how to get a death certificate in Alaska

How to Get a Death Certificate in an Alaska: Everything You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about accessing death records in Alaska. All the information you need to submit your request, plus who can access an Alaska death certificate, the cost, and how to get started.

What are Death Certificates (and Why is it Important to Get an Alaska Death Certificate)?

Alaska death certificates are legal documents, issued by the Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records office, that record the date, location, and cause of a person’s death that occurred within Alaska.

In Alaska, death certificates are completed by the funeral director with the help of the family, who provide certain details about the deceased, and medical professionals (physician, medical examiner, or coroner), who provide the time and cause of death. .

Alaska law requires all deaths that occur within the state be registered via a death certificate within 3 days of the death.

Even though families and estate representatives typically require multiple copies of a loved one’s death certificate to manage their estate, you won’t automatically receive copies, and need to ask.

Most often, you can request death certificates from the funeral director. It’s prudent to request up to 10 copies when someone passes in order to close accounts and wrap up their estate.

If you need additional death certificates, or didn’t receive copies from the funeral director, you can request them via the vital records office.

Vital Records Offices in Alaska

Alaska’s Health Analytics and Vital Records Office is in charge of vital records in Alaska.

Alaska has been filing death certificates for those who passed away in Alaska since 1890, although the majority of records kept through the Bureau of Vital Statistics are from 1930 onwards.

The Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records office issues certified copies of Alaska death certificates, as well as birth, marriage, and divorce certificates.

You can only get a vital record in Alaska for an event that occurred in Alaska.

In other words, you can only get an Alaska death certificate for a person who died in Alaska. If they were an Alaska resident, but passed away out-of-state, you won’t be able to get a death certificate from Alaska.

How to Get a Death Certificate in Alaska?

Alaska death certificates can be ordered by mail or fax, in person at an Alaska vital records office, or online.

How to Get an Alaska Death Certificate by Mail

To order a death certificate by mail in Alaska, print and fill out the application form, and mail it (along with the fee or payment information) to:

Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records Office
P.O. Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99811-0675 F

The application form is available from the Alaska Department of Health.

The pro of ordering an Alaska death certificate by mail is that it’s convenient, doesn’t require an in-person visit to the Health Analytic and Vital Records office in Juneau or Anchorage, and is cheaper than ordering online.

The cost is $30 for one copy, plus $25 for each additional copy. Payment for mail-in applications can be made by check, money order, or credit card. Checks and money orders should be made payable to “Alaska Vital Records Office. For credit card payments, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards are accepted.

The con of ordering by mail is that it may take longer to receive the death certificates you’ve ordered, due to mailing time.

How to Get an Alaska Death Certificate by Fax

To order a death certificate by fax in Alaska, print and fill out the application form and payment information, and fax it (along with the fee) to (907) 465-3618.

As with mail in applications, the application form is available to print from the Alaska Department of Health, and payment can be made by check, money order, or major credit card.

After faxing the application, we recommend calling the office after 10 minutes to confirm receipt of the application. You can call them at (907) 465-3391.

How to Get an Alaska Death Certificate In Person

To order a death certificate in person in Alaska, you can go to the Health Analytic and Vital Records office in either Juneau or Anchorage.

For in person visits, the Health Analytic and Vital Records office in Juneau or Anchorage can issue a certified copy of the death certificate within 2 to 5 business days for expedited orders, and 4 to 6 weeks for normal orders.

Before going in person, it’s helpful to fill out the application form, and ensure you have all the required documentation and ID.

If you order in person, payment can be made by cash, check or money order made payable to “Alaska Vital Records Office, or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).

The cost for ordering in-person is $30 for one copy, plus $25 for each additional copy.

How to Order an Alaska Death Certificate Online

To order an Alaska death certificate online, you need to order them through an independent company called VitalCheck Network Inc.

VitalCheck Network accepts major credit cards for payment, and offers the option to choose UPS for faster shipping, and for an additional fee.

While death certificates ordered directly through the Alaska Health Analytics and Vital Records office cost $30 for one copy, plus $25 for each additional copy, death certificates ordered online through VitalCheck cost $40, plus shipping costs.

Information Required to Obtain a Death Certificate in Alaska

To get a copy of an existing death certificate, you need to:

  • Provide enough relevant information about the deceased to ensure the state is able to locate relevant death records.
  • Demonstrate you have a right to access access the death certificate.
  • Meet Alaska ID requirements for applicants.

Information Required to Request a Death Certificate in Alaska

To order death records in Alaska, you need to provide information about the deceased to help the Health Analytics and Vital Records Office or VitalCheck find the death record you need.

In Alaska, the following information is required:

  • First, middle, and last name of the deceased
  • Deceased’s date of birth and date of death
  • City or village of death
  • Full name of deceased’s mother (prior to marriage)
  • Full name of deceased’s father

Qualifications: Who Can Order a Death Certificate in Alaska

In addition to providing information about the deceased, you’ll need to demonstrate you have a right to access the death certificate.

According to Alaska law, death certificates have “restricted access” for 50 years after someone has died. Only certain people can access restricted Alaska death records, and documentation is required. These people include:

  • Spouse of the deceased, listed on the death certificate (marriage certificate is required).
  • Parent(s) listed on the death certificate (child’s birth certificate listing the same parents is required).
  • Child(ren) of deceased (certified copy of the child’s birth certificate that lists the deceased’s name as a parent is required).
  • Sibling(s) of deceased (certified copy of the sibling’s birth certificate, showing at least one parent in common with the deceased, is required).
  • The Office of Public Advocacy (certified Delegated Power of Conservatorship//Guardianship papers are required. Faxed legal documents are not accepted).

When requesting an Alaska death certificate, you’ll need to provide your name and relationship to the deceased individual, along with documentation that proves your relationship to the deceased, such as a birth certificate (if you are their child) or marriage certificate (if you are their spouse).

You’ll also need to provide an address to which the death certificate should be mailed, and your contact information.

Finally, you need to sign the request.

What ID is Needed to Get Death Certificates in Alaska?

Individuals applying for an Alaska death record need to submit their request along with the appropriate personal identification.

Types of acceptable ID include (must current, or expired for less than one year):

  • A driver’s licence that is current, or has been expired for less than a year
  • State-issued ID other than a driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • Tribal or BIA card with picture

If you don’t have any of the types of ID listed above, you’ll need to call (907) 465-3391 for help before requesting the death certificates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting an Alaska Death Certificate

How much does an Alaska death record search cost?

Alaska charges $30 for one copy, plus $25 for each additional copy for a death record search. After paying the fee, you’ll get either one certified copy of the death certificate. If they can’t find the death certificate you’re after, you may get a “failure to find” certificate.

For each additional copy of an Alaska death certificate (ordered at the same time), the fee is $20 per copy.

If you choose to order Alaska death records online through VitalChek, it’s more expensive. At the time of writing, VitalChek charges $40 for Alaska death records, plus the cost of shipping.

Can anyone obtain a copy of a death certificate in Alaska, or only certain individuals?

Alaska law restricts access to vital records, including death certificates. In Alaska, access to death certificate is restricted for 50 years after a person’s death.

This means only certain people (immediate family or estate representatives) can request a copy.

Typically, parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandchildren, legal representatives of the family or estate, and the informant listed on the death certificate can request copies. In Alaska, access is restricted to:

  • Spouse of the deceased, listed on the death certificate (marriage certificate is required).
  • Parent(s) listed on the death certificate (child’s birth certificate listing the same parents is required).
  • Child(ren) of deceased (certified copy of the child’s birth certificate that lists the deceased’s name as a parent is required).
  • Sibling(s) of deceased (certified copy of the sibling’s birth certificate, showing at least one parent in common with the deceased, is required).
  • The Office of Public Advocacy (certified Delegated Power of Conservatorship//Guardianship papers are required. Faxed legal documents are not accepted).

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