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How to Get a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate

Updated April 17, 2017

A death certificate is the official certified document which is filed upon a person's death. This certification usually lists the date of death, the location in which the death occurred, the cause of death and the personal information of the deceased. Obtaining a death certificate may be needed for settling the estate of the deceased, for accessing or ending government services, or perhaps for the purpose of settling an insurance policy.

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  1. Locate the appropriate contact information for the vital statistics office in the state location of the person's death.You will need the office phone number and the mailing address for submitting requests for certified death certificates. Record the phone number and address for later use.

  2. Create a letter request for a certified copy of the needed death certificate. You must be clear on all personal information. Make only one request per letter.

  3. Type the full name of the deceased, the date of the request, the date of birth and death, location of death (include city, state, and county), and the deceased individual's gender in the letter. Also include your relationship to the deceased, why the certified copy of the death certificate is needed, your name and current address, your driver's license number and issuing state, and your handwritten signature at the bottom of the letter.

  4. Place the letter in an envelope labelled with the mailing address for submitting requests for certified death certificates that was acquired earlier. Make sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the request letter, along with a check or money order.

  5. Confirm with the office that you are making the request of that all the information is correct prior to mailing.

  6. Tip

    Make sure to list your mailing address on the outside of the mailing envelope to ensure that it will be returned to you should it fail to be delivered.

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Things You'll Need

  • Check or money order
  • 2 Envelopes
  • 2 Stamps
  • Paper
  • Pen

About the Author

Based in Alabama, Stephanie Busby Davis has been writing and researching since 2001, primarily in areas such as communication studies, business and the entertainment industries. Her articles have appeared in "NCA Spectra" and numerous other publications. Davis holds a Master of Arts in communication studies from the University of South Alabama.

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