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 of the other passport paperwork that is required, 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 who need an emergency passport due to a life or death emergency, you will also need to 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 are required to provide all of the usual documentation, as well as 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.