Death Certificates issued by California Counties are a luxury according to aids in the office of California Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D) author of California Assembly Bill 1053. Beginning January 1, 2012, and for each of the next two years, raises the cost per death certificate $2. The cost per copy of a death certificate in Contra Costa County in 2011 was $15 but by 2013 death certificates will be $21. There are other county fees added to the cost of a death certificate that could affect this cost - charges which have nothing to do with a death certificate, but are being added to the already unbearable burden of the loss of a friend or loved one.
Unknown to most is that they pay for the production of death certificates in the cost of cremation and burial arrangements: information to complete the death certificate is gathered from the deceased survivors and entered into the state electronic death registry and the causes of death are obtained and entered by a funeral professional - not the county or state, all paid for by the survivors of the deceased. So, in no way is such an exorbitant cost justifiable.
A death certificate is not a luxury. It is a necessity for taking care of one's personal affairs. Contact your representative and ask them to balance the budget through spending cuts and being fiscally responsible - not taking advantage of California families in their time of need.