Death Records

Fee increase effective January 1, 2022: Death Certificate copies will increase to $23.00 per copy (additional mailing fees may apply).

FEMA has started accepting applications for their Funeral Assistance Program.  For more information please  click here

California Health and Safety Code Section 103526 permits only authorized persons to receive certified authorized copies of death records. All others may only request a certified informational copy. Informational copies will be marked "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY."

What Records are Available?

Our office has death records from the current year back to 1850. Our records only include deaths that occurred in Santa Barbara County.

Please allow 4-6 weeks from the date of death for certificate copies to be available for purchase. If you need a Death Certificate sooner, you may request a certificate directly from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department's Office of Vital Records.

For help requesting records for deaths that occurred outside of Santa Barbara County, the Los Angeles County Recorder has an Out of County reference page with contact information for other counties and states.

Fees and Ways to Order

We do not perform searches or take payment information over the phone or via email. We do not fax or email Death Certificates.

Select an application method from the table below for additional information.

Application Method:In Person
Processing Time:1-3 Business Days
Fee for One Copy:$21.00
Each Additional Copy:+ $21.00
You can purchase a certified copy of a vital record at either of our office locations. Please be sure to complete an  online application prior to your visit.  Be prepared to show government issued photo ID for authorized copies. Processing Times 1975-present Same Day Prior to 1975 1-3 Business Days*

*Requests for older records can either be picked up after 1-3 business days or sent USPS first class mail to any U.S. address for an additional $2 fee.

Application Method:By Mail - o nline application
Processing Time:1-10 Business Days
Fee for One Copy:$23.00 - $44.50
Each Additional Copy:+ $21.00
We do not accept USPS first class stamped, self-addressed envelopes as a return option, you must choose one of the return methods shown below

Fees and Return Methods

Return MethodUSPS First Class
Processing Time7-10 Business Days
One Copy$23.00
Each Additional Copy+ $21.00

We do accept USPS first class stamped, self-addressed envelopes as a return option. The fee is an additional $2.00 if you provide the envelope.


Return MethodUSPS Priority Express
Processing Time1-3 Business Days
One Copy$44.50
Each Additional Copy+ $21.00

Our office may provide you with a tracking number upon request which can be used to track your shipment through the United States Post Office.


Return MethodCustomer Provided Prepaid Express Envelope or Label
Processing Time1-3 Business Days
One Copy$23.00
Each Additional Copy+ $21.00

The address on pre-addressed envelopes must match the address on the application.


International Requests

If you are requesting that the order be mailed outside of the United States, please see our International Requests page for additional instructions.

Application Method:By Fax - online application
Processing Time:1-3 Business Days
Fee for One Copy:$51.50
Each Additional Copy:+ $21.00

Copy orders received by fax will be processed in 1 to 3 business days. All orders will be returned to you by USPS express mail and must be paid with a credit card through the online application.. Our office may provide you with a tracking number upon request which can be used to track your shipment through the United States Post Office .

Please note that the quality of faxed images varies, and images can often come through unclear. In order to prevent delays in the processing of your order, we ask that all faxed requests be accompanied by a completed Illegible Notary Seal Declaration that clarifies the information contained on the notary seal on the Certificate of Acknowledgment. This form may be completed by either the applicant or the notary.


International Requests

If you are requesting that the order be mailed outside of the United States, please see our International Requests page for additional instructions.

Copy Order Forms

The application is not fully processed by web due to the requirements for original signatures and notarization.

  • Certified AUTHORIZED vital copy request:  you must appear in person at one of our office orprint the application and take it to a Notary Public to complete Sections 6 and 7 and return to Clerk-Recorder by mail or fax (email is not accepted). 
  • Certified INFORMATIONAL vital copy request: you must appear in person at one of our office orprint and sign in Box 3 on the application and return to Clerk-Recorder by mail or fax (email is not accepted).

    If you have questions or do not have your application printed and need a copy, please email   Clk-RecHelpDesk@co.santa-barbara.ca.us   with your requestor name, approximate date of application and Self Service ID (if available).

    Death Certificate Copy Order Application

    Online requests will be kept active for 30 days. If you are authorizing a credit card for a mailed or faxed in order, the application must be received within 30 days of submitting the request.

    The fees for certified copies listed above are nonrefundable. Health & Safety Code Section 103650 requires that the fee for any search of marriage, birth, or death records, is the same as the record itself. If a record is not found, a Certificate of No Public Record will be issued.

    Payment Methods

    We accept the following payment methods:
    Check / Money Order: Please make payable to "Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder"
    Money Order: Please ensure that all information on the Money Order is completed.
    Credit Card: Visa, MasterCard, Discover (American Express NOT accepted). If sending the request by mail or fax, please authorize a credit card though the online application. 
    We also accept cash in person. Please Do Not send cash through the mail.

    Who Can Request Copies?

    Frequently Asked Questions