California Death Records

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California Death Records Search

In California, the California Department of Public Health is responsible for maintaining and issuing the official record of all deaths that occur in the state of California. The California Department of Public health maintains California Death Records of 1905-present. If you make a request for post 1970 death records, your request will take about three weeks to process. On the other hand, if you make a request for pre-1970 records, your request will take about seven weeks to provide. Whether you want pre-1970 or post-1970 California death records, you will receive the records only if you’re eligible for them. You can however lookup California death records online for reference only.

People who can request for certified death records in California include the immediate family members of the deceased and people with a financial interest in the record. There are two types of death records that you can request for in California: certified records and uncertified records. The fee for the certified death record is different from the fee for the uncertified death record. There are three ways for you to request for and obtain death records in California: in person, by mail and online. Following is how you can obtain the death record you need through each way.

Where Do I Get a Death Certificate in California?

The first way to make a request for and obtain the California death record you need is in person. To make an in person request for the record, go to the local California Department of Public health office, submit a completed Application for Certified Copy of Death Record, and pay the required fee. Also, you may need to provide a sworn statement. Generally, a sworn statement is required when you’re ordering copy of the California death record. The fee for California death records is $21.

How Do I Get California Death Records By Mail?

Another way for you to make and request for and obtain the California death record you need is by mail. To make a mail request for the record you need, complete and send the aforementioned application along with a sworn statement, a self-addressed envelope, and a pay order or check for the fee to:

California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

Generally, mail requests for California Death Records take fifteen days to process.

Online

The easiest and quickest way to make a request for the California death record you need is online. How can you make an online request for death records in California? The California Department of Public health provides death records online through Vitalcheck, an independent company that the State of California has partnered with to make the records available online. To make an online request for the death record you need, go to the website of Vitalcheck and follow the instructions stated there.

Another way to request for California Death Records is through online public databases. To find out more about the aforementioned records, call the California Department of Public health at 916-445-2684.

California Death Records


California Death Record FAQs

Are California death records public information?

Yes, all California vital records, including death records, marriage records and birth records are public information that anyone can lookup.

How can I get a copy of a family member's California death record?

You can obtain a copy of your family member's California death record by contacting the California Department of Public Health and making a formal request. Only immediate family can obtain certified copies of CA death records.

How do I find out when someone died in California?

The death date of when someone died in California can be found on that person's CA death certificate. It will most likely also have any surviving spouse and parents and children listed on the death certificate.

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30 responses to “California Death Records

  1. I’m trying to find death notice or accident report for. believe she was killed in car accident in Northern California

    Cathy Lynn Davis
    11/20/1954 – June 22 1975

    could you tell me how i could find newpaper article with obituary or accident report.

    (father Herbert Davis, mother Claudia Maxwell Davis Woodard)

    1. To locate a Newspaper obituary for a California death record, some good resources are NewspaperArchives.com , Archives.com , Legacy.com , Obituaries.com

      Some or all of those resources might have the California Obituary you’re looking for

      1. I am trying to see if there is a death record for Tamara Lindley Brown in the state of CA. I’ve looked every where. A link keeps coming up from ancestry regarding her death as December 25, 2005, but thats all the information it will give me. I’ve gone to Obituaries.com and it takes me back to ancestory and the same death notice. I want to be certain it is her. Last I heard from her, she was living in a community in Crescent City. She was born in 1960.

        1. We don’t show the date of the California death record in our database. A good option to obtain this California death record information is to contact the California Department of Public Health as they are the managing state agency for death records in California.

          California Death Certificate Copy

          1. Visit the California Department of Public Health website
          2. Download the Death Certificate Pamphlet and fill out form
          3. Have your California Death Certificate request notarized
          4. Pay the fee for a Certified Death Certificate copy
          5. Processing may take 3-4 weeks by mail

  2. looking for a death certificate for my sister who was stillborn? no name was given to her. I found some information at the cemetery where she’s buried. she was a twin. My other sister who survived was born 8-17-1955. Not sure if the other twin was stillborn or died shortly thereafter. I want to get a headstone for her but need a death certificate for the cemetery office.
    Thank you~

    1. To obtain the record of your sister’s death you will want to contact the California Department of Health and request to obtain a vital death record. Follow the instructions below to obtain a certified copy of a California Death Record.

      Get a Copy of a California Death Certificate

      1. Request an authorized death record
      2. Fill out the death record request form
      3. Complete the sworn statement form
      4. Have your request form notarized
      5. Pay the fee for a certified copy
      6. Mail in your form, processing takes 3-4 weeks

      California Deparment of Health Address

      Vital Records – MS 5103
      1501 Capitol Avenue
      Sacramento, CA 95814

  3. Shirley J Earhart, her son Michael, daughter and friend Kathy were in a car accident coming back from a company picnic in 1977 or 1978 on I believe Malibu canyon or Kanan Rd. Shirley was flown to weatlake hospital where she died. I am trying to get more information for her son and daughter.

    1. Ron, we are more than happy to assist you with any public information about your friends and family. Unfortunately we don’t have the death records listed for the people you mentioned but we can search still assist you. If you’re looking for specific information such as; birth records, marriage and divorce records, criminal records, vital records, vehicle records, court records and much more, we will need the full name, state and county of residency and age we can filter our California public records to inquire about a person’s history.

      That being said, you can contact the California Department of Public Health to find out more information about the deceased.

  4. I am looking for the death record of Anna Bircher Bellig, b. 1834 in Switzerland, d. between 1900-1906 in Santa Clara, California. Anna was living with her daughter Otilla and son-in -law , Charles McClure in San Jose in 1900. I do not need a certified copy of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Mike Harmer
    Huntersville, NC

    mharmer173@gmail.com

    8/10/2018

    1. We are happy to assist you with a California Death Record search. Since this CA Death Record is so old, we don’t have it in our database. A good option would be to contact the California Department of Health and requesting the California death record information online or over the phone.

  5. I am looking for death records for my two uncles both were born in the 1940s in Sweetwater/Butler,Al. Both were killed by gun shot wounds I\’m sure one was murdered inside his garage and the other under the hood of his car. The names are Willie James Adams Jr and the other is Jessie Ree Adams (I\’m not sure if he was a legal Sr or not). How do I get information I am located in Alabama it\’s a time sensitive matter so I want to go the quickest route to get their police reports and death certificates.

    1. In order to obtain copies of your uncles’ California death certificates you will want to reach out to the California Department of HealthCalifornia Department of HealthCalifornia Department of Health and request a copy of a California Death Certificate online. You will need to fill out the required fields and provide proof of identification for a certified copy.

  6. I am looking for an obituary or death certificate for my great-great grandfather, Frank Ellsworth Bingham. Born 4/19/1889 in Anamosa IA. Died 8/15/1955 in Los Angeles,Ca. Can anyone help me? I can find his find a grave but nothing else.
    Thank you
    Jamie

    1. Your best option Jamie in obtaining a copy of your great grand father’s California death certificate is to contact the California Department of Public Health. They are the managing state agency in California for vital records which includes death records, marriage records and birth records. Their phone number is 714-567-2906

    1. California death certificates do not typically show the place of burial however there are resources, such as FindAGrave.com that you can use to lookup older places of burial. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for then you might consider contacting the California State Archives. This death record is very old so not many public record repositories will have this information available.

  7. I am trying to get death certificate for an uncle Thomas Alfred Wellwood, Clonking, Abbeyleix, Ireland who died aged 29 in July 1929 at La Junta, Colerado on a train to Los Angeles. He is buried in San Gabriel cemetery, Pasadena. I want to see cause of death as I am working on family tree.

    1. This is a very old death record that we don’t have in our California death record database unfortunately. You can also contact the California Department of Public Health and inquire about getting a copy of this death certificate. They are the managing state agency for California death records. Their phone number is 714-567-2906

  8. Hello,
    My grandfather, Abe Kwait, died in Los Angeles on October 16, 1967. I’m wondering if his parents’ names would be on his death certificate. Must I purchase a certified copy of his death certificate to view this information?
    Thank you for any help.

    1. Andrea, you are correct that the names of the parents should be on your grandmother’s death certificate. Unfortunately the California death certificate you are requesting is older than what we have in our California vital records database, which is about 50 years old. That being said, you can contact the California Department of Public Health to request a certified copy of your Grandmother’s death certificate. You can make this request online, in person or over the phone. There will be a small fee and the CA death certificate copy will be mailed to you. Their phone number is 916-558-1784

  9. I want to know my father’s name was Bennie Paul Booth he died June 19, 1999 died June 19,1999 in Sanger, California

    1. Glenda, if you’re looking to get a copy of your Father’s California Death Certificate, you will want to reach out to the California Department of Public Health. Since you’re immediate family you will be able to make this request with them directly

    1. JC, unfortunately a California death certificate can only be viewed by obtaining a copy from the California Department of Public Health. That being said, you can view death records online but the information on a public CA death record may be somewhat limited compared with what information is available on a CA death certificate.

  10. My ex husband died in 2014 in California, I’d like to visit his resting place. His name is George John D’Amico dob: 02031964, can you help.

    1. Twylah, we don’t have an index for California deaths that we can share but we do offer unlimited California death record searches in our member’s are after you sign up with our service

    1. Margaret, we are happy to assist you with a California death record search but we’ll need to know more about the person in question. Do you know their full name and date of birth?

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: April 22, 2020

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