Who can get a death certificate?

State law only allows authorized individuals to receive certified copies of death records. A 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.

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."

Authorized Persons

  • 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.
  • A funeral director ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs one (1) to five (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

Show All Answers

1. Who can get a death certificate?
2. How long does it take to get a death certificate?
3. Can I fix an error on a death certificate?
4. What happens if a cause of death is "pending"?