Contra Costa Clerk


Important Details about Death Certificates



Due to the increased occurrence of identity theft, new laws were passed to protect birth and death records from misuse. These laws go into effect July 1, 2003. At this time, the steps necessary to obtain a birth or death record will change significantly.

Effective July 1, 2003, the California Health and Safety Code, Sections 103526, will permit only authorized individuals to receive certified copies of birth and death records. Those who are not authorized by law to receive certified copies will receive certified copies marked “INFORMATION, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.”

In the case of Death records, the new law describes an authorized person as:
• The registrant, parent or legal guardian of the registrant.

• A party entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order, an attorney or a licensed adoption agency seeking the death 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, the registrant’s estate, and 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.

Important Details about Death Certificates
• If the person died in Contra Costa County, you may obtain a certified copy from this office. If the county is not known, please contact the
State Office of Vital Statistics in Sacramento

• We maintain death certificates from 1905 to present.

• We do not accept CASH by mail all fees are payable by check or money order to the County Recorder’s Office.
Click here for fees related to a certified copy of a Death.

Copies of Death records may be obtained in person at the:
Contra Costa County Recorder’s Office
555 Escobar St.
Martinez, CA 94553

Need more information regarding Death certificates?
You may call the office at: (925) 335-7900
Visit our office Monday through Friday 8AM – 4:30PM
 For directions and office hours click here

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Did you know that the guidelines for ordering death records are changing?