How to Apply:
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- Download and complete the Application for Certified Copy of Death Certificate (PDF) from the California Department of Public Health.
- Download and complete this sworn statement (that you are eligible to receive the death certificate).
- Send the appropriate fees (see "Costs" below) in a check.
- Mail the completed application to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records - MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
There are two different types of death records available from the CDPH, an authorized copy and an informational copy.
The registrant (person listed on the certificate) or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant. A child, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister, spouse, or domestic partner 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 California 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. (Companies representing a government agency must provide authorization from the government agency.)
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. (If you are requesting a Certified Copy under a power of attorney, please include a copy of the power of attorney with the application form.)
Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.
- If you cannot obtain an authorized copy under California law, you can obtain an informational copy. An informational copy contains the same information as an authorized copy, but will have a legend across the face with the statement "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY." Authorized and informational copies are both “certified copies.”
Please also note that for death records from 1995 - Present, the processing time is 2 weeks, and for death records from 1995 - 1904, the processing time is 10 weeks. For more information, download the Pamphlet for Certified Copies of Birth and Death Records (PDF)
from the California Department of Public Health.