions of the [federal] Model [Vital Statistics] Act as a deterrent to illegal use of vital records.

    U. S. Vital Statistics System: Major Activities and Developments, 1950-95

    Hawaii has legislation for this, but it is distinct from the process where they issue certificates for children born to residents temporarily out of state.

    y_p_w: Found the application for a Michigan “Delayed Registration of Foreign Birth”. It’s from Ottowa County, but the application seems to be a statewide form. It also only has check marks that imply that it’s only for adoptees.

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    Yes, and our company had to write software to handle this process. Some certificates, the banknote variety, may well have a certificate number preprinted on the certificate (like the serial number on currency) and one of the office processes is to tell the software what numbered certificate is loaded in the printer, so that number can be part of the issuance log. In this instance, the blank forms must be accounted for by number, something not required for non-serialized paper such as Hawaii uses.

    y_p_w: I can personally attest to the last part about spoilage. The employee who produced one BC copy pulled up the wrong record and had it printed on the security paper. When he realized the mistake, he wrote down the paper number on a daily spoilage sheet and tossed it in his file to be shredded at the end of the day.

  36. avatar
    y_p_w October 13, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Birth certificates for foreign born adoptees is pretty much standard across the country.

    Hawaii has legislation for this, but it is distinct from the process where they issue certificates for children born to residents temporarily out of state.

    I’m under the impression that Hawaii’s rules might allow families to document genealogy, especially since race isn’t listed on a lot of birth certificates these days.

    I do wonder if someone born in California might be able to use such a Hawaii BC to get a passport. The rules do say it just has to be registered within a year before they bring in additional requirements.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Yes, and our company had to write software to handle this process. Some certificates, the banknote variety, may well have a certificate number preprinted on the certificate (like the serial number on currency) and one of the office processes is to tell the software what numbered certificate is loaded in the printer, so that number can be part of the issuance log. In this instance, the blank forms must be accounted for by number, something not required for non-serialized paper such as Hawaii uses.

    The current version used in all California vital documents includes a bar code in addition to the serial number. It’s pretty common with other documents printed on banknote style paper, including Bobby Jindal’s BC from Louisiana.

  37. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) October 13, 2014 at 4:22 am #

    y_p_w: The current version used in all California vital documents includes a bar code in addition to the serial number.

    I guess Ryan Gosling’s daughter does not have a “real” BC, either:

    http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/1009-eva-mendez-ryan-baby-tmz-birth-certificate.pdf

    * Only a “Certificate of Live Birth”, not a “birth certificate”.
    * Reported by the aunt, “need additional evidence”.
    * Father Canadian, so child not an NBC.
    * No state file number.
    * Accepted 20 days after being signed, does that count as “late filed” for birthers?

    Seriously, looking at this with a birther eye, I don’t even have to make stuff up about letter sizing or “not perfectly aligned”/”too perfectly aligned”.

  38. avatar
    RanTalbott October 13, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    y_p_w: As for why you’d need one – there are quite a few cases where you’d want to have a government document that establishes date of birth even if it can’t be used as proof of jus soli citizenship.

    Also useful if you were born someplace where they use a completely non-Western alphabet, like Arabic or Kanji, so the average American couldn’t even guess whether the document is a birth certificate, a dog license, or a take-out menu from an upscale restaurant.

  39. avatar
    RanTalbott October 13, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    I hope that clears it up.

    Not really: I still can’t tell whether his answer is “No, it is.”, or “Yes, it’s not.”.

    Maybe it’s a Schrodinger’s law: they won’t know until they open the Congressional hearings…

    And this is why I like to use google for spell-checking words like “Schrodinger” 😉

  40. avatar
    y_p_w October 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    RanTalbott: Also useful if you were born someplace where they use a completely non-Western alphabet, like Arabic or Kanji, so the average American couldn’t even guess whether the document is a birth certificate, a dog license, or a take-out menu from an upscale restaurant.

    RanTalbott: Also useful if you were born someplace where they use a completely non-Western alphabet, like Arabic or Kanji, so the average American couldn’t even guess whether the document is a birth certificate, a dog license, or a take-out menu from an upscale restaurant.

    There was the Michael Douglas movie Black Rain, where the protagonist is delivering a prisoner to Japan and some guys in suits approach him at the airport and sign a release form, where he gets a copy. Turns out he turned his prisoner over to the yakuza, and all he had been signing was an insurance form.

  41. avatar
    y_p_w October 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): I guess Ryan Gosling’s daughter does not have a “real” BC, either:

    http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/1009-eva-mendez-ryan-baby-tmz-birth-certificate.pdf

    * Only a “Certificate of Live Birth”, not a “birth certificate”.
    * Reported by the aunt, “need additional evidence”.
    * Father Canadian, so child not an NBC.
    * No state file number.
    * Accepted 20 days after being signed, does that count as “late filed” for birthers?

    Seriously, looking at this with a birther eye, I don’t even have to make stuff up about letter sizing or “not perfectly aligned”/”too perfectly aligned”.

    I’ve actually ordered a copy directly from the California Dept of Public Health. It was a huge pain too. They don’t have a service office, so all requests have to be mailed in. In order to get the “authorized” copy that’s useful as an identity document, I had to present my ID to a notary and pay a $10 fee. The turnaround time is listed as 4 weeks. They generally recommend ordering vital records from a county office. However, the copies (I ordered multiple copies) do have the state file number.

    It does tick me off that I was married at a time when the state won’t issue a certified copy of my marriage license. Following the whole Obama BC saga has turned me into somewhat of a vital records geek. They opened it up again for marriages recorded starting 2011. My county is also different in that the clerk who prepares the certified copy has to physically sign the form with a pen.

  42. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) October 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    RanTalbott: Also useful if you were born someplace where they use a completely non-Western alphabet, like Arabic or Kanji, so the average American couldn’t even guess whether the document is a birth certificate, a dog license, or a take-out menu from an upscale restaurant.

    My company regularly checks doctors’ approbation certificates for services that require the user to be a validated physician. Occasionally we get one completely in Arabic or Chinese, of course we don’t approve those although they often look beautiful. Copies sometimes go to our “Wall of Fame”. 😉