More about Death Certificates

October 17, 2022

How do I obtain a death certificate?

We do not issue death certificates. While we input important information, we do not provide a death certificate, it is a state record. Death certificates are administered by the San Francisco Department of Public Health Office of Vital Records, 101 Grove Street, Room 105, San Francisco.

If you engaged a mortuary or funeral home, they can provide you a death certificate. They will work with you to complete the non-medical sections of the death certificate and submit the record for registration with the State.

What does “pending” cause of death and manner of death mean on a death certificate?

We must file a death certificate with the state in 8 days. In some cases, we are unable to record a definitive cause and/or manner of death on the death certificate immediately following our examination because it often necessary for us to perform toxicological tests in order to arrive at the exact cause of death. So, it is entered as “pending” but once the exact cause of death is determined we submit an amendment to the death certificate with the updated information.

How will I learn the final cause and manner of death?

The legal next of kin will receive a letter in the mail from this office.