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VITAL RECORDS

Mail-In Request for Certified Copies of Death Records

Note: Processing fees are deposited upon receiving your request. Before submitting your application to CDPH Vital Records, please view our Processing Times to make sure they are acceptable for your needs and if this is the best option. If not, you should submit your request online or to the County Recorder's Office in the county where the death took place.

If you are using our state application form, but are submitting your request to a county office for processing – please first check with the county office to confirm their certified copy fees, as they may be different from the State fees.

 

Step 1 – Determine whether you can obtain an authorized copy or an informational copy

In the State of California, authorized copies of vital records can only be obtained by the individual named on the record, parents of the individual named on the record, and certain other individuals or entities specified in law. All other requestors can only obtain informational copies. All copies issued are "certified copies."

 

Step 2 – Download and complete pamphlet/application for obtaining certified copies of death records

 

Step 3 – Have your sworn statement notarized (if applicable)

You must have your sworn statement notarized if ordering an authorized copy.

Note: A notarized sworn statement is not needed if ordering an informational copy. However, unless an informational copy is indicated on the application form, applications received without a notarized sworn statement will be returned to the sender.

 

Step 4 – Determine certified copy fee

A certified copy fee must accompany all requests for copies of vital records. Requests received without the appropriate fee will be returned to the sender. Make your check or money order payable to CDPH Vital Records. Checks must be drawn on a United States bank. Money orders must be drawn on a United States bank or issued by the United States Postal Service.

Please do not send cash by mail. CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered.

If no record is found, we will issue a Certificate of No Public Record and retain the fee for the search according to State law.

 

Step 5 – Mail your request to CDPH Vital Records

CDPH Vital Records sends all certificates via Standard Mail through the United States Postal Service. If you would like to track the item once it leaves the Vital Records office, please include a self-addressed, pre-paid, certified envelope with the application (this is optional). Include completed application form, notarized sworn statement if requesting an authorized copy, and check or money order for the certified copy fee.

Please do not send cash by mail. CDPH cannot be held responsible for fees paid that are lost, misdirected, or undelivered.

Mail to:

                California Department of Public Health

                Vital Records – MS 5103

                PO Box 997410

                Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

If using a courier service that requires a physical address for delivery, please use the following address:

                California Department of Public Health

                Vital Records – MS 5103

                1501 Capitol Avenue

                Sacramento, CA 95814

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