South Carolina Death Records



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How to Find South Carolina Death Records

Death Records in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the Division of Vital Records at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control provides certified copes of death records from 1915 until the present. These are the certificates with the official raised seal. The records are stored in a fireproof vault.

The branch offices for vital records in each of the 46 counties can also supply death records upon request. However, these offices only have death records for the previous five years.

The department registers, maintains, corrects, certifies, and updates these records in conjunction with several other facilities that may be involved including local health departments, hospitals, funeral directors, and registers of deeds.

Individuals who are permitted to request a copy of a death certificate:

• Legal representative of the estate of the individual named on the death certificate.
• Immediate and extended family members including spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, half brother, sister, half sister, grandparent/great grandparent (maternal or paternal), grandchild, great grandchild, stepparent, stepson, or stepdaughter. Additional information may be required from extended family members and legal representatives.
• Applicant must be at least eighteen years of age.
• Once it has been at least fifty years since the death occurred, the records become public records. Therefore, they may be requested by any individual with a valid reason.

Basic information to be included with requests for birth certificates:

• Full name of the person named on the death certificate.
• Date of death. If the exact date of death is unknown, an additional fee may be charged for retrieval of the information.
• County and city of death.
• Gender of the individual named on the death certificate.
• Parents’ names. Mother’s name must include her maiden name.
• Social security number of the individual named on the death certificate.
• Funeral director.
• Relationship to the person whose name is on the death certificate.
• Reason for the request for an official copy of the death certificate.
• Proof of identification.
• Applicant’s signature.
• Applicant’s daytime telephone number. This includes the area code.
• Applicant’s mailing address.
• Items for which you do not know the correct response should be filled in with the word “unknown.”

Fees associated with acquiring a copy of an official death certificate:

• A fee may not be required for active and inactive members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.
• A $12.00 fee per copy for civilians. Payment may be made by check or money order for mail order and in person requests.
• If the search yields results, the fee covers the cost of one copy of the record.
• Additional copies are $3.00 if requested at the same time.
• Each additional search is $12.00.
• No refunds are given for searches that do not yield results.
• Telephone and online requests must be paid with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. The credit card must be in the name of the requestor.
• An additional fee of $12.95 is charged for online and telephone requests for processing a credit card.
• If you use an express carrier for a telephone or online request, an additional $14.50 will be added to your cost.
• If priority handling is requested for a mail order, an additional $5.00 will be charged. This guarantees that the request is processed and sent within 5 working days.
• Fees at the local municipal offices vary and that office must be contacted directly to acquire the amount of the fee.

Four different methods are available to obtain a copy of a death certificate: postal mail, in person, telephone, and online.

How to Apply for Certified Copied of Death Certificates by Telephone

Call the following toll free number: 1-877-284-1008. Follow the instructions provided to you. Fees apply as noted above.

How to Apply for Certified Copied of Death Certificates Online

You can submit an online request at the following link: A fee of $17.00 is charged for online service.

Drop down selection menus are used to fill in some of the information that pertains to your request including: type of certificate, city, county, date of the event, and the reason for the request. Select continue once the information has been filled in and you will be taken to a page to select your shipping options. Following this step, you will be required to complete the application.

The certificate will only be mailed to the address that corresponds to the credit card
account that is used for payment. Regular requests are generally processed within ten to fourteen business days. Death certificates will be sent through postal mail unless a request and payment has been made for an express carrier, UPS Air. A signature is required to receive a certified copy of the death certificate through an express carrier. An additional charge of $14.50 is assessed for the use of an express carrier.

In addition to the regular fee, a convenience fee of $12.95 will be charged. All payment must be made with a credit card. Online services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

How to Apply for Certified Copied of Death Certificates by Postal Mail

A postal mail application to request an official copy of a death certificate can be obtained at the following link:

You can obtain an application form by sending a request along with a stamped envelope with your name and address to the following address:

Division of Vital Records
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Send the completed form with signature, a legible copy of a government issued photo identification card, and payment information to the following address:

Division of Vital Records
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Regular requests usually take more than four weeks to process. Priority requests are processed within less time. To receive the requested records in less than four weeks, check the expedited service box on the form.

How to Apply for Certified Copied of Death Certificates in Person

To request a copy of a death certificate in South Carolina, you must visit the customer service area at the following location:

Division of Vital Records
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

You will need a completed application form. This can be downloaded at the following link: or you can acquire one at the customer service center. Identification is required. Acceptable forms of identification include a state issued driver’s license or non-driver photo identification card that includes the current address.

Office hours are between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. State holidays are excluded. Same day service is available and usually takes about 45 minutes.

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