How to Get a Death Certificate?

Death Certificate

A death certificate may be required before you can apply for a passport for a child when one or more parents is deceased. Along with all the other required passport paperwork, you will need to present the original death certificate or a certified original document from the Department of Vital Records before your child can get a passport.

The document must be a certified original in order to obtain a passport and contain a raised and/or stamped seal from the Department of Vital Records. You will be required to provide this documentation for a child passport applicant, so please take the time to ensure you get the duplicate death certificate. All original documents are returned to you when you get your passport.

Even for those needing an emergency passport due to a life or death emergency, you must also present a death certificate.

A life-or-death emergency may include:

  • Critical Illnesses
  • Serious or Life-Threatening Injuries
  • Death in the Immediate Family

For those looking to travel outside of the United States due to a life or death emergency, you must provide all of the usual documentation and proof of your emergency. For emergency passport services, you must appear in person at a passport agency with all the required documentation and proof of your emergency. You can also use a Registered Passport Expediting Service but the duplicate death certificate will be required at the acceptance agent. An acceptance agent is usually the post office or county clerk and will verify your documents and signature.

How to Get a Death Certificate?

If you were not given an original death certificate from the funeral home or mortuary at the time of death, the simplest and most convenient way to obtain a certified death certificate is to request a copy from the Department of Vital Records. However, processing times will vary, so this is not a great option for those with upcoming travel needs.

Save time and effort by requesting an original death certificate online with VitalChek, the leading source for government-certified vital records in the United States. Fast, simple and safe- VitalChek is the easiest way to get important vital records if you live out of state or need to expedite the passport process. VitalChek can help you get your duplicate death certificate in time for your upcoming travel dates.

Can Anyone Get A Death Certificate?

Yes, anyone can obtain a death certificate for a deceased individual. However, the process and requirements for obtaining a death certificate may vary depending on the state or country where the death occurred.

Generally, the immediate family members of the deceased, such as the spouse, children, or parents, are the ones who can obtain a death certificate. Other individuals, such as funeral directors or attorneys, may also be authorized to obtain a death certificate on behalf of the family.


From understanding the importance of a death certificate to navigating the process of obtaining one, this post has provided helpful information on how to get a death certificate. Taking the time to understand what is necessary for you or your family can greatly benefit all those involved during a difficult time. If you need additional assistance, you can reach out to local funeral homes or your city’s vital records office for more information and guidance.

We hope this blog post was informative and answered your question “How to Get a Death Certificate?” Take comfort in knowing that even something as overwhelming and heartbreaking as mourning a lost loved one can be made easier with an understanding of what is needed and where to find help.