After 50 years, all South Carolina death records become public domain and can be accessed by anyone who has an interest to do so. There are no restrictions based on relationship. These records are available through the Vital Records office, like all other types of records but you can also view them for free at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Their address is 8301 Parklane Road in Columbia.
Otherwise, you'll need to contact either the main state office of Vital Records, or your the local county office where the death took place. The county offices only have limited capabilities and can only issue certificates for deaths that occurred in the past 5 years.
South Carolina death records newer than 50 years are restricted to family members and legal officials only. You will have to be a member of the immediate family in order to request such a death record. That is for the full death certificate. If all you need is the shorter "statement of death", then anyone can make the request.
Making a request to the main state office involves getting the application form (http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/library/d-0640.pdf), completing it, and submitting the paperwork along with the fee to the office. The forms will require identifying information about the deceased, including their full name, date and place of death, and their social security number (if you know it).
You also have to provide a piece of your own photo ID and your contact information. There are 3 different kinds of South Carolina death records, so you have to indicate which one you want. The long form is complete including the official cause of death. The short form has all the information except cause of death, and the death statement only contains the name, place and date of death. As mentioned, anyone can access death statements. The cost for all three is the same.
And the fees any record is $12 USD for the first one, and $3 each for any additional copies that you order at the same time. If paying at the counter, you can pay in cash otherwise you'll need a check or money order. It can be made out to "SC DHEC". These fees are non-refundable even in the case where the record you are seeking is not found.
You can either mail in your completed forms or take them to the office in person. In-person requests are usually performed while you wait (provided you don't show up at closing time), otherwise mailed in requests take 2 to 4 weeks to process. Whether you are going in person or mailing, the office address is 2600 Bull Street, Columbia SC, 29201 USA.
Overall, the Vital Records office has South Carolina death records dating back to 1915.
You can do additional research online by searching through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History collection of death documents, dating between 1915 and 1960. The list is on the Department of Health website (http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/vr/vrdi.htm) and will require an additional plug-in for your computer.
To request South Carolina death certificates, follow the steps outlined below:
In order to request South Carolina death certificates, you will need to complete a South Carolina Death Certificate application.
A copy of your photo ID must be included with your request.
You will also need to include a cashier's check or money order covering the $12 fee for standard service. Expedited services are subject to additional charges.
If you would like more information on how to access South Carolina death records, you can contact the office below:
South Carolina Department of Health
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Method For Ordering South Carolina Death Records
If you need South Carolina death records, then you can obtain copies through South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. You can order the death records that you need in a variety of ways directly from the Department.
Methods You Can Use For Ordering
To order your South Carolina death records, there are three options of methods that can be used. If you need to pay by a credit card, then you can order by phone or online through an independent company for an additional fee. You can also visit the Department in person or mail in your application. Processing time takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 weeks depending on the process selected.
Limited Information To Non-Family Members
South Carolina death records are restricted in the information that is given to the public. Only immediate family members, legal representatives, and those with a legal need will be given an actual certificate. Members of the general public, however, can receive a statement that the death occurred, which includes the date and county.