Death Certificate Request
Ordering Death Certificates
To order death certificates registered in Marin County, submit a completed Death Certificate Request Form to the County Recorder’s office.
The fee for requesting a death certificate is $21.00, payable by cash, check, or money order.
Who May Request Death Certificates
Although vital records are public documents, under California law, certificates are not open for public inspection. Anyone may request copies, however only persons authorized under California law may receive authorized certified copies of death records. Those who are not authorized to receive an authorized certified copy will receive a certified copy marked INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.
For death records, legally authorized people are:
- A parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
- A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner of the registrant
- An attorney representing the registrant's estate, or any person acting on behalf of the registrant's estate under the authority of the court
- A party entitled to receive the record after a court order
- A member of law enforcement or another governmental agency who is conducting official business as allowed under the law
- A funeral director ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of a qualified family member or legal representative of the estate
Completing and Submitting the Request Form
If you are making your request in person, do not sign the form until you present it to the Recorder’s office. In order to obtain an authorized certified copy, other than in person, you MUST complete the sworn statement on the request form, sign it before a notary public, and have your signature acknowledged.
If you are submitting your order by mail, you must sign the sworn statement in the presence of a notary public and the notary public must also fill out a Certificate of Acknowledgment. If your mailed request indicates that you want an authorized certified copy, but does not include a notarized statement, the request will be considered incomplete and returned unprocessed.
You may request authorized certified copies for multiple individuals by mail and collectively notarize them; however, a separate application must be completed for each request.
No Record/Search Fee
The fee for vital records must be paid in advance by the applicant. If no record of the event is found, the fee will be retained for searching as required by California statute, and a Certificate of No Record Found will be issued.
Requesting a copy of a Death Certificate Online
For your convenience, you can place an online request for a copy of a death certificate through VitalChek Network, an independent service provider. An additional fee of $7.00 is charged by VitalChek for their services. All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®.
Requesting Documents within Six Weeks of a Death
If you need copies of a death certificate and it has been less than six weeks since the event occurred, your funeral home director should be able to provide certified copies. You may also order copies from the Marin County Office of Vital Statistics.
If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact the Marin County Recorder Copy Center at (415) 473-6094 or send an email. The office of the Marin County Clerk Recorder is located at Marin Civic Center Room 232, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.