Death Certificate COPIES

Death Certificates

As part of statewide efforts to prevent identity theft, California law requires this office to issue 2 different types of certified copies: authorized and informational. Both types are certified copies of the original document on file with California Department of Public Health.

An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a death record may be required to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security and obtain other services related to an individual's identity. Only individuals who are authorized by Health and Safety Code section 103526 are able to obtain an authorized certified copy of a death record.

Those who do not meet the criteria for an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY may receive an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY with the words "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY" imprinted across the face of the certificate.

In the case of death records, Health & Safety Code 103526 defines 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.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of any individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of Health and Safety Code §7100(a).
  • An individual described in paragraph (1) to (8), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Health and Safety Code 7100. Agent under power of attorney for health care, competent surviving spouse, surviving competent adult child, surviving competent parent, surviving competent adult sibling, surviving competent adult person respectively in the next degrees of kinship, conservator.

For in-person, mail and fax orders

· Please refer to page 3 of the Death Certificate Application for complete instructions.

For online orders

· Placer County Clerk-Recorder has partnered with VitalChek Network, Inc., an independent company, through which an order may be placed.

  • · VitalCheck can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com.
  • · Additional fees are charged by VitalCheck for using this service.