Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Research Note: California & Missouri Death Certificates

California Provides Speedy Mail Service

Although GeneaBlogie is based in California, most of my research is in other states. Recently, however, I had occasion to order a California death certificate. Frankly, I was dreading the experience. It couldn't be done online and there's no walk-in counter at the state office that processes the requests. I was prepared for a months-long wait, given how other things in this state work. I was pleasantly surprised when a week after I had mailed my request, I received a postcard acknowledging my request and stating that the average processing time for birth and death certificates was four weeks from the date of the acknowledging postcard. [On the other hand, it also said the average processing time for marriage licenses is 2-3 years!]. In fact, I received the death certificate just three weeks after my request. Here's the link to the California Office of Vital Records.

Missouri Expediting Service

I've written before about Missouri's great new 1910-1955 death certificate project. Images are now online through 1923 and the State Archives intends to get through 1925 by the end of June. In the meantime, photocopies are available from the Archives for the ridiculously reasonable cost of $1.00 each. So I ordered five certificates and received a postcard informing me that it would be eight weeks until my request could be processed. But like my experience with California, I actually received the certificates in less than half that time. Well, I must have been one of the lucky ones, because recently the Missouri Archives posted this notice on its death certificate site. So now, for the equally ridiculous cost of $5.00, you can get expedited service from Friends of the Archives.

1 comment:

DeAnna B said...

I've been researching in those death records like a mad woman. I've got scads of family in Missouri, and I'm hoping I can get through all the requests before they wake up to just how ridiculously inexpensive the service is. :D