Apostille for South Carolina Death Certificate


When you need to apostille a South Carolina death certificate, you will need to make sure to have a certified copy of the vital record beforehand. If you need to order one, your best bet is to go through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what their website says about obtaining one:


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.

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 Fees include:

  • A $17 non-refundable expedited searching fee (State)

  • $3 for each additional copy (State)

  • $8.75 additional processing fee (Vendor)

  • Secure Next Day "signature required" delivery available for additional fee

Online Identity Verification - avoid sending ID 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.


South Carolina Death Certificate Apostille

There is no margin for error with the Authentication or Apostille process. If mistakes are made, both your time and money will be wasted and you'll have to start all over again. If you want to look into outsourcing this part of preparing to studying abroad to someone with experience, please email me at jared@apostillellc.com or call 848-467-7740 to request my services or learn more.

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