Other Family Issues Article

How to Get a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate

A certified copy of a death certificate can be used to obtain beneficiary death benefits, claim beneficiary insurance proceeds, notify social security, and other legal purposes.

In Arizona only the following people can get a certified copy of a death certificate.

  • Funeral director,
  • Spouse,
  • Parent,
  • Grandparent,
  • Adult Child,
  • Grandchild,
  • Brother or sister,
  • Person designated as Power of Attorney,
  • Person responsible for final disposition,
  • Person names as executor or beneficiary of the deceased’s individual estate,
  • Beneficiary of the deceased’s life insurance policy,
  • Person named in a court order,
  • Person authorized by an eligible person,
  • Insurance company or financial institution,
  • Hospital or healthcare institution,
  • Person with a court order having a claim against the deceased’s individual estate, and
  • Attorney representing a person eligible to receive a certified copy of a death certificate.

    Only persons over 18 may obtain a certified copy of a death certificate.

    To Apply In Person:

    The Arizona Department of Health Services does not provide same day walk in service.  The local county health department Vital Records office may provide same day walk in service.  Here is a link to each Arizona county’s local health department where you can find information about how to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate from the specific counties - http://azdhs.gov//licensing/vital-records/index.php#fees-home

    To Apply By Mail:

    To apply by mail to the Arizona Department of Health Services for a certified copy of a death certificate, one must submit the following:

  •  A completed Application for Certified Copy of Death Certificate
  •  A copy of the front and back of your valid government-issued picture identification which bears your signature or have your signature notarized.
  •  Proof of eligibility. This means you will have to submit information showing you are a person listed above eligible to get a certified copy of a death certificate eligible to
  •  A self-addressed stamped envelope with your request.
  •  Appropriate fee, according to this fee schedule. Acceptable payment methods are: cashier's checks, money orders, Visa, or MasterCard. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH. Cashier's checks and money orders must be for the exact amount and made payable to Office of Vital Records. If you pay by credit/debit card, you must include the full card number and expiration date on your application.

    Mail all this information to: Bureau of Vital Records, PO Box 6018, Phoenix, AZ, 85005.
    You should receive the certified death certificate within 7-10 business days after mailing the request.

    For More Information:

    Here is a link to the Arizona Department of Health Service’s web page explaining how to apply for a death certificate - http://www.azdhs.org/licensing/vital-records/index.php#death-certificates-apply

    Stillborn or fetal death certificate

    The Arizona Department of Health Services also provides copies of a stillborn or fetal death certificate. Like birth and death certificates only certain people may obtain this stillborn or fetal death certificate and there is an application process. 
    Information about getting this stillborn or fetal death certificate is here: http://www.azdhs.org/licensing/vital-records/index.php#death-certificates-who-can-obtain-stillbirth-fetal

  • Comments:


    • My grandfather passed away & all his children also passed all the family he had are his 3grandchildren. He died at 2:00am & his stepson had a quit claim deed signed & notorized on the same day he died. his stepson took over all his property house, car, bank accounts. what can I do in this situation? I really don't think my grandfather was able to sign a quit claim deed if he died at 2am. also my grandfather suffered from dementia.
    • Want to relocate back east with my 15 1/2 year old daughter. How do I prove that it’s in the best interest and how do I start the process
    • I am my sisters gaurdian and She just graduated and from high school and she feels that she grown and doesn't want to put anymore strain on me. Which we had an agreement, saying once she graduated she can move out. So does she need any papers say she can make it on her own.
    • My husband has left me and moved to San Diego. He has left me with all the bills to pay. I am going to be evicted myself if I don't pay rent by the 16th. Can I get any help for abandinment?
    • To get a restraining order do you have to be physically abused?
    • My husband is going to prison, we have a three year old and one more on the way. He is our sole income provider, will I be able to get any kind of income support while he is gone??
    • I could not put guardianship because it is of an 18 year old autistic person and I need to know what steps to take to acquire guardianship of him until the divorce his parents are going through is settled.
    • We have been married for 11 years. We have 4 children. While I was very sick with the fatal kind of valley fever, she claimed to have a family reunion to go to 2000 miles away. She took the children with her but never returned home. Says she has a lover from online and I can never see them again. I am not allowed to speak to my kids, do not have their address and am not allowed to write to them. My calls go unanswered or get hung up on. She is suing for child support even though I am not allowed any contact. I need help, it is like my kids were kidnapped. What should I do?
    • I am the single mother of a severly multiply disabled child. Before moving to Phoenix last year I lost conservatorship of my son's estate. It is very difficult to get things paid for through the court-appointed fiduiary and I don't plan on moving back to detroit. What steps do I need to take to regain the conservatorship?
    • I have lived with my boyfriend for 2 years. We were evicted from our home for nonpayment and put all of our possessions in storage. We owe a large bill for the storage of our belonings to the moving company. I will be paying the bill and moving into an apartment without my boyfriend. Since I need to take everything out of storage to avoid further bills, can I keep my boyfriend's possessions as well as mine? I don't want to have to pay to store his stuff.




    • Please select your county of residence below.



    • State Bar of Arizona
    • Maricopa County Bar
      Referral number 602-257-4434
    • Pima County Bar
      Referral number 520-623-4625
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program