Death Certificates

ATTENTION: As of July 2, 2021

The Office of Vital Records has been temporarily relocated, we will continue to provide services at the Medical Examiner’s Office located at:

5570 Overland Avenue
Suite 101
San Diego, CA. 92123

Pursuant to California Health & Safety Code 103550, a death certificate is a permanent record of the fact of death for an individual.  It provides important personal information about the decedent and about the circumstances and cause of death. Information from death records serves several important legal and statistical uses.  Upon registration by the local and state registrar, the death certificate becomes the State's legal record of that event and is prima facie evidence in all courts. Death certificates may be obtained in person by appointment, by mail or purchased online.

Call the office if you have questions at 619-692-5733 - Se habla Español.

There are two types of death certificates available:

1.   Authorized Certified Copy
2.   Informational Certified Copy

The cost for researching a record is NOT refundable if the record is not found.

To Obtain a Death Certificate BY APPOINTMENT

The Office of VItal Records can provide death certificates from 1993 - present. To obtain a certified death certificate at our office, please click here to make an appointment. 

You will need to have the following information available when you arrive for your appointment:

1. The decendent's full name
2. Date of death
3. Place of death
4. A valid government issued ID

For a regular certified copy, you will need to sign a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, that you are an authorized person. For definition of an Authorized Person, click "Authorized Individual" Effective July 1, 2003.

Those who are NOT authorized by law to receive a regular certified copy will receive a certified copy marked: 'Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity'

The cost for a certified copy of a death certificate is $21.00. Payment may be cash, check or money order payable to County of San Diego Public health Services. Credit and debit cards are accepted through Vitalchek with a $1.75 convenience fee.

To Obtain a Death Certificate BY MAIL

For an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY of a Death Certificate, you need only to completely fill out the Application for Certified Copy of Death Record. Forward the signed request and payment to the address below.

To request an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a Death Certificate, you need to completely fill out the Application for Certified Copy of Death Record. Be sure to indicate in which category you qualify as an authorized person.  You will also need to complete the Sworn Statement and Certificate of Acknowledgement. Be sure to sign the Sworn Statement in front of a Notary Public. We CANNOT process your request without this form.

NOTE: If you are requesting CERTIFIED COPIES, of more than one (1) individual, you may list their names in the box provided on the Sworn Statement and have just one (1) acknowledgement for all individuals. However, you MUST have a separate Application for Certified Copy of Death Record for each individual.

The cost for either copy is $21.00. Payment may be check, money order, or cashier's check made payable to: County of San Diego Public Health ServicesDO NOT SEND CASH.

Office Mailing Address:

HHSA Office of Vital Records MS P529
3851 Rosecrans Street, Suite 802
San Diego, CA 92110



To Obtain a Death Certificate Online Through VitalChek

To request and purchase a death certificate online, please visit the VitalChek website. *VitalChek is a third party website.

1.     Select Death Certificate

2.     Complete the online application

3.     Pay fees by credit/debit card or electronic check

  • Certificate fee - $21 per copy for death certificate
  • VitalChek processing fee $12.95
  • Shipping fee (no cost for regular mail or $19 for Express UPS overnight delivery)

For more information, please visit the VitalChek website or call 1-877-459-1061


If you would like information on how to correct a vital record or amend a death certificate, please refer to the California Department of Public Health site.

For answers to the most frequently asked questions on death certificates, read the Death Certificates FAQs

For burial permits, please see Burial Permits.


For more information send us an email or phone 619-692-5733.