Information for Funeral Agents (Death Records)

COVID-19 CDC Funeral Guidelines

Funeral Guidance for Individuals and Families

All deaths must be registered within 8 days of death. Death records must be approved before disposition can take place.

EDRS & FDRS Filing Hours

Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 11:30 AM and 1:00 - 4:00 PM

You may send us faxes or submit records through Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; however, EDRS/FDRS processing, walk-in service, and telephone calls will be processed during business hours.

Registration Processing Time

It is our practice to process records in the order they are received. Always proofread your work before submitting for authorization. This includes spelling. If the certificate and permit are both accurate and complete, you should receive authorization within approximately two (2) business hours after MI Review and SUBM LR final submission.

Emergency Filing

In order to meet the needs of our community, Napa County Vital Statistics has implemented a procedure for mortuary/funeral home staff for an emergency filing. Emergency filings may be obtained for religious or cultural reasons only when final disposition is required within 24 hours of death.

Examples of the appropriate use of the Emergency Vital Statistics Request fax form include

  • A family requests that the body of their loved one be buried immediately due to their religious beliefs (for example, Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim)
  • A family requests that the body of their loved one be buried immediately because it is their cultural burial custom (for example, they are from Guatemala)

The Emergency Vital Statistics Request fax form should not be used to request emergency processing based solely on family preference or scheduling conflicts. While it is our mission to provide high quality, efficient service, we must also ensure fair and equal treatment for all of our Vital Statistics clients.

To Request an Emergency Filing

To ensure that the permit can be issued it is imperative that you proofread documents before submission; including attestation.

Amendment Process

Amendments are processed the same day they are created as long as Vital Statistics staff is notified by fax or email between the hours of 8:30 am-11:30 am and 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm Monday through Friday. Vital Statistics can only process an amendment if the death certificate has not been registered at the State of California. Vital Statistics is now permitted by the State of California to process drop to paper amendments as long as the death certificate has not been registered by the State. Please allow 24 hours to process the drop to paper amendments. Any drop to paper amendments received after 1:00 pm will be processed the next business day.

Death Certificates – Certified Copy Request

We accept requests for certified copies of death certificates from funeral homes via fax or mail. However, the DC must be registered before placing the order. Payment must be provided with mail-in requests or upon pick up of the order. Orders will be available after 1:00 pm the business day following our receipt of the order. Mail orders for death certificates will be processed within 48 hours of receipt in our office; a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage must be provided.

Fetal Death Certificate

For same-day processing, the DC must be submitted before 1:00 pm. Requests received after 1:00 pm will be processed the next business day, and a minimum four-working hours turn-around time will apply. The only option currently approved by the State of California for processing fetal death certificates is via fax. This is due to the sensitive nature of the information provided on the certificate.

EDRS Record Correction

Please fax a completed EDRS Request to our office to request a record correction for any of the following reasons

  • Abandon EDRS record (please note that funeral homes and medical facilities can now abandon their own amendments)
  • Unlock PI, MI, or both on EDRS record
  • Multiple disposition EDRS filling
  • EDRS file/permit with drop to paper certificate
  • Ship out/request for transit letter. Please note: request must be made at least 72 hours in advance of funeral and disposition.

Use of the EDRS Fax Communication Form will help reduce the number of phone calls and expedite processing of requests.

Disposition Permits

The funeral home is responsible for completing an EDRS Disposition Permit (DP) and Death Certificate (DC) for registration. Once the DC is registered and the DP is issued, the funeral home must print four copies of the DP. The Funeral Director must then submit a signed fourth copy with payment to the Vital Statistics Office. This payment must be placed in the mail within 24 hours of the issuance and/or received within 72 hours (mail or walk-in). Failure to send the appropriate fees and disposition permit may result in EDRS privileges being suspended until fees are received.

Scattering on Land

In order to scatter remains on privately owned property, a permission letter must be obtained from the property owner and submitted before the DP can be issued. When scattering at a religious entity or state park, a permission letter from the religious entity or park ranger must be submitted when applying for the permit. The documentation must be faxed to the VS office with an EDRS Request at least 72 hours in advance of the planned disposition.


Any change in the final disposition listed on the original death certificate is considered a disinterment. If you are submitting a disinterment permit through EDRS, and it is a Napa County death that was registered through EDRS, no additional documents are necessary. A disinterment permit must be filed in person at the VS office for cremains that are not registered in Napa County. Please do not apply for the permit until you have completed all the following required documents:

  • A certified copy of the original death certificate (or)
  • A completed copy of the disinterment permit to be filed.

If the disinterment is for an intake body, the permit must be issued by the county where the remains are located.  An amendment and appropriate fee are required to reflect the new place of disposition.

Transit Out/Ship Letters

Transit letters for non-contagious diseases are available by submitting a request via EDRS Request. The request must be made at least 72 hours in advance of the planned disposition. If the Coroner has declared the cause of death, the transit letter must be requested from the Coroner’s Office.