Call (877) 710-9493 for death-certificate authentication assistance
Need to get an apostille or authentication for a death certificate?
Simply follow the steps below or call (877) 710-9493 to discuss it with us.
Did the person pass away in California?
The California Secretary of State can only apostille death certificates for people who were passed away in California. If the person died in another state, you have to get the apostille through that state's Secretary of State. We may be able to help with apostilling death certificates from other states--call (877) 710-9493 for timing and rates. If the person named on the death certificate passed on in California, proceed to step 2.
Do you have an official copy of the death certificate?
The California Secretary of State will only apostille certified copies of death certificates--no scans or photocopies. You can order a certified copy from the county in which the person passed away. We may be able to order a certified copy for you--call (877) 710-9493 for time and rates. If you have an original or certified copy of a California death certificate, proceed to step 3.
Who signed the death certificate?
At the bottom of the California death certificate, you'll find a signature from a county official. What is that person's title? If you're not sure, call (877) 710-9493 for help determining who signed it. If it's signed by a Public Health Officer or something similar to that, proceed to step 4. If it's signed by the County Clerk or Assessor/Recorder, skip to step 5.
What if a Public Health Officer signed the death certificate?
Unfortunately, the California Secretary of State does not have a list of county public health officials, so that office is unable to apostille their signatures. Don't worry, you can still get an apostille--it just takes an extra step. The County Clerk in the county where the person passed away needs to authenticate the Public Health Officer's signature; then the California Secretary of State can authenticate the County Clerk's signature. This means an in-person visit to the relevant County Clerk. You can do this yourself or, if it's easier, mail us the certified copy of the death certificate and have us take it to the County Clerk for you. For more information about this step, call (877) 710-9493. Once the Public Health Officer's signature has been verified by the County Clerk, proceed to step 5.
How does the apostille process for a death certificate work?
We will take your certified copy of a California death certificate that has been signed or verified by a County Clerk to Sacramento to be apostilled. The California Secretary of State will check the name and signature of the County Clerk and then issue an apostille. For countries that have signed the Hague Convention for Apostilles, no further legalization is needed. For countries that have not signed the Hague Convention, a consular visit will be necessary. For more information about California apostilles or Hague member countries, call (877) 710-9493. If the birth certificate is being authenticated for a country that that has notsigned the Hague Convention, proceed to step 6. If the birth certificate is being authenticated for one of the countries that has signed the Hague Convention, skip to step 7.
What if it's for a non-Hague country?
Countries that have not signed the Hague Convention for Apostilles require additional processing for death certificate legalization. Typically, this is done at the country's consular office in San Francisco. After we get the death certificate apostilled by the California Secretary of State, we will bring it to the relevant consulate for legalization. For more information about the process for non-Hague countries, call (877) 710-9493. You're almost done! To decide what to do with the document, proceed to step 7.
What do you want to do with the final document?
Once the death certificate has been apostilled/authenticated, we can send it back to you or directly to the receiving country. Shipping within the United States is included in the apostille price. For shipping rates to other countries, click here or call (877) 710-9493 for a quote. Once you know where the document is going, you're ready to order. Proceed to step 8.
Place your order
If you know the answers to all of the above questions, you're ready to place an order. You can place your order online or over the phone at (877) 710-9493. To place your order online, click here.
Questions? Get in touch!