Note: Fee change January 1, 2013.
Effective January 1, 2013, the fee for certified copies of death certificates will be $16 in accordance with Assembly Bill 1053, which was chaptered on Oct. 2, 2011. This fee will effect all requests processed in 2013. Therefore, if you mail your request the last part of December 2012 please submit the new fee.
Death certificates are needed for Social Security, life and health insurance and other time sensitive purposes. You can purchase a certified copy of a death certificate in person at the County Clerk-Recorder's office at 555 County Center, First Floor,
Our office hours are 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.
Payment types accepted in the office are cash, checks, and credit or debit cards (Visa and Mastercard only).
San Mateo County does not accept online orders; however, for your convenience, you can process online requests through an independent company that we have partnered 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®.
Mailed requests for certified copies of death certificates must be accompanied by a notarized application. (Application form will require the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader which may be downloaded for free.) Mail the application with the required payment in a preprinted check (payable against a USA bank) or money order only to the above address- Attn: Vital Records. Make checks payable to San Mateo County Clerk-Recorder.
Processing time may take several days. Please expect to receive your copies via regular mail in approximately two weeks. If you wish to expedite your request you may opt to send it via overnight mail. If so, please include a pre-paid overnight return envelope along with your notarized application and check or money order. Certificates from the years 1865 to 1965 may require an additional two days for processing.
An amendment to any death certificate must be completed through the State Office of Vital Records. Please see website for forms and instructional packet www.dhs.ca.gov