Quick Guide to Easily Obtain a Death Certificate

Death Certificates Quick Guide to Easily Obtain a Death Certificate

How Long Does It Take to Get a Death Certificate?

When you are first faced with the death of a loved one, it may surprise you to find out how long it takes to get a copy of the decedent's death certificate.

It is never easy to lose someone you love. Suppose you are faced with responsibility for the estate or are among the other qualified classifications for receiving a copy of the birth certificate. In that case, you may be surprised at how long it can take. When a loved one dies, you need a death certificate to get things done, like close bank accounts, move forward with the probate court for the estate, claim life insurance payments, and register for survivors' benefits with Social Security. As a matter of fact, there are so many actions that require certified copies of birth certificates, and you will need to order several copies to meet all the different requirements.

The purpose of a death certificate is to be able to show the cause of death. The fact is that it takes a different amount of time for each case. If it is a simple situation such as death from old age, the local authorities can quickly create the death certificate and issue it on time. However, if there is any question about the cause of death, that certificate can be delayed until toxicology results come back, and the coroner can sign off on the cause of death. This can extend the processing time by six weeks or more. On the other hand, in the sad case of a stillbirth, the fetal death certificate can be processed immediately by doctors and nurses in attendance at the delivery.

Obtaining a copy of a death certificate can be complicated, or, with the help of DoNotPay, there can be a simple solution.

Difference Between Certified /Authorized and Informational Death Certificate

A certified death certificate is a legal document that states the details of a person's passing.

A death certificate includes the following information:

  • The decedent's date of birth
  • The names of their parents
  • Their social security number
  • The date of their death
  • The city and state where the person died
  • The cause of death

An informational copy will show the same information as a certified copy but will have a notation at the top of the document stating "for informational purposes only."

Who Is Qualified to Get a Death Certificate?

In order to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate, the requestor needs to be qualified by their relationship to the decedent. Those who are considered qualified include:

  • The spouse or domestic partner of the decedent
  • Blood relatives, such as sibling, parent, grandparent, or child
  • Beneficiaries and executors of the estate
  • Legal entities such as attorneys, law enforcement, or the courts

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Copy of a Death Certificate?

The cost of a certified copy of a death certificate will vary depending on the state you live in. The cost of the first copy of the death certificate is $38, with each additional certificate  $25.

How to Obtain a Copy of a Death Certificate on Your Own

There are several steps you will need to take to obtain a copy of a death certificate.

  1. Gather information proving that you are qualified to receive the document. This can include your birth certificate, marriage license/certificate, or even the death certificate of a parent showing that the names of your parent and their spouse match the names on both your birth certificate and the death certificate of the decedent.
  2. Gather proof that you are a beneficiary or other legal entity attached to the state.
  3. Proof of domestic partnership.
  4. Confirm with the office of vital records that the death certificate has been processed and is available.
  5. Find out where the office of vital records is and if they will be able to provide you with a certified copy when you walk in.
  6. Obtain the application for a death certificate online or by mail.
  7. Complete the application for a death certificate.
  8. Submit the application in person, by mail, or online along with the fees for the number of death certificates requested.

**Note: If there is one requested detail missing or you forget to include the required fees, your application can be denied.

Next Steps: Getting a Death Certificate Copy if You Can’t Do It on Your Own

If your initial attempt at obtaining a death certificate is denied, you will have to go through the application process again. Following the denial, you may want to obtain assistance from someone else who is also qualified, like an attorney. A simple alternative is to look for help at the click of a button through DoNotPay.

Get Your Death Certificate With the Help of DoNotPay

Getting copies of a death certificate through DoNotPay will save a lot of time.

If you want to get a copy of a death certificate but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 7 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Death Certificates product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Enter the details of the person who is on the death certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. 
  3. Enter the city, state, and hospital (if applicable) the registrant passed away in, so we can complete the correct form. 
  4. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy. 
  5. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license. 
  6. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct. 
  7. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf. 

Why You Should Use DoNotPay to Get Copies of a Death Certificate 

When you use DoNotPay to obtain copies of the death certificate, you can avoid complications such as being denied due to an incomplete application.

DoNotPay is the best way to get copies of a death certificate starting with the touch of a button. DoNotPay is:

FastOne visit to their website and your information is submitted to the correct authorities, fees are paid, and in a few short minutes, you are done with your request.
EasyIt could not be easier than the death certificate ordering tool at DoNotPay. You will not have to worry about an incomplete application, missing information, or forgetting to include the required fees with your application.
SuccessfulWhen you leave it up to DoNotPay, you will be successful the first time that you create your order for a death certificate.

Aside from death certificates, DoNotPay also offers online help dealing with birth certificates such as:

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