How to acquire a death certificate

Utah law allows families to care for their dead without the services of a licensed funeral director. Families that do not retain a funeral director must file a death certificate and comply with state laws and rules regarding the disposition of human remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (4)(a)(b)

Filing a Death Record

A death certificate must be filed within five days of death and before final disposition of the deceased’s remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (1)(a).

A burial transit permit is required before removing remains from the place of death (hospital, nursing home, home, etc.) R436-8-1(c).

If you are planning cremation or removal of remains from the State of Utah, a cremation permit and review by the Office of the Medical Examiner is required.

For a dispositioner to begin the death record filing process, complete (but Do Not sign) the death record processing form. The form must be signed in the presence of a local health department staff member. The death record processing form must be returned to the vital records office in the local health department that serves the county where the death occurred. For assistance or questions regarding the filing of a death record, contact the local health department vital records office, or contact the state Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

Information to File as a Dispositioner

You will need to appear in person at the vital records office in the local health department for the county where the death occurred. Be prepared with the following information about the deceased:

  1. Full name of deceased
  2. Time of death
  3. Date of death
  4. Place of death
  5. Date of birth
  6. Place of birth
  7. Social Security number
  8. Did deceased serve in the US armed forces
  9. Marital status
  10. Spouse’s name (prior to first marriage)
  11. Occupation
  12. Residence address
  13. Names of parents –
    1. Parent or father’s name (prior to first marriage)
    2. Parent or mother’s name (prior to first marriage)

    Certification of the cause of death must be obtained from the attending physician and in some cases, the Office of the Medical Examiner before the death record can be registered. Once you have obtained medical certification the death record will be filed, registered, and necessary permits will be issued.

    Transportation of Remains

    When transporting remains, the body must be encased in a container (such as a plastic bag) which ensures against seepage of fluid and the escape of odors. A transit permit must either be attached to the container or in the possession of the person transporting the body. R436-8-2

    Preservation of Remains

    No human body may be held in any place or be in transit more than 24 hours after death and pending final disposition, unless either maintained at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, or embalmed by a licensed embalmer in a manner approved by the State Board of Embalming. R436-8-3

    Disposition of Remains

    If you are considering non-cemetery burial, or scattering of ashes, check with city/county officials to see if there are any local ordinances regarding burial on non-cemetery property.

    Death Record Amendments

    A completed Affidavit to Amend a death record must be submitted to the State of Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics (OVRS), or to the vital records office in the local health department for the county where the death occurred, along with required fees for registration.

    Two persons/witnesses having knowledge of the facts must complete and sign the affidavits. One of the witnesses on the affidavit must be the informant. Signatures of both witnesses must be notarized.

    • Applicant must be 18 years of age to make a correction.

    Amendments to the medical items on the death record must be completed by the physician that certified the cause of death. Please contact OVRS for assistance.

    Documentary evidence may be required at any time at the discretion of OVRS. A court order may be required to make the requested changes if required documentation is unavailable or unacceptable.

    1. A completed affidavit is required to amend the record.
    2. Payment of fees are required to amend the record.
    3. Acceptable documentary evidence may be required.
    4. Submit required information to the proper vital records office.

    Correcting Decedent Demographic Information

    For demographic corrections use the Affidavit to Amend a vital record. Two persons/witnesses having knowledge of the facts must complete and sign the affidavits. The informant who is listed on the death record must be one of the witnesses on the affidavit. Signatures of both witnesses must be notarized.

    • A completed affidavit is required to amend the record.

    Correcting Marital Status, Adding/Changing Spouse Information or Correcting Informant Information

    These amendments may be requested by the person alleging the error exists, such as the informant, decedent’s family member, funeral home, etc.

    The informant who is listed on the death record and the surviving spouse must complete and sign the affidavit. The original informant must participate in the amendment process to correct the marital status, spouse information or informant information.

    If the informant is deceased, an immediate family member or next of kin of the deceased may be allowed to sign the affidavit in place of the informant. Proof of the informant’s death is required.

    A court order may be necessary to correct marital status or spouse information in the following situations:

    1. The informant is unable or unwilling to request the change.
    2. A party claims he or she is the surviving spouse and is not listed as such.
    3. Two or more parties claim to be the surviving spouse.
    4. The record shows the deceased to have been divorced, never married, or widowed and no surviving spouse is listed, and a party is claiming to be the surviving spouse.
    5. A party claims to be a common law spouse.

    A certified copy of the court order must be submitted by the petitioner to OVRS Death Registration, and there may be a required fee for processing.

    Death Certificates


    Ordering a Death Certificate

    En Espanol

    Death certificates can be requested online or by mail only.

    Valid photo identification of the requestor and proof of relationship if required must be included with all applications. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

    A qualified applicant is:

    • The informant listed on the record
    • A direct family member by blood or marriage
    • Requirement imposed by law
    • To facilitate legal process.
      1. If you are named as a beneficiary or in a will, proof is required.
      2. If you are acting on behalf of the executor of estate, beneficiary or someone inheriting from the deceased person copies of legal documents are required to prove authority.


      • Payment will be requested by email after the request has been reviewed, please allow 2-3 business days.
      • SHIP TO/MAIL requests will arrive via first class mail.
      • PICK UP:
        • Your order will be available for pick up once you have receipt of payment.
        • Pick up location: 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
        • Pick up hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
        • Certificates using the pickup option will only be held for 5 business days from the date payment was made and will then be mailed to address listed within the application.
        • Certificates will only be released to the requestor.

        BY MAIL: Personal checks are not accepted.

        Mail a money order (payable to SNHD) along with a completed Birth Certificate Application and all required documents to:

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        How to acquire a death certificate

        A death certificate is an official, government-issued document that declares the date and time, location, and cause of death, as well as other personal information about the person who died.

        Legally, a death certificate must be issued when a death occurs, and will be necessary as you make funeral arrangements and take care of personal business on behalf of the person who died. Many people find that ten copies of the death certificate are sufficient for completing necessary paperwork and other tasks.

        There are three ways you can obtain certified copies of a death certificate:

        1. The funeral home you’re working with can get certified copies on your behalf
        2. You can order certified copies from a third-party company
        3. You can order the copies yourself from the state in which the person died

        If you want to request copies of the death certificate yourself, you need to contact the state or local health department in the state or county where the person died and request certified copies directly. We’ve put together a list of the information you’ll need in order to obtain a death certificate in your state, including qualifications, cost, required information, where to submit your application, and a link to the application you’ll need to fill out. Click your state’s link below for all the information you’ll need to order a death certificate.