Death Records

Search free public death records, including death certificates, death index, deceased records, death register & registry, obituaries, and death notices.



What are Death Records?

Death Records are documents relating to an individual's death. These can include death certificates, local and state death registries, and the National Death Index. Death Records are kept by Vital Records Offices or Clerk's Offices, which may be run by the state or at the local level.

A death certificate is a document signed by an authorized medical professional that contains essential facts about a person's death, such as the time, place, and cause of death. A certified death certificate can help families of the recently deceased with the difficult process of handling legal matters related to the death. For example, a death certificate contains important information to place an obituary in a printed newspaper or an online registry of death notices.

Death Records are required to settle financial and legal matters after an individual's death. A certified death certificate may be required by financial institutions to close a deceased person's bank account, to file for life insurance, or to transfer car titles, registrations, and utility accounts. Death certificates are also necessary to settle wills and estates, transfer property, and arrange the deceased person's funeral.

At the local, state, and national level, death registries and the National Death Index collect death statistics that are useful for research. Some Death Record databases are only available for statistical purposes and are not accessible to the public. Medical and health professionals can use death statistics to understand the most common causes of death, determine if an individual in a research study has passed away, and some of the records are available to the public.

Death Records are an important source for genealogical research. Some locations in the United States have vital records, including death certificates, that date back to 1630. Many states provide online access to Death Records for individuals who passed away in their state. This information is typically limited to the individual's name, date of death, and age at death.