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How to Get a Copy of the Death Certificate

A death certificate is a paper that records the official date and location of a person's death.

In some cases, you might need a "certified" copy of the death certificate. A certified copy has the raised seal of the state and is good for legal purposes such as settling an estate or claiming insurance benefits.


If the person died in New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island):
You can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the Office of Vital Records.

If the person died outside of New York City:
You can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the New York State Department of Health.

If the person died outside of New York State:
Contact the vital records or death records office of the state where the person died.

If the person died outside of the United States and was a U.S. Citizen:
Contact the U.S. Department of State for a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad.


Last updated on March 19, 2013

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