how to get a death certificate in Arizona

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

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

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

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

In Arizona, death certificates are completed by medical professionals (physician or nurse practioner caring for the deceased at the time of death), and the funeral director.

Arizona law requires all deaths that occur within the state be registered via a death certificate within a maximum of 7 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 Arizona

Arizona’s Office of Vital Records is in charge of vital records in Arizona.

Arizona has been filing death certificates for those who passed away in Arizona since 1909.

The Arizona Office of Vital Records issues certified copies of Arizona death certificates, as well as birth, marriage, and divorce certificates.

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

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

How to Get a Death Certificate in Arizona?

Arizona death certificates can be ordered by mail or online. In-person ordering is available through some (but not all) local county heath departments’ offices of vital records.

How to Get an Arizona Death Certificate by Mail

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

Arizona Department of Health Services
Office of Vital Records
PO Box 6018
Phoenix, AZ 85005

The application form is available in English and in Spanish from Arizona Department of Health Services.

The pro of ordering an Arizona death certificate by mail is that it’s convenient, doesn’t require an in-person visit to a a local county health department, and is cheaper than ordering online.

The cost is $20. Payment for mail-in applications can be made by cashier’s checks, money order, or Visa or Mastercard. Cashier’s checks and money orders should be made payable to the Office of Vital Records for the exact amount. If you pay by Visa or Mastercard, be sure to include full card number and expiration date on your application.

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

How to Get an Arizona Death Certificate In Person

To order a death certificate in person in Arizona, you can go to your local county health department’s Office of Vital Statistics.

Not all local offices issue death certificates, and among those that do, some are walk-in and some are by appointment only.

It’s worth double checking before you go, and you can find a complete list of the country health departments, including whether they offer in-person walk-ins or appointment-only visits, and what payment methods they accept, on the back of the application form (available in English and in Spanish).

The cost for ordering in-person is $20.

How to Order an Arizona Death Certificate Online

To order an Arizona 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 Arizona Office of Vital Records cost $20, death certificates ordered online through VitalCheck cost $35.50, plus shipping costs.

Information Required to Obtain a Death Certificate in Arizona

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 Arizona ID requirements for applicants.

Information Required to Request a Death Certificate in Arizona

To order death records in Arizona, you need to provide information about the deceased to help the Office of Vital Records or VitalCheck find the death record you need.

In Arizona, the following information is required:

  • First, middle, and last name of the deceased
  • Deceased’s date of death
  • Sex of the deceased
  • Place of death (town/city, county, and state)
  • Location of death (hospital, residence, or other)
  • Name of the funeral home or donation facility
  • Deceased’s date of birth
  • Deceased’s Social Security Number

The application form will also ask you whether the death certificate copies are going to be used for US government claims, such as social security or military pension.

Qualifications: Who Can Order a Death Certificate in Arizona

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

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

  • Spouse
  • Parent(s)
  • Adult child(ren) over 18 years of age
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling(s)
  • Funeral director or their designate (in certain circumstances), or person responsible for final disposition of remains
  • Executor or beneficiary of the estate or life insurance policy
  • Person designated as the deceased’s power of attorney
  • Person named in a court order
  • Someone who has been authorized by an eligible person
  • A representative from an insurance or financial institution
  • A representative from a hospital or healthcare facility
  • Someone with a court order who has a claim against the estate
  • An attorney representing someone who is eligible
  • Consulate from a foreign government
  • Government agencies

When requesting an Arizona 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 Arizona?

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

In Arizona, you need to submit government issued ID along with your request for certified copies of a death certificate.

Along with the application, you need to include a clear photocopy of your valid, signed government photo ID.

If you don’t have a valid, government-issued ID (it must contain a photo and be signed), you can have your signature notarized on the application form.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting an Arizona Death Certificate

How much does an Arizona death record search cost?

Arizona charges $20 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 Arizona death certificate (ordered at the same time), the fee is the same.

If you choose to order Arizona death records online through VitalChek, it’s more expensive. At the time of writing, VitalChek charges $35.50 for Arizona death records, plus the cost of shipping.

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

Arizona law restricts access to vital records, including death certificates. In Arizona, 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 Arizona, access is restricted to:

  • Spouse
  • Parent(s)
  • Adult child(ren) over 18 years of age
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling(s)
  • Funeral director or their designate (in certain circumstances), or person responsible for final disposition of remains
  • Executor or beneficiary of the estate or life insurance policy
  • Person designated as the deceased’s power of attorney
  • Person named in a court order
  • Someone who has been authorized by an eligible person
  • A representative from an insurance or financial institution
  • A representative from a hospital or healthcare facility
  • Someone with a court order who has a claim against the estate
  • An attorney representing someone who is eligible
  • Consulate from a foreign government
  • Government agencies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *