FAQs

The death certificate generally takes about 10 working days from the date of death to be registered with the state. The Body Donation Program coordinates with the donor’s doctor to take care of the registration process electronically. Once it is registered, the family of the donor can order those from the Health Department in the county of death. The Health Department issues the death certificates. The State of California currently charges $24 for each certified copy. It is best to consult an accountant or attorney to understand how many death certificates might be needed. It is important to note that the Health Department will not have record of the death until the death certificate is registered. The family can contact the Body Donation Program office to check the status of the registration process after 10 working days from the date of death. It is also important to note that a death certificate will not automatically be sent to the family. The Body Donation Program does not have a copy of the death certificate to distribute to families. Those can only be obtained by contacting the Health Department in the county of death.