Who Can Purchase Death Certificates
Effective July 1, 2003, the California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, permits only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of birth records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a certified copy will receive a certified copy marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY." The new law describes an authorized person as:
The registrant or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record in order to comply with the requirements of Section 3140 or 7603 of the Family Code.
A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business
A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant
- An attorney representing the registrant or the registrant's estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court to act on behalf of the registrant or the registrant's estate.
Methods for Obtaining Death Certificates
The Clerk-Recorder's Office accepts in-person or mail orders at the cost of the fee stated above. If you order a certified copy by mail, you will be required to obtain a notarized statement as detailed in Obtaining a Death Certificate by Mail
You also have the option of placing an order on-line
on the VitalChek website. You will enter the desired certificate information and order information. The Clerk-Recorder's Office will search our records for you as part of your order. Note that VitalChek is a third-party and there is a convenience fee. Due to Senate Bill 247, birth and death certificate orders will require you to download an authorization form, get it completed, and fax it to the Clerk-Recorders Office. Instructions appear on the VitalChek site.