California Death Records

Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

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 multiple 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 fastest way to make a request for and obtain the California death record you need is in online or 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 nominal and a copy can be mailed to you within a few weeks of ordering it from the Department of Public Health

How To Order a California Death Certificate By Mail

Another way for you to make and request for and obtain the California death certificate record you need is by mail. To make a mail request for the record you need, you must go online to the California DPH website and download the request for a certificate, print up and fill out the document and sign and show proof of relationship and your identity and pay the nominal fee. Only requests from immediate family will be honored and you may need to submit copies of your ID to verify your identity. You may want to call them up first to verify you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork before mailing in the certificate request form. The direct phone number for the California DPH is 916-445-2684. Generally, mail requests for copies of these certificates take a few weeks to process and be mailed out. You should get updates on when the certificate is processed and being sent out in the mail.

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

Are California Death Certificates Public Record? 

A California death certificate is an official document that is part of the public record. It provides personal information, the record of death, relatives, spouse as well as a multitude of other information about the deceased. These records are maintained by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and can typically only be requested by immediate family. Much of this information is included on the viewable California death record except the SSN and cause of death, which are typically only available on the official CA death certificate 

What Is Included on a California Death Certificate 

  1. Full name of the deceased 
  2. The date and location of their death 
  3. Age at the time of death 
  4. Sex or how they identify 
  5. Their occupation if not retired 
  6. Employer and job title 
  7. Academic certificates 
  8. Last known residence 
  9. Marital status 
  10. Ethnicity 
  11. Date of birth 
  12. Place of birth, state, county, and country 
  13. SSN Social Security Number (only on a death certificate) 
  14. Name of the surviving spouse if they were married 
  15. Name of their father 
  16. Name of their mother and her maiden name 
  17. Cause of death if known 
  18. Medical examiner, coroner, or physician  
  19. Autopsy information if applicable (only on a death certificate) 
  20. Name and place of burial or cremation 
  21. California registrar signature and state seal 

It is important to note that some death certificate information may vary depending on what information is available and recorded. The cause of death is not always known so if there is any question of a person’s passing, and no autopsy was performed then the cause of death in California might not be known or recorded. Other specific details such as the SSN of the deceased is not part of the public record and will not be viewable on public record websites that offer access to California death records. 

Online Access To California Death Records

Most people that are looking for California death record information are interested in verifying a death of a friend, relative or someone they knew in their past. This type of California death record is unofficial and since it is part of a person’s public record, anyone can lookup this information. Unofficial death verifications can be performed with any number of the online public record websites that offer access to vital records which also include birth, marriage and divorce records. All you’ll need is the full name of the person in question, the state they call home and their date of birth. These are all important factors in finding the correct death record for the right person as many people in the United States have the same first and last name. It’s also important to note that unofficial CA death record information can only be used for verification purposes and research as they are not official government documents. Only a spouse or immediate family can obtain the official documentation of a person’s death in California.

Leading Causes of Death in California

According to the California Health and Human Services Department, there were more than 270,000 deaths in 2022 and the following are the leading causes of death in California:

  1. The leading cause of death in California, as well as the entire United States, was Heart Disease in 2022. 
  2. Cancer was the second on the list of leading causes of death, in which there is a wide range of several types of cancer that fit into this list. The top cancer related deaths being lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. 
  3. Stroke, which accounts for over 16,000 deaths in 2022
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease which is the most common form of dementia that affects a person’s cognitive abilities and eventually can lead to a premature death. 
  5. Respiratory Diseases which can include Covid and influenza and pneumonia. 
  6. Hypertension is one that most people do not easily recognize which can lead to heart attack and death. This can be attributed to genetic influences and lifestyle choices. 
  7. Liver Disease which is also known as Cirrhosis. This can lead to organ failure and death 

Additional information about specific causes of death can be found by visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. You can research causes of death by country, state, gender and ethnicity.

Death Record Searches Nationwide

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.

How long does it take to get a copy of a California death certificate?

If you order a copy of this California vital record directly through the CDPH then it will take a few weeks unless you pay extra to expedite it

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Responses to “California Death Records

  1. squarryadministrator says:

    William, we ran a California death record search for your father and only have a CA death record for an Early Orum that passed away in 1964. That being said, since this was a recent death it is probably not posted on many public record websites. You can reach out to the California Department of Public Health to get a CA death verification. You can call them directly @ 916-552-9700

    How To Get a California Death Verification

    There are a couple of options to get a death verification in California. First you can try looking up California death records on public record websites, since death records are public information. A second option is to contact the California Department of Public Health as they archive all death records in California

  2. William Mitchell says:

    Trying to find the date of my fathers death. July 17 or 18 2020 in CA. Earl Ray Orum was his name.

  3. squarryadministrator says:

    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

  4. Madeline D Johnson says:

    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~

  5. squarryadministrator says:

    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.

    How to Order a CA Certified Death Certificate

    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

  6. Rhonda Gregory says:

    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 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.

  7. Sarah Thompson says:

    I’d like to find out if there’s a CA death record of my aunt named Olga Olson (last name might be spelled Olsen or Olsson). She died in a MVA in 1961-1965ish and she was about 17 years old.

  8. Victor Garcia says:

    how can I find out what date when did the person pass away her name is sylvia pimentel 61 yrs ago lives in Fresno CA

  9. Jenny says:

    I was told that my ex-husband, Joseph F Butler, died by suicide somewhere in Marin County. I was given very little and vague information and no details of how or exactly when or anything. His sister is the one who told me the news but I’ve searched everywhere and even called the local police departments and coroners offices and no one seems to know what I am talking about or any incident occuring. I honestly don’t believe he’s dead but I need to know for sure. His name is Joseph Francis (could be spelled Frances also) Butler, born 03/24/1974 in Sioux falls, south Dakota, and the date I was told he died was May 26 or 27, 2021.

  10. squarryadministrator says:

    Gwen we can help with that if you can provide us with the full name of the person in question and their age, if you know it, and we’ll search our California database records for you.

  11. gwen wood says:

    trying to find out about this old friend when she died and her age and daughters address i dont want the certificate im just trying to get in touch with her daughter

  12. Jim Costa says:


    I am trying to find out the exact date that my mother died can you help. Ann Costa lived at 2612 Meyers Rd. Richmond California so this would be Contra Costa County. She died in a hospital that might’ve been in The city of San Pablo which is also in Contra Costa County. She died in early January. She was born in 1923 but was secretive about her age I’m thinking she was 80 or early 80s.

    Thank you for your help

  13. squarryadministrator says:

    Edward, you can contact the county clerk in the state and county where your wife passed away or you can also contact the California Dept. of Health to order a certified copy of this record that can be mailed to you

  14. Edward Day says:

    trying to get a copy of my ex wife’s death certificate. Linda Wagner, passed 5 October 2022. any help most appreciated

  15. Beth Daigle says:

    I’m trying to find out the date of my friend’s death. Chase Putnam DOB: 10/04/1995 San Diego, CA. His death may have occurred in Nov of 2020. Please help, I’m trying to get some type of closure. Thank you.

  16. squarryadministrator says:

    Carol, we ran a search for you in our CA death record index and could not find anything active for your niece. You can also check with the CA Dept of State Health as they also archive these types of vital records

  17. Carol LeRoux says:

    Trying to find the date of my nieces death. She was born on July 18,1979 in CA. Last I knew she was homeless but still in CA. I think the year she passed was 2019 or 2020. Christi Ann Leahy was her name.

  18. Richard Hickman says:

    I need to get a death certificate for my Step-father because a trust account needs it to complete a transaction my mother and he had.

  19. Deb says:

    I am looking for death record for my husband Gary A. Winters, born April 26, 1973.
    Died on or around May 21st, 2022

  20. Bert Charles Abbott-Campbell says:

    I would like to obtain a copy of my Father’s California Death Certificate. His name was Marion Andrews Campbell. He died on Feb 16, 1994. He is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery. He was a WW II Veteran.

  21. squarryadministrator says:

    Robert, unfortunately we do not have access to any information about any California Statutory Will. You may want to reach out to the California State Bar for more information

  22. Robert William Haas says:

    I am looking for the 2005 California Statutory Will of Lee Wayne Tracey

  23. squarryadministrator says:

    Shirley, we are happy to run a CA death record search for you but we’ll also need to know you brother’s middle name and date of birth to process your request

  24. SHIRLEY R MARSH says:

    I am trying to find the date of my brother death in Inglewood Ca, Ronald Blade was his name.

  25. Dawn Sevig says:

    I’m looking for a death certificate for Gordon Cummings New. Born April 19, 1886, in Kanas and died April 9, 1958 in Riverside California

  26. squarryadministrator says:

    Pamela, you can obtain a certified copy of your fathers CA death certificate by calling the California Department of Public Health @ 916-558-1784

  27. Pamela Haynes says:

    I am looking for a death record of my father.He died June 2013 our house burnt down 11/17/2021. The solar Co wants a copy of Kenneth Haynes my father. It seems impossible to get one. I am in a wheelchair and have great problems getting anywhere.

  28. squarryadministrator says:

    Laurel, unfortunately we cannot assist you with your request for a California death certificate copy. You may want to reach out and consult with an attorney about this CA death certificate request since only immediate family can make this request and Amber does not have any documentation to support this

  29. Laurel W Huff says:

    I am trying to find out if my friend has died in Santa Cruz County, California. Her name was Deborah Renae Buchanan, born in 1954. Her only child is my niece, Amber Buchanan Taylor. Amber was adopted by my sister, but we were able to find Amber’s biological mother, and she was able to meet her in Santa Cruz. She was homeless at the time. Amber and her mother kept in touch by phone until all of a sudden her mother’s phone got disconnected. Amber and I have been unable to contact her since early 2021. She was very ill, and we think she must have been put in a care center, where she died. She was legally blind, and was unable to take care of herself. We were unable to get any information from any of the care centers in Santa Cruz. Is there any way you can look at your indexes and see if she has died? If she has died, can Amber get a copy of the death certificate? Amber has no documents stating that she is the daughter of Debra Buchanan. The adoption records are sealed. My sister, her adoptive mother met Debra Buchanan while she was Amber’s foster mother. My sister knew her name and all the particulars about the adoption. California online birth indexes do show Amber’s birth to her biological mother in Santa Clara County, California. Can you help Amber find closure if her mother has died? The only other living relative of Debra Buchanan is her nephew, Anthony Whitaker, a musician, living somewhere in Santa Cruz. We have been unable to locate him.

  30. squarryadministrator says:

    Jeanette, we’ll need some more information to complete our CA death record search for you. Can you let us know his date of birth or age at death so we can filter our results. There are multiple people with the same first and last name that you’ve supplied us with and we’ll need the additional info to confirm the California recorded death information you’re interested in

Last Updated: 2023-02-04

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