Death Records

How to Obtain a Death Certificate

When a death occurs in Orange County, copies of the death certificate are available through the Clerk-Recorder Department 60 days after the date of death. (Copies needed within 60 days of death may be obtained through the Orange County Health Care Agency.) There are several ways to obtain copies of death certificates.

Obtaining a Death Certificate in Person

Individuals appearing in person may receive an authorized copy, after presenting valid government-issued identification and signing a statement under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person. All others will receive a copy with certain information redacted by the state. The redacted copy will be marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY."

Vital records (birth, marriage and death records) are located in Room 106 of the Hall of Records (see Hours and Locations). Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Payment can be made by cash, personal check, cashier's check, money order, Discover, American Express, MasterCard/Visa Credit and Debit.

Obtaining a Death Certificate by Mail

A copy of a death certificate can be obtained by mail if the death occurred in Orange County. See the FEES page for the cost of certified copies. Orders are normally processed within 5 to 10 working days.

Mailed applications must include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person. Applications are available at Online Forms. Use a separate application form for each requested record.

PLEASE NOTE: Only one notarized sworn statement is required for multiple certificates requested at the same time; however, the sworn statement must include the name of each individual whose record you wish to obtain, plus your relationship to that individual. Unauthorized requestors (click here to see who is authorized) will receive a copy that has certain information redacted by the state. The redacted copy will be marked “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

Mail requests to:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder
Attn: Vital Records
12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 106
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Make checks payable to: Orange County Clerk-Recorder.

Obtaining a Death Certificate by Telephone

Telephone orders are processed through VitalChek, a private independent company. VitalChek accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. VitalChek adds a $12.95 special handling fee on all credit card orders. There is also a separate county certified copy fee. 

Telephone orders will be processed within 5 working days of receipt of a copy of the requester’s government-issued photo ID and, for certified copies, a notarized signed statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person. If identity verification is not received within 5 days, the order will be cancelled and must be resubmitted. Telephone orders will be returned by regular mail unless Express UPS delivery is requested for an additional $19.00. To place an order or for more information, call VitalChek toll free at (877) 445-8988.

Obtaining a Death Certificate by Fax Through VitalChek

Fax orders are processed through VitalChek, a private independent company, at (866) 559-9609. VitalChek accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. VitalChek adds a $12.95 special handling fee on all credit card orders. There is also a separate county certified copy fee.

Faxed credit card orders will be processed within 5 working days of receipt of a copy of the requester’s government-issued photo ID and, for certified copies, a notarized signed statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person. If identity verification is not received within 5 days, the order will be cancelled and must be resubmitted.Fax orders will be returned by regular mail unless Express UPS delivery is requested for an additional $19.00. For more information, call VitalChek toll free at (877) 445-8988.

To order expedited services by fax, please click here for additional information.

Obtaining a Death Certificate Over the Internet

Online orders are processed through VitalChek, a private independent company. VitalChek accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. VitalChek adds a $12.95 special handling fee on all credit card orders. There is also a separate county certified copy fee.

Online credit card orders will be processed within 5 working days of receipt of a copy of the requester’s government-issued photo ID and, for certified copies, a notarized signed statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person. If identity verification is not received within 5 days, the order will be cancelled and must be resubmitted. Online orders will be returned by regular mail unless Express UPS delivery is requested for an additional $19.00 For more information, call VitalChek toll free at (877) 445-8988.

Click here to place a request over the Internet.