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DEATH RECORDS
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA


Information that follows is from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder.
All questions, not answered here, should be directed to the Clerk-Recorder.


Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department
Hall of Records
12 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Information Line: (714) 834-2500

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.


Obtaining a Death Certificate Online

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:

  • Appear in person
  • Present one form of valid identification (driver’s license or passport)

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.


Obtaining a Death Certificate in Person

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
Downtown Fullerton
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).


Obtaining a Death Certificate by Mail

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.

Authorized Person

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:

  • The registrant, a parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
  • A party entitled to receive the record by court order, or an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record 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.
  • Any funeral director ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of any individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

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.


Fees

Certified Copy or Record Search of Vital Records

Birth Record $28.00
Marriage Record $15.00
Death Record $21.00

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