How to Get the Birth Certificate of Someone Who’s Deceased

Last updated October 22nd, 2021

There are a number of situations where you might need to access the birth certificate of someone who’s deceased.

It is sometimes necessary to prove your connection to a deceased relative, especially if you are the son or daughter of the late person. In general, having access to this vital record could prove essential if:

  • You need to prove your relationship to a parent, grandparent, or other relatives who are no longer alive
  • You are trying to register a death certificate
  • You are researching the genealogical records of your family

If the birth certificate of the person who passed away cannot be found among your personal or family records you need to request a copy.

Keep reading below to find out where and how you can get access to historical birth records for a family member who has died.

Where Can I Find a Birth Certificate for A Dead Family Member?

In most cases, you can access birth records from the state vital records office or country records office where the person was born. Each state is required to keep its own birth records on file under federal law.

Additionally, a replacement birth certificate can also be ordered online directly using our simplified form. This allows you to manage the entire process from your own home.

However, under most state laws, only specific people can access these records. Below we’ll explain these requirements.

Who Can Request the Birth Certificate of a Deceased Person?

In most states, you have to be able to prove you are a member of the deceased person’s family to be able to access their birth records.

However, in some jurisdictions, you can access another person’s birth certificate, as long as you have the family’s written permission.

Other people may be given permission to access birth records from outside the direct family. However, this is usually only allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as court business or other official purposes.

How Can I Get a Birth Certificate for a Deceased Relative?

If you urgently need the birth certificate of any dead relatives there are a few items you will need to do so.

This includes the following identity information:

Qualifying information: For example, the deceased’s death certificate or proof of lineage to you. These are sometimes known as ‘chain documents’.

Personal ID: You will normally need to provide 2 forms of your own ID. This could be a photo driver’s license or passport, etc.

In many cases, your own certified birth certificate can be used to allow you to access these records.

Proving family relationships can sometimes be complicated, however. This might be true if there is, for example, no father’s name on a birth certificate you’re using as ID, or you were adopted by the dead relative.

If this is the case, you may need to provide additional evidence such as marriage or divorce records, court documents, or adoption records to demonstrate your familial tie to the deceased individual.

Steps to Follow to Get a Dead Person’s Birth Certificate

To request and access the birth certificate of a dead person, you will need to follow a number of specific steps.

This exact process varies from state to state, however, in most cases, they will include the following:

  1. Finding out as much information about the dead relative as possible, such as dates of birth, parents’ names, etc.
  2. Contacting the department of vital statistics in your relative’s state of birth to find out the documentation you need to submit.
  3. Providing your ID and all the required documents needed to submit the request.
  4. Paying the associated fees.

Once the application has been submitted successfully, it will take a few weeks to process. After being approved, a certified copy of the birth certificate will be sent to your address.

Being able to access a deceased family member’s birth certificate can be crucial, at what might be a difficult time personally. However, the process in most cases can be straightforward as long as you can provide the right evidence and ID.