A death certificate is a paper that records the official date and location of a person’s death. The funeral director usually purchases several copies for your use.

In some cases, you might need a “certified” copy of the death certificate. A certified copy has security features that proves that the document is genuine. Depending on where the death certificate is from a certified copy can have a watermark, a raised seal, micro-printing, multi-colored background, heat sensitive ink, etc. A certified copy is good for legal purposes such as settling an estate or claiming insurance benefits.

Person Died In New York City- 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.

Person Died Outside of New York City- If the person died outside of New York City but in New York State, you can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the New York State Department of Health.

 Person Died Outside of New York State- If the person died in the United States but not in New York, contact the vital records or death records office of the state where the person died.

Person Died Abroad- If the person was a U.S. Citizen and died outside of the United States, contact the U.S. Department of State for a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad.

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