Information that follows is from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder.
All questions, not answered here, should be directed to the Clerk-Recorder.
Copies of death certificates for deaths dating back to 1889 that occurred within Orange County are available through the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department 30 days after the date of death. Death certificates for deaths having occurred within the last 30 days would be obtained through the Orange County Health Care Agency.
At this time, it is NOT possible to request an Orange County vital record (birth, marriage or death) entirely online.
However, for priority service, the Orange County Clerk-Recorder offers the online Vital Records Application and Appointment System in which to complete and submit an Application for a Vital Record. Online applications must still be processed in person. For added convenience, online applicants are given the option to schedule an in-person appointment at the end of the application process. The fee for a copy of a death certificate is $21.00 eachh.
Currently, the online appointment system only accepts appointments for individuals applying for an authorized certified copy of a vital record (see Authorized Person below). Vital records include birth, marriage and death certificates.
Applications submitted using this application and appointment system should not be mailed out.
After submitting an online application, applicants must:
Applicants who opt not to schedule an appointment have 30 days from the date of submission to appear in person.
Click here for the Orange County Clerk-Recorder online Vital Records Application and Appointment System.
Applicants for a Death Certificate, appearing in person, may order an authorized copy after presenting valid government-issued photo identification and signing a statement under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person (see Authorized Person below).
Vital records (birth, marriage and death records) are available at the following Clerk-Recorder office locations:
Hall of Records
12 Civic Center Plaza,
Room 101 and Room 106
Santa Ana, CA 92701
North County Branch Office
201 N Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832
South County Branch Office
Laguna Hills Civic Center
24031 El Toro Rd, Ste 150
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
The fee for a copy of a death certificate is $21.00 each. Accepted payment is by cash, personal check, cashier's check, money order, credit or debit card (Discover, American Express, MasterCard Visa).
A certified copy of a death certificate may be obtained by mail if the death occurred in Orange County, unless there has been an adoption or a legal name change within the last six months.
Complete a Vital Records Request Form. Mailed applications must include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the requester is an authorized person (see Authorized Person below). Use a separate application form for each requested record. Orders are normally processed within 5 to 10 working days. Mailed requests without a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury will be rejected as incomplete and returned without processing.
NOTE: Only one notarized sworn statement is required for multiple certificates requested at the same time; however, the sworn statement must include the name of each individual whose record you wish to obtain, plus your relationship to that individual.
Mail requests to:
Orange County Clerk-Recorder
Attn: Vital Records
P.O. Box 238
Santa Ana, CA 92702
The fee for a copy of a death certificate is $21.00 each. Make checks payable to: Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department.
California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of vital records.
Anyone other than an authorized person requesting a certified copy of a vital record will receive a copy that has certain information redacted by the state. The redacted copy will be marked, "INFORMATIONAL. NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY."
The law describes an Authorized Person as:
To obtain an authorized certified copy, a requestor MUST complete the sworn statement included with the certificate application form and sign the statement under penalty of perjury. If the request is mailed, your sworn statement must be notarized. Mailed requests without a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury will be rejected as incomplete and returned without processing.
Certified Copy or Record Search of Vital Records
Depending on whether a request for a copy of a vital record is made in person or by mail, the Orange County Clerk-Recorder accepts cash, personal checks, money orders, cashier’s checks and credit/debit cards (American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa). Checks are payable to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department.
Service fee for a returned check: $25.00