How Can I Get My Dad's Death Records for Free?

Updated November 21, 2016

If your father has passed away, you may want to locate his death record for whatever reason. Death records are public record, and are made available for free by every state in the United States. There are other ways to locate death records, aside from your state's official government page. However, most other options require you to pay for a membership to the site or pay to access individual records. The process of locating free death records from a state's government page is fairly straightforward.

Visit, the official government site for all online services. This is the most direct way to access free death records. Even if you do an Internet search for "free death records," many of these sites have hidden fees to pay in order to access public records.

Locate the website for the state in which your father lived. Each state has its own official website and own office of public record. There will be a search box on the home page. Conduct a search by typing in the state your father lived followed by the "department of public health." For example, if your dad lived in Iowa before he died, type in "Iowa department of public health".

Locate the link on this page that says "Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates," located underneath the heading "Quick Links" on the state's home page.

Look for a link that says "How to request a certified record online." This link will take you to a page that tells you how to access public death records. Sometimes these records will be available online, other times you may have to e-mail, visit or call them to view these records. They will be able to give you access to your father's death certificate for free.

Know as much information about your father prior to contacting the state's department of health. You will need to know some basic information such as his first and last name, but knowing other information, such as the year he died and the city he lived in, will make the search process easier.


Contacting your state's bureau of health statistics is a free way to access your father's death records, but it is not an instant way. You will have to wait some time to view the actual record, so if you are looking to locate a copy of your dad's death record right away, you will need to pay a third-party website for the file.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet Access


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