The File of Life is a small red plastic envelope with a magnetic strip to hold it on a refrigerator (if you have a non-magnetic refrigerator, just use a bit of tape). First responders (firemen, emergency medical technicians, police) have been trained to look on the refrigerator for a File of Life if they are called to rescue you.
That envelope holds a small form for you to fill out with personal and medical information. You can fill it out yourself, by hand, but be sure to use pencil in case the information changes.
Alternately, CVV has a computer form that anyone should be able fill out on a computer (for me the major advantage is that the result can be read, since even I may have a problem reading my own handwriting). This is "pdf" document that many computers will open and let you edit without a problem. However, computers can always be "challenging". You should be able to edit the file on the Chrome browser, or Acrobat Reader or PDF Expert or many other programs. The Foxit Reader is free and works well on Windows and Macintosh computers. Some computers might open the file in Firefox, which can view the file but does allow you to type into the form. If you have problems. right-click on the button at the bottom of this webpage and save the linked file to your computer where you should have more options on how to open the file.
If you have problems, call CVV at (805) 372-1826 and a computer type will call you back.
If you print this form double-sided or just put the front and back pages together with the print on the outside, you should be able to cut on the dotted lines, fold the form three times and insert the form into the envelope.
File of Life formThe File of Life form is available here. File of Life form
Health Care Advance Directives can be registered with the California Secretary of State (their web site is here
) for a $10 fee, using the form located here
. Once your health care directive is registered they will mail you a confirmation with two cards that you can add to the File of Life folder and keep in your wallet. This card would be used by the hospital. Without this registration the hospital would have to receive a copy of your health care advance directive in writing, which could be a problem in an emergency.
Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org