Beginning July 1, 2003 the California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only specific individuals to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY of a death record. An AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY may be required to obtain death benefits, claim insurance proceeds, notify social security, and obtain other services related to an individual's identity. Please see below for list of authorized individuals.
Those who are not authorized may receive an INFORMATIONAL CERTIFIED COPY with the words "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY" imprinted across the face of the copy.
When ordering in person, an authorized individual must complete an approved application including a sworn statement under penalty of perjury to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY. A notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury must accompany orders sent by mail to ensure that the requester is an authorized person.
Individuals permitted to receive an AUTHORIZED CERTIFIED COPY:
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 (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.