Death Certificates

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Effective July 1, 2003

Effective July 1, 2003, the California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, will permit only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of death records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive a certified copy will receive a certified copy marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY."

The new law describes an authorized person as:

  • A parent or legal guardian of the decedent.
  • A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order. 
  • 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 decedent.
  • An attorney representing the decedent or the decedent's estate, or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court to act on behalf of the decedent or the decedent’s estate.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

In order to obtain a Certified Copy after July 1, 2003, you MUST complete the sworn statement included with the death certificate application form and sign the statement under penalty of perjury. If you mail your request, your sworn statement must be notarized. If your mailed request indicates that you want a Certified Copy but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be rejected as incomplete and returned to you without being processed. (Note: Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who orders copies on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code is not required to complete the notarized statement.)

DEATH CERTIFICATES: 

Fee to obtain a death certificate: $21.

(Please note requests must be for deaths that occurred in Monterey County.)

IN-PERSON APPLICATION FOR AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY OF A DEATH RECORD:

1. You may complete the application via the internet and transmit it directly to the Recorder's Office. You will need to come into the Recorder's Office to pick up the certified copy within two weeks or the request will be deleted, click here to submit a request online.

OR

2. You may download the application and take the completed application to the Recorder's Office, click here to download the application.

(In both cases above, when requesting a certificate in person, the sworn statement on the application must be signed in the presence of a staff member and a photo i.d. will be requested.)

MAIL-IN APPLICATION FOR AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY OF A DEATH RECORD:

The application must be downloaded, completed, notarized, and mailed with the $21 fee (please do not send cash, check or money order only), click here to download the application.

SEND TO:  Monterey County Recorder, P.O. Box 29, Salinas, CA  93902

ON-LINE VIA VITALCHEK (Fee is $21 per certification plus a $7 Vitalchek processing fee per transaction.)

You will be required to submit a sworn statement on which your signature must be acknowledged by a notary public. Monterey County contracts with Vitalchek, a private company, to take orders for certified copies of vital records online by credit card. Vitalchek charges a $7 processing fee per transaction; this fee is in addition to the Recorder's vital record fee of $21 per certificate. To be taken to the Vitalchek website click here.

 

INFORMATIONAL DEATH CERTIFICATES:

Fee for obtaining a certified informational death certificate: $21.

IN-PERSON APPLICATION FOR AN INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY A DEATH RECORD:

1. You may complete the application via the internet and transmit it directly to the Recorder's Office. You will need to come into the Recorder's Office to pick up the certified informational copy within two weeks or the request will be deleted, click here to submit a request online.

OR

2. You may download the application and take the completed application to the Recorder's Office, click here to download the application.

(In both cases above, when requesting a certificate in person, the sworn statement on the application must be signed in the presence of a staff member and a photo i.d. will be requested.)

MAIL-IN APPLICATION FOR AN INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY OF A DEATH RECORD:

The application must be downloaded, completed, and mailed with the $21 fee (please do not send cash, check or money order only), click here to download the application.

SEND TO:  Monterey County Recorder, P.O. Box 29, Salinas, CA  93902

ON-LINE VIA VITALCHEK (Fee is $21 per certificate plus a $7 Vitalcheck processing fee per transaction.)

Monterey County contracts with Vitalchek, a private company, to take orders for certified copies of vital records online by credit card. Vitalchek charges a $7 processing fee per transaction; this fee is in addition to the Recorder's vital record fee of $21 per certificate. To be taken to the Vitalchek website click here.