Death Certificates

Who can use this service?

Anyone who is authorized to receive a certified copy of a death record on file with the Clerk-Recorder may use this service. Those who are not authorized by law to receive an authorized certified copy will receive a certified copy marked "Informational, not a valid document to establish identity". Authorized individuals are:

  • Parent or legal  guardian of the registrant (person named on the certificate).

  • A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of the registrant.

  • Party entitled to receive the record by court order.

  • A funeral director that orders 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.

  • A member of a law enforcement agency or representative of another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.  (Companies representing a government agency must provide authorization from the government agency).

  • 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.  (If requesting a Certified Copy under a power of attorney, include a copy of the power of attorney with the application).

Is there a charge for this service?

Yes. Please refer to the Clerk-Recorder's Fee Schedule.

What is the process?

Step 1: Request a Death Record

Requesting a death record filed in the County of San Luis Obispo can be completed one of following ways:

  1. In-person: When you arrive, use one of our kiosk computers in the lobby to fill out your application, then proceed to the counter to pay for and receive the certificate. You must show valid identification.

  2. By mail, fax, or email: Complete and return the application form, along with the appropriate fee. If you are requesting an authorized certified copy, your application form must be notarized. NOTE: Requests submitted with an insufficient fee will be returned without processing. 

          Mail completed form to:    
          County of San Luis Obispo Clerk-Recorder
          1055 Monterey Street, Suite D120
          San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

          Email completed form and credit card authorization form to vitals@co.slo.ca.us.

          Fax completed form and credit card authorization form to (805) 781-1111.

Alternatively, death record requests may be submitted through VitalChek, a third party service. Additional fees may apply. 

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available anytime throughout the year by mail, email, fax, or in-person at the Clerk-Recorder Office in San Luis Obispo or Atascadero during regular business hours except during County observed holidays.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Clerk-Recorder San Luis Obispo Office

Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

1055 Monterey Street Suite D120 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5080

Fax: (805) 781-1111

Clerk-Recorder North County Office

Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm

6565 Capistrano Avenue 2nd Floor Atascadero Library Atascadero, CA 93422

Tel: (805) 461-6041

Fax: (805) 461-6044

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to receive a death certificate when applying by mail, email or fax?

Requests for vital record copies submitted by mail, email or fax and using a credit card are completed and mailed within 24-48 hours via the U.S. Postal Service. For rush requests, overnight delivery is provided for an additional fee dependent on the destination. Contact the Clerk-Recorder's Office at (805) 781-5080 for overnight delivery fees.

What is the difference between a certified copy and a certified informational copy?

A certified copy can be used to establish the identity of the person named on the certificate, whereas a certified informational copy CANNOT be used to establish identity. Persons who are not eligible to receive a certified copy can receive a certified informational copy. Both types of documents are certified copies of the original document on file with our office. Depending on the exact year of event, some Certified Informational Copies will have signatures and Social Security numbers removed.

Does the sworn statement need to be notarized?

If you are requesting a certified copy of a record via mail, fax, or email, you will need to provide a sworn statement and have it notarized. If you choose to appear in person, you will not need to supply a notarized sworn statement.

If you are only requesting a certified informational copy, then you will not need to provide a sworn statement.

For More Information

Please visit the California Department of Public Heath for additional frequently asked questions.