Ordering a Certified Copy of a Death/Fetal Death Record

Identification Requirements:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Division of Vital Records will need proof of identity for all individuals requesting a death record.  These new requirements are based on legislative changes that occurred during the 2007 North Dakota legislative session and can be referenced in North Dakota Century Code 23-02.1-27 (2).

  • A certified copy of a death record may be issued to a relative, an authorized representative, the child fatality review board, or a funeral director reporting the facts of death, or by the order of a court of competent jurisdiction and may include the cause of death and the social security number. A certified copy of a death record that includes the facts of death and the social security number may be issued to any person that may obtain a certified copy of a death record or to any licensed attorney who requires the copy for a bona fide legal determination. A certified informational copy of a death record may be issued to the general public, but the copy may not contain the cause of death or the social security number.  (Our definition of a relative, according to state law, means a person's current or surviving spouse, a parent or legal guardian, a child, a grandparent, or a grandchild)


Because of these new restrictions, we must require proof of identification of the person making the request before we can release a certified copy of a death record or a certified copy that includes the facts of death .   Proof of identification can be established by submitting a current (non-expired), legible photocopy of one of the following forms of identification:

1.      State Government issued Photo ID or Driverís License

2.      Bureau of Indian Affairs issued tribal ID card

3.      US Government issued Military ID card

4.      US Government issue Passport or Visa

5.     US Government issued Permanent Resident Card

If you do not have one of the prior forms of identification, you must provide a legible photocopy of two of the following:

1.      Social Security Card

2.      Utility bill with current address (can not be more than 3 months old)

3.      Bank statement with current address (can not be more than 3 months old)

4.      Pay stub (must include your name, SSN and the name and address of your employer)

5.      Car registration or title with current address (for the current registration year)

6.      IRS Tax Return (from the prior year)

If you cannot provide any of these forms of identification or if you have any other questions related to these new restrictions and requirements, please call our office at (701) 328-2360 or by e-mail at vitalrec@nd.gov.  If you meet all the requirements listed above and are able to provide a valid form of identification, when ordering a death/fetal death record, please provide our office with the following information:

1) Full name of individual at death

2) Date of death

3) City and/or County of death

4) Your relationship to the individual

Also, include:

1) Your name and address

2) The address you want the copies mailed to (if different)

3) Daytime telephone number

Three Types of Certified Copies!!

Another change that will go into effect as a result of these legislative changes, will be three new types of certified copies of death records for use by the surviving family and the general public:

1) A Certification of the Facts of Death. This certificate will be issued immediately after the funeral home registers the facts of death with our office. This copy will have limited demographic information about the deceased, but will include the social security number. The inclusion of the social security number on this type of copy is critical because immediate family members can use this type of certificate to close bank accounts, secure discounted airline travel, transfer title of land or property, etc. This copy should be used for all banking and financial needs where the cause of death is not required.

2) A Certification of Death. Once the medical portion of the record is completed by a physician or coroner, our office can issue to the immediate family a full and complete copy of the death record that includes the cause of death and a social security number. This type of copy is usually needed for life insurance matters and any other matter where the cause of death and the social security number are required. Family members who have a certification of the facts of death record will be able to exchange it for a certification of death record for up to 90 days after the date of death at no cost. (This copy is the one that most families received in the past)

3) An Informational Copy of a Death Record. Other individuals, such as genealogists, sometimes need a copy of a death record. These individuals will receive certified informational copies. These types of copies would be similar to a full death record and could be issued to anyone for any reason; however, these copies would not include the cause of death or social security numbers. This would allow anyone to obtain the information about a death, but would not allow them to use the copy for any official business.

Please understand that all three of these copies are official certified copies and are intended to serve a specific purpose or need. Because the disclosure of a decedentís cause of death and social security number is restricted by state law, these three types of certified copies have been developed to reduce the number of unnecessary disclosures of this confidential information.



Fee for the first copy:

$ 5.00

Fee for each additional copy of the same record, issued at the same time:

$ 2.00

Delivery Options

U.S. Postal Service First Class Mail (Default)

No Charge

Federal Express (Priority Overnight)
  • Continental U.S. - Mon-Fri delivery - (add $6.00 for AK and HI)
  • Continental U.S. - Mon-Sat delivery - (add $6.00 for AK and HI)
  • Outside the U.S. - Mon-Fri delivery
  • $16.00

  • $30.00

  • $50.00

UPS (Next Day Air)
  • Anywhere in the U.S. - Mon-Fri delivery
  • Anywhere in the U.S. - Mon-Sat delivery
  • Outside the U.S. - Mon-Fri delivery
  • $16.00
  • $30.00
  • $50.00


VISA    Mastercard    Discover Card

Ordering Options

Internet   ( Credit Card Only )         

  • The secure Internet application will guide you through the order process and provide you with instant verification that your order has been received by our office.  If you chose this option to order a death record, you will be required to fax or e-mail us a legible copy of one of the identification choices listed above.  After you have submitted your order using our Internet application, you will be given a receipt number and instructions on how to fax or e-mail your identification.  Please remember to include your receipt number on the fax or e-mail that includes your ID so that we can match up your ID with your order.

Fax   ( Credit Card Only )   

  • Download and completely fill out request form  ( Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader )
  • Fax completed request form to : (701) 328-1850
  • Remember to include your credit card number, expiration date and card type on the request form.

Mail   -- DO NOT SEND CASH --  

  • Download and completely fill out request form  ( Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader )
  • Make checks and/or money order payable to:  ND Department of Health
  • If you choose to use a credit card, include your credit card number, expiration date and card type on the request form.
  • Mail completed request form to:
Division of Vital Records
600 E. Boulevard Ave. - Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200


Stopping by our Office

  • We are located in room 118 in the Judicial Wing of the State Capitol Building in Bismarck, ND.
  • You can stop by our office between the hours of 7:30 am and 5:00 pm CST.  Monday - Friday except for holidays.
  • Walk in customers can usually get their certified copy with in a few minutes after providing photo ID and filling out the request form in our office

 Map of Location on State Capitol grounds