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In the recent years, general record keeping has improved greatly in the United States. Public, private and corporate documents need to be organized, reported and updated with government agencies to avoid delays or cancellations in document processing for travel in foreign countries.

It is important to notice that there are different rules for getting and notarizing a death certificate in different US states. For instance, in California a death certificate is based on where they passed away, not where they resided or where the burial of the person was, i.e., city, town, state or county in California.

Death Certificate in California

A death certificate is issue by Vital Records in your state. By issuing a death certificate, the registrar confirms the date, time and location of the deceased, including their name and other personal information.

How to Get Death Certificate Apostille in California

You will need an apostille for death certificate for visa, marriage, inheritance and several other issues in a foreign country. Moreover, if a US national dies in a foreign country signatory to the Hague Convention Apostille 1961, then they would need a death certificate apostille for the transportation of a casket or a funeral urn to the foreign country.

Some states require death certificates to have been issued within the last 12 months from the time of death. The only exception is being – the death certificate being lost, stolen or damaged, in which case you’d need to apply for a new certified copy by visiting Vital Records.

*If a US citizen dies in a foreign country, you would need to inform the US embassy or consulate with the a notification from the foreign government issuing request for that death certificate. It will then issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad (CRDA). Use the CRDA in the U.S. as proof of death for closing accounts and handling legal tasks.

Apostille Death Certificate:

Once you have acquired the death certificate, you would need to apostille your death certificate. An apostille would authenticate the document for use in that foreign country.

A death certificate issued by a specific state would need to be apostilled by that state’s Secretary of State. For instance, for a death certificate issued by Secretary of State in California would need to be apostilled in the same state (i.e., California). There is no exception to this rule. Note that certified copies of death copies are used in foreign countries for the same purposes. You will need to apostille certified copies in cases where original death certificate documents do not apply.

Lastly, for countries not signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention, you’d need some extra authentication requirements requested from the foreign country. This extra legalization is used to confirm the authenticity of the death certificate. This further authentication is to be done by the US Secretary of State in Washington D.C. and may require you to cover your own travel costs to and fro from your location.

Leaving the authentication of death certificates to non-professionals who do not understand the apostille process and are not knowledgeable about the unique requirements of each country may cost you lost time and money. Our expert staff at Apostille Near Me can handle all the processes for you and reduce the legalization time for you. You just need to fill and submit in the Download Form for Apostille here.



  • […] who had originally signed the documents such as birth certificate, free to marry certificate, death certificate, court orders, divorce documents apostille, trust documents, etc. One such document is the record […]

    • You are correct in some ways; however, you not only have the state registrar, but also the appointed medical officer and the superior court clerk. If you need help properly executing the documents, you are more than welcome to give us a call.