Death certificates, like any other vital record, are available to the general public. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, or SCDHEC for short, is the agency that is tasked with the proper housing, maintenance, and dissemination of South Carolina death records and other vital documents in the state. Through the DHEC’s Office of Vital Records, citizens can obtain certified copies of vital documents from records of birth to marital reports.

Granted that there are more than a handful of reasons for wanting access to these types of documents, obtaining them can’t be easy without the appropriate methods. There may come a point in our lives where we will want to acquire a certified copy of a death report, for example, it is essential that we know what to do or how to go about ordering such files. From genealogy research and marital history checks to official validation for legal transactions, these public reports are an essential aspect in our society.

Death reports from January of 1915 onwards are available at the Office of Vital Records in the state of South Carolina. However, there are cities in the state that keep earlier reports. The city of Florence, for instance, has death reports between 1895 and 1914 on file at the Florence County Health Department. Newberry has ledger entries that date back to the late 1800s accessible at the Newberry County Health Department. And the city of Charleston has death records as early as 1821 stored on file at the Charleston County Health Department.

Unfortunately, those three county offices are the only entities that posses some of the earliest death reports in the state of South Carolina. If you are interested in the death certificate of an ancestor who died in one of those three cities, you may want to consider contacting the health department of that particular city for enquiries and additional information on the requirements and current fees. Certified copies of death reports ordered from the Office of Vital Records, on the other hand, will cost you twelve dollars each. And if you are planning to request multiple copies of the same document, you will be paying an additional three dollars for every duplicate. Payments must be in the form of a money order or a cashier’s check, made payable to the SCDHEC.

Although the search methods that are available to us these days are quite advanced compared to those in the past, going through the conventional channels to obtain a specific vital report can still take some time. The policies and requirements involved make the entire process a bit more complicated to some individuals, especially those who are not very familiar with the procedures. Luckily, there are alternatives that one can consider when there is a need to access public documents.

As of late, there are various online information resources that anyone of us can utilize. These commercial record search services have essentially become a major record gathering tool for individuals who wish to perform a free death records search without having to jump through hoops. With an extensive database of vital records, you can practically access up-to-date and precise public documents from any state in the country, not just in South Carolina; all of this for a nominal one-time fee.

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