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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a NEW USER in EDRS, please refer to the following document
for Frequently Asked Questions: NEW USER FAQ

If you are an ADVANCED USER in EDRS, please refer to the following document
for Frequently Asked Questions: ADVANCED USER FAQ

If you want more information on REMOTE ATTESTATION, please refer to the following document
for Frequently Asked Questions: REMOTE ATTESTATION FAQ

What is a death certificate?

The death certificate is the official source of information about deceased persons. Death certification dates back to fourteenth century England where these records, along with wills and property inventories, were regarded primarily as statements of fact essential to the protection of individual rights, especially those relating to the ownership and distribution of property. A law enacted by the Grand Assembly of Virginia in 1632 was the inception of legally required registration of births, marriages, and deaths in the United States. Death certificates are today both a legal as well as a statistical document.
[Mary Anne Freedman, MA, James A. Weed, PhD. The National Vital Statistics System. Public Health Informatics and Information Systems: in press, 2002]


What is the California EDRS (CA-EDRS)?

The California Electronic Death Registration System.


If I am a researcher, can I get data from the system?

Data from CA-EDRS is under the strict control of the California Office of Vital Records. Access to the data requires following the currently established procurement processes. For more information, contact the California Office of Vital Records. Researchers, including those within the University of California, do not have access to the CA-EDRS databases and must follow the standard OVR process to obtain access.


If I am a funeral director, does the use of CA-EDRS require a license fee?

No. Use of CA-EDRS by funeral homes, hospitals, physicians, and local registrars is at no cost.


What kind of system is CA-EDRS and what do I need to use it?

CA-EDRS is a Web-based system. For more details on what you need to access and use CA-EDRS, click here.


Does CA-EDRS handle fetal deaths?

No. CA-EDRS currently does not support certificate processing for fetal deaths.


If I am another State and would like to obtain CA-EDRS or parts of it, can I?

Yes. The CA-EDRS system source code and documentation is available to other state governments. Interested parties are able to obtain the source code at no cost, make modifications, and implement their own system using all or part of the California EDRS system. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Hogarth by sending e-mail to or by calling (916) 734-1619.