In order to do some of the things I need to do to close out the tiny bit of my late sister's official affairs, like her bank account, I need her death certificate. I tried sending what seemed like the correct form (along with a payment and a notarized affidavit) to the Sacramento County Clerk's office. They sent it back, saying that it has been too soon. Apparently for the first three years after death it comes from a different department. Looking at the other department, it looked like their form was similar but not quite the same, and would cost me another notary fee, which seemed stupid, so I called them. The guy there said there was no need for a separate affidavit because their form was asking for the exact same things, but he asked for Kelli's information to make sure they had the certificate. It turns out that for some reason they do not, and he referred me to a different office. That office says they can't find anyone by that name (or by any of the likely ways they might have misspelled her name, like Kelly Stanley or other variations. I ended up leaving a message with another person who might be able to track it down. I wonder if I'm actually going to have to go down to Sacramento and stand on someone's desk until they issue me the necessary paperwork.
In the meantime, I'm having similar difficulty (even with a copy of the death certificate) convincing the California Department of Motor Vehicles that my mother's car (which was accidentally totaled shortly after her death while it was being moved, but that we haven't been able to actually dispose of due to the cloudy title) should be in "Planned Non Operational" status and that I have the right to do so. This being even after I sent them a copy of her death certificate, will (naming me as executor and sole heir), and the necessary fee to put it into PNO status. They cashed the check, but they continue to send her (at her old address, not mine) dunning notices for registration fees.
You'd think they want the people who die to come in to their office before they die to tell the people there that they'll be dying at a future certain date and would they please update their databases.