As a result of the impending shortage of paper stock to print birth, death and marriage certificates, the Riverside County Department of Public Health announced it will limit the number of copies it will print.

Effective Aug. 17, DPH will provide only three copies of birth or death certificates for each request of a registered event. This limitation will continue until the supply of bank-note paper is replenished, wrote Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser two weeks ago.

“The Riverside County Department of Public Health is diligently working to obtain a replacement supply of bank note that satisfies the legal requirement for document security,” he wrote in a letter to the public. “We anticipate suitable paper will be available within the next three to four months.”

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.

Any mailed requests for more than three copies will still be limited to three. Refunds for the balance of the cost for more than three copies will be made within weeks.

Kaiser also recommended that if more certified copies are needed, the public may contact the state Office of Vital Records. Information on how to order certificates from the state may be found on its website at

Additional questions may be asked of Wayne Harris, the county’s chief deputy registrar, at 951-358-5261.