Counties across California, including Riverside, could have problems issuing birth, death and marriage certificates because a paper manufacturer recently went out of business. Riverside County is working to solve supply questions before its existing stock runs out around the end of the year.
“We are addressing the issue and hope to have a solution very soon,” said Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Peter Aldana. “Our office will continue to provide certificates to all of our customers.”
California requires counties to print certificates using intaglio printing to prevent fraud. Very few companies worldwide use intaglio printing and the sole supplier of the required security paper to all California counties closed its doors in July, leaving most with a short supply. In intaglio printing, ink is transferred from a design cut, scratched or etched below the surface of a printing plate rather than from a raised design.
The Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder is searching internationally for suppliers that meet California’s strict requirements, and legislative changes and other potential solutions are being considered statewide. Even if the requirement for intaglio printing were removed to make paper stock more readily available, measures that include fluorescent fibers and consecutive numbering combined with matching barcodes would help keep the process secure.
The Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s office issues about 350 to 400 certificates a day with mostly same-day service. Requests for certificates also can be made to the California Department of Public Health, which says orders can be filled in about seven days.
County officials, however, said they hope to continue providing residents with the fast, local service they are accustomed to receiving from the county, Aldana said.