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.

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 the state’s raised seal and 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 could 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 could 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 state’s vital records or death records office 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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