As unpleasant as it may sound, there is sometimes a need to obtain copies of death certificates. Whether you're closing an estate or simply doing some genealogical research, death certificates can provide you with vital information. Much of the time, these records cost money, but there is a way to obtain free copies online. They won't be the official registered copies, but they will still show all of the information you need.
Find an online ancestry or genealogy website that offers a free trial. Almost all online records and ancestry sites require you to sign up and pay fees, but most will offer a free trial for a few days. Once you have found one you're happy with, sign up for a free account and log in.
Gather information about the person whose death certificate you're seeking. The more information you can provide, the faster you will find the record. The minimum you need is the first and last name, last address, year of birth and year of death.
Locate the website's records database and fill in the input fields with the correct information you have collected. Click "Search" or "Submit" to start the search. The results you receive will depend on the details you have provided. The more information you have, the fewer results you'll see, making it quicker to find the certificate.
Read through the names, dates and death locations until you find the record you want. Click on the record to gain access to all the information and papers related to that record, locate the death certificate and click on it. Print the browser window to make a physical copy of the death certificate.
For official records, contact the records controller in the state where the person passed away and request an official copy. You will have to pay a fee for all official records.
Tips and warnings
- For official records, contact the records controller in the state where the person passed away and request an official copy. You will have to pay a fee for all official records.