The California VS-9 Burial Permit
All California burials, whether a full body land burial, full body sea burial, or a scattering of ashes require a permit issued from the County. If the death occurred in California, you may already have the correct permit. If the death occurred out of state or abroad, a permit will definitely need to be obtained.
An original or certified death certificate or transit permit is required in order to obtain the California permit. A permit cannot be obtained with a photocopy of a death certificate, even if it is full color.
E-file FAQ: What if my transit permit or death certificate was electronically filed? As electronically filed death certificates and transit permits are becoming more common, the policy is to accept electronically filed documents as proof in order to obtain the VS-9 permit. If you are unsure whether your document fits this criteria, please email me to take a look. We are compiling a list of States who are now using e-file.
Unusual cases: If the deceased was an American citizen and died abroad, you will receive a document entitled "Report of an American Citizen Who Died Abroad" from the Embassy. This original document can also be used to procure the permit.
If the death certificate is in any language other than English, the County requires a Certified Translation along with the death certificate. See Certified Translation on our Resources page.
How to Obtain the Permit Yourself
We Can Obtain the Permit For You