County of San Benito Clerk, Auditor & Recorder

Death Certificates

Information regarding death certificates is found on this page. Fee schedule is here. Fee is payble to the San Benito County Clerk. Download and print the Death Certificate application in English or download and print the Application in Spanish,  from our website, or order online through an independent company, Vitalcheck.


On-Line orders for Death Certificates

San Benito County does not accept online orders; however, for your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have collaborated with to provide you this service; VitalChek Network, Inc. VitalChek can be reached through its website, www.vitalchek.com, An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for using this service, and all major credit cards are accepted, including American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®.


Did you know guidelines for ordering death records has changed?

Due to the increased occurrence of identity theft, new laws were passed to protect birth and death records from misuse. These laws went into effect 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.”


Death records and authorized persons

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 pf the Health and Safety Code.

Important details about death certificates

If the person died in San Benito County, you may obtian a certified copy from this office. If the county is not known, please contact the State Office of Vital Records. Please see website for forms and instructional packet www.dhs.ca.gov


Authorized copy or an informational copy?

In the State of California, authorized copies of vital records can only be obtained by the individual named on the record, parents of the individual named on the record, and certain other individuals or entities specified in law.  All other requestors can only obtain informational copies. All copies issued are “certified copies.”


Authorized Copy

California law defines individuals who can obtain an authorized copy of a birth or death certificate as:

  • The registrant (person listed on the certificate) or a parent or legal guardian of the registrant. A child, grandparent, grandchild, brother or sister, spouse, or domestic partner 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 California 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. (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 you are requesting a Certified Copy under a power of attorney, please include a copy of the power of attorney with the application form.)
  • 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 Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code.

Informational Copy

If you cannot obtain an authorized copy under California law, you can obtain an informational copy. An informational copy contains the same information as an authorized copy, but will have a legend across the face with the statement “INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY.” Authorized and informational copies are both “certified copies.”

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DISCLAIMER: The Information contained herein was believed to be valid at the time of publication. The San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters reserves the right to make changes in the website at any time and without notice. San Benito County Registrar of Voters assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. This website is for informational purposes only and separate from the County of San Benito website. This website includes links to other websites not controlled by the San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters. The San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters takes no responsibility for the views, content or accuracy of the other sites, nor does it endorse any content or products contained therein.