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Obtaining Certified Copies of ​​Death Certificates

The California Department of Public Health – Vital Records (CDPH-VR) maintains a permanent, public record of every death that has occurred in California since July 1905.

Processing Times for Death Certificates

CDPH-VR's estimated processing times for certified copies of death certificates are listed below, which may occasionally increase as the volume of requests increases. The processing time begins when CDPH-VR receives your request. County Recorder Offices can sometimes process requests faster than CDPH-VR.

If death occurred:

1905 – 1993

Electronic Submission2 to 2.5 Weeks
Mail-In Request3 to 3.5 Weeks

1994 – Present

Electronic Submission2 to 2.5 Weeks
Mail-In Request 3 to 3.5 Weeks

Requesting a Certified Copy


Electronic Submission


​Mail-In Request

County Clerk/Recorder

*Event must have occurred in county selected


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