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  • Death Certificates

Death Certificates

Important Information

The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.

The Clerk's Office Has Moved!

Clerk's Office has moved!The County Clerk-Recorder Office is now located at:
585 Fiscal Dr., Room 103, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

The new Clerk-Recorder’s Office will provide essential services for residents in one location – vital records, recording services, land record information, official public records, marriage licenses & ceremonies, and fictitious business names.

Overview

  • The County Clerk has death records for events occurring in Sonoma County from 1873 to the present. 
  • We are unable to issue death certificates for deaths that occurred someplace other than Sonoma County
  • Fee: $21.00 per copy
  • We cannot take payments over the phone
  • The County Clerk will receive a death certificate approximately one month after the death. Contact our office to verify the status of the record.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Proclamation of State Emergency, all fees for certified copies of birth, death and marriage records in the state of California are suspended for any individual that lost such records in the fires.  Sonoma County will only have records for events that occurred in Sonoma County (someone was born, died or purchased their marriage license in Sonoma County).

Authorized Individuals to Receive Certified Copies

In an attempt to stop the illegal use of vital records, and as part of statewide efforts to reduce identity theft, California law (effective July 1, 2003) changed the way certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates are issued. 

Certified copies to establish identity can be issued only to authorized individuals, as defined in Health and Safety Code103526(c).

All others will be issued Certified Informational Copies that are not valid to establish identity, and contain a legend on the face of the document that states, "Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity."

In the case of death records, Health and Safety Code defines an authorized person as:

  • 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 death record in order to comply with the requirements of § 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.
  • Any agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of § 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

How to Request a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate

In Person:

  • Applications are available in the office
  • Applicant does not need to have signature notarized for in-person request

Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder
585 Fiscal Dr, Room 103
Santa Rosa, California 95403 
Phone: (707) 565-3800

For Mail or Online Applications:

  • The sworn statement must be notarized and included with your application
  • If the notarized statement sworn to under penalty of perjury is not included with your application, it will be rejected as incomplete and it will be returned to you without being processed.
  • Note: Any member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of a state or local government agency, as provided by law, who orders a copy or a record to which subdivision (a) applies in conducting official business may not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a).
  • An agent or employee of a funeral establishment who acts within the course and scope of his or her employment and who orders death certificates on behalf of individuals specified in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of Subdivision (a) of § 7100 of the Health and Safety Code shall not be required to provide the notarized statement required by subdivision (a).

Online Orders:

  • For convenience, Sonoma County has partnered with an independent company, VitalChek Network, Inc., through which an order may be processed.
  • VitalChek can be reached through its website,  www.vitalchek.com.
  • All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa®
  • Additional fees are charged by VitalChek for using this service. 

By Mail:

  • Check or money order from bank or post office (made payable to the Sonoma County Clerk) only:

Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder 
585 Fiscal Dr, Room 103
Santa Rosa, California 95403 

Contact Information

William F. Rousseau

County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

Business Hours
Monday – Tuesday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Note: Document processing and fee transactions end 30 minutes prior to closing

Address

County Clerk-Recorder Office

585 Fiscal Drive

Room 103

Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.4657196, -122.7277883

Payment Information

Payment Options
Clerk-Recorder accepts payments by cash, checks, credit or debit cards.

Application for Certified Death Certificate

 

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