Death Certificates

Immediate family members of the decedent's family or the legal representative of an immediate family member may obtain a certified copy of a death certificate. Other applicants may receive an uncertified copy of a death certificate, after providing a statement that the death occurred, including the date and county of death.

Request a South Carolina Death Certificate


1. Online

Average processing time is 5-7 business days.

Only an immediate family member of the decedent may order a death certificate through an online vendor.

GO Certificates - logo

Fees include:

  • A $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee (State)
  • $3 for each additional copy (State)*
  • $9.00 additional processing fee (Vendor)

* Additional vendor fees apply for additional copies
 

https://www.gocertificates.com

VitalCheck - logo

Fees include:

  • A $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee (State)
  • $3 for each additional copy (State)
  • $10.50 additional processing fee (Vendor)


     

 

https://www.vitalchek.com

 

If you are applying for a copy of a death certificate through one of our online vendors, you will be asked to submit a copy of a valid government, school or employer issued photo ID.  VitalChek can assist some individuals without identification with a security check.  If you do not pass the security check you will be required to upload a valid identification.

Note: Please use only the above approved vendors to send online requests for certified copies of South Carolina Vital Records. We cannot guarantee that orders from other websites will be processed.

 

 

2. By Phone through VitalChek

Average processing time is 5 - 7 business days.
Call 1-877-284-1008 to speak to a VitalChek representative 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Only an immediate family member may order a death certificate.

Fees Include:

  • $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • $10.50 additional charge to pay for the services of VitalChek
  • Shipping fees added should you choose expedited shipping.

 

3. In-Person

Average processing time is 30 - 45 minutes.
Same-day service is a goal of Vital Records; most requests can be processed the same day. For services that require additional processing time such as corrections and amendments; please arrive prior to 4 p.m. to ensure adequate time to process your request. Same-day service is not guaranteed for requests such as corrections and amendments.

You will need to provide:

  • A completed application form
  • $12 non-refundable standard searching fee
  • $3 for each additional copy
  • A valid government, school or employer issued photo ID.

Where to Go:

  • DHEC State Vital Records Office, Columbia - Issues long and short form death certificates and statements from 2005-Present; initiates corrections.
    • Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Telephone: (803) 898-3630
      Address: 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201
  • Regional Vital Records Offices - Issues long and short form death certificates and statements from 2005 - Present; initiates corrections.

 

4. By Mail

* Mail requests are only accepted at the state office in Richland County.

Average processing time is 2 - 4 weeks.

You will need to send:

  • A completed application form
  • A $12 non-refundable standard searching fee (Add $3 for each additional copy)
  • A valid government, school or employer issued photo ID (photocopy of one). Applications without proper identification are rejected automatically without being processed.
  • Mail to:
    • DHEC Vital Records
      2600 Bull St.
      Columbia, SC 29201

 

5. Drop-off

* Drop-offs are only accepted at the state office in Richland County.

Average processing time is two days.

You will need to provide:

  • A completed application form.
  • A $12 non-refundable search fee (search fee includes one certified copy of the birth certificate). Each additional copy is $3. We accept exact cash, a money order, or cashier's check made payable to S.C. DHEC.
  • A valid government, school or employer-issued photo ID.

Additional information:

  • We'll give you a receipt when you drop off your request.
  • We can mail your death certificate to you or you can pick it up at the Columbia State Office.

Where to Go:

  • DHEC State Vital Records Office, Columbia
    • Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Telephone: (803) 898-3630
      Address: 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201

 

Who can obtain a certified copy of a death certificate?

You are entitled to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate if you are:

  • An immediate member of the decedent's family.  Immediate family member is defined as:
    • Parent
    • Grandparent
    • Spouse (not divorced)
    • Sibling
    • Child
    • Grandchild
  • A legal representative of one of these
  • Others who can demonstrate evidence that they have a tangible interest in a personal or property right and that the death certificate is needed to settle that (such as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy, joint owners on a property, etc.).

Other applicants may be provided a statement that the death occurred, including the date and county of death, but not an actual certified copy of a death certificate.

Death certificates become public records after 50 years. Then any person may obtain an uncertified copy of the death certificate, upon submission of application form and fees.

 

What information will I need to apply for a death certificate?

  • Full name of the person whose death certificate is being requested
  • Full date of death (month, day, year)
  • County where the person was pronounced dead
  • Signature of the person requesting the death certificate and their current mailing address
  • The relationship between the person named on the death certificate and the person requesting the certified copy
  • The full name and complete mailing address of the person to whom the certificate is to be mailed
  • Area code and daytime telephone number of the person requesting the death certificate.

 

How can I check on the status of a death certificate request?

If you have not received any response to your request within 30 days of submission, you may call (803) 898-3630 or e-mail us at vrrequeststatus@dhec.sc.gov for an update.

 

What types of death certifications are issued?

The following death certificates are issued to those legally entitled to receive them:

  • Death Long Certificate which contains all information, including the cause of death.
  • Death Short Certificate contains limited information excluding the cause of death. However, it does contain the manner of death.

A Death Statement contains the decedent's name, county, and date of death.

 

How do I amend or change the information on a death certificate?

  • The procedures and requirements depend upon the specific information to be changed and whether any previous changes have been made. Specific instructions can only be provided after a review of the death record. 
  • If you have purchased a certificate within the last 12 months you may return it to our office where we will advise you of the process necessary for the correction.  This may involve gathering evidence to support the correction.  The informant will have to sign the affidavit.  If the informant is incapacitated or deceased the next of kin can sign the affidavit.
  • This process may be initiated by mail or onsite at a regional DHEC Vital Records office or the state office in Columbia.
 

For more information, contact Constituent Services.
 

 

Tags

Vital Records