Death certificates and permits for disposition of human remains are usually prepared by a funeral director and signed by a physician. For the Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases, click here.
Violent, Sudden or Medically Unattended Death
The Medical Examiner-Coroner (MEC) is responsible to investigate all violent, sudden or medically unattended deaths within the county. If autopsy/ toxicology reports are not immediately available, a death certificate may be prepared with the causes listed as "Pending." Once the cause-of-death is known, the MEC submits an amendment for registration. Contact the MEC office for more information or timelines at 1(408) 793-1900.
Purchasing a Death Certificate
Your funeral director will order death certificates for you, at your request, according to the fee schedule below:
| Death Certificate
| Death Search
| Fetal death certificate
| Still Birth
| Burial Permit / Refile
| Transit Letter (English / Spanish)
Correcting or Amending Certificates
The California State Office of Vital Records (OVR) has published a variety of informative pamphlets that describe different amendment options. Not sure which form you need? Try looking on our Frequently Asked Questions
page, or call us at 1(408) 885-2010 for more information.
Original forms must be used and submitted to the state. Forms can be obtained from our office, a local registrar office in another county, any County Recorder’s office, or ordered online from the California State OVR Forms
If you need to change the location of your loved one's remains, you will need a new burial permit - this is called "refiling." A funeral director can arrange this for you, or you can do it yourself. To refile yourself, please bring these documents to our office during business hours:
Vital Records and Registration
976 Lenzen Avenue, Ste. 1300
San Jose, 95126
Phone: 1(408) 885-2010
Fax: 1(408) 885-4899
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4pm