Death Records by Mail

Medium

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 photo identification with your request. The identification CANNOT be EXPIRED!

 

Category Comment
Driver's License Issued by a U.S. state or territory, or by a country.  An Expired driver's licenses can be accepted if they expired in the last 30 days.
Photo ID Card Issued by government agency (federal, state or local).  Must be verifiable by the issuing agency, and must contain either an issue or an expiration date.
Tribal ID Card Issued by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
U.S. Military ID Card Active duty, dependent, retired, reserve or National Guard.
U.S. Passport Issued by the U.S. Department of State.
U.S. Visa Issued by the U.S. Department of State.
U.S. Permanent Resident Card Issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

If you do not have one of the prior primary forms of identification, you must provide a legible photocopy of two of the following.  EXPIRED licenses or ID cards will NOT be accepted!

 

Category Comment
Auto Insurance Card Current proof of automobile or motorcycle insurance.  Must contain current address and cannot be expired.
Bank Statement Must contain current address and be less than three months old.
DD-214 U.S. Military separation document.
Income Tax Return From the current or prior year.
Motor Vehicle Registration Card Issued by a U.S. state or territory and must be less than one year old and contain current address.
Prison Admission or Release Record Acceptable for individuals recently released from prison.  Must also have a document of support from the individual’s parole officer or from the prison.
School, University or College ID Card Current photo-ID, issued by a U.S. school system, university or college.  Non-US student IDs are not acceptable.
Social Security Card Issued by U.S. Social Security Administration.
Social Services Card Issued by a U.S. state or territory. (includes Medicaid/Medicare cards)
Tribal Enrollment Record Issued by a Native American Tribe.  Must contain DOB.  May also be called a Certificate of Indian Blood.
Utility Bill Must contain current address and be less than three months old.
Voter Registration Card Issued by a U.S. State/County/City Government entity.
Weapons Permit Issued by a U.S. State/County/City Government entity.
Work ID or Paycheck Stub or W-2 (only one of these can be used) The paycheck stub must have been issued within the last three months, and the W-2 within the last tax year and must include the name, SSN and name and address of the employer.

 

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, UPS or USPS Priority Mail 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.