Death Records by Mail

Our office provides three different types of certified copies of death records based on your need and eligibility:

  1. A certified copy of a complete death record may be issued to a relative*, an authorized representative, a funeral director reporting the facts of death, or by the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.  This copy is the full death record that  includes the cause of death and the social security number.
  2. A certified copy of a death record that includes the facts of death may be issued to any person that may obtain a certified copy of a complete death record or to any licensed attorney who requires the copy for a bona fide legal determination. This copy includes the decedent's social security number, but does not include any cause of death information.
  3. A certified informational copy of a death record may be issued to the general public.  This copy includes all the demographic information about the decedent, but the copy does not contain the cause of death or the social security number.

(*) Relative - Based on NDCC 23.02-1, for the purposes of disclosing death information, means a person's current or surviving spouse, a parent or legal guardian, a child, a grandparent, or a grandchild.

 

Do I need any identification to make a request?

Yes. You must submit one of the following forms of primary identification with your request. The identification CANNOT be EXPIRED!

  1. State Government issued Photo ID or Driver's License
  2. Bureau of Indian Affairs issued tribal ID card
  3. U.S. Government issued Military ID card
  4. U.S. Government issued Passport or Visa
  5. U.S. Government issued Permanent Resident Card

If you do not have one of the prior primary forms of identification, you must provide a legible photocopy of two of the following:

  1. Social Security Card
  2. Utility bill with current address (no more than 3 months old)
  3. Bank statement with current address (no more than 3 months old)
  4. Pay stub (must include your name, SSN, name and address of your employer)
  5. Vehicle registration with current address (for the current registration year)
  6. IRS Tax Return (from the prior year)

If you cannot provide any of these forms of identification or if you have any other questions related to these requirements, please call our office at (701) 328-2360 or contact us by e-mail at vitalrec@nd.gov

 

How do I apply for a Death Record by Mail?

  1. Complete the death request application form.
  2. Include a check or money order made out to the "North Dakota Department of Health" for all required fees.
  3. Include primary or secondary forms of identification.
  4. Mail form, fees and identification to:

         Division of Vital Records

         600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 301

         Bismarck, ND 58505

 

How long does it take to get a death record?

Once received in our office, copies are usually mailed in 3 to 5 business days (this does not include the return mail time).  Any received request that includes FedEx or UPS return shipping are processed the next business day for overnight shipping.

 

Can I Fax the application to Vital Records?

No.  The fax process is not a reliable or efficient way to send your request to our office.  If your need is urgent, then we suggest ordering your death record using our secure web application, which is our fastest method of ordering records.