how to get a death certificate in Colorado

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

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

What are Death Certificates (and Why is it Important to Get a Colorado Death Certificate)?

Colorado death certificates are legal documents, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, that record the date, location, and cause of a person’s death that occurred within Colorado.

In Colorado, death certificates are completed by the funeral director, who must ensure either a licensed physician or coroner completes and signs the medical portion.

Colorado law requires all deaths that occur within the state be registered via a death certificate within 30 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 Colorado

Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment is in charge of vital records in Colorado.

Colorado has been filing death certificates for those who passed away in Colorado since 1908, although some records exist from previous years.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues certified copies of Colorado death certificates, as well as birth, marriage, and divorce certificates.

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

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

How to Get a Death Certificate in Colorado?

Colorado death certificates can be ordered by online, in-person with an appointment, by phone, or by mail. You may also be able to go to the vital records section of the county in which the death occurred, but will need to contact the office in advance to be sure.

How to Get a Colorado Death Certificate by Mail

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

Vital Record Mail Services
ATTN: Colorado Vital Records
P.O. Box 222130
El Paso, TX 79912

(that address isn’t a typo – Colorado outsources the service, so you really do need to mail it to Texas!)

The application form is available in English and in Spanish from Colorado Public Health and Environment.

The pro of ordering a Colorado death certificate by mail is that it’s convenient, doesn’t require an in-person visit to the Colorado Vital Records section in Denver, and is cheaper than ordering online.

The cost is $20 for one copy, plus $13 for each additional copy. Payment for mail-in applications can be made by check or credit card. Checks should be made payable to VitalChek for the exact amount.

If you pay by credit card, be sure to include the full card number and expiration date on your application. Credit cards accepted include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards.

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

How to Get a Colorado Death Certificate by Phone

To order a death certificate by phone in Colorado, you can use one of the state’s two approved 3rd party companies.

  • GoCertificates: 866-694-0571, press option 2
  • VitalChek: 866-632-2604 or 866-300-8540

How to Get a Colorado Death Certificate In Person

To order a death certificate in person in Colorado, you can go to the main campus of Colorado’s Vital Records Section in Denver. The office doesn’t accept walk-in appointments, and you need to a schedule an appointment online in advance.

The office is open 8:30am to 4pm Monday through Fridays (excluding holidays), and is located at:

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246

The phone number is 303-692-2200.

For in person visits, the Colorado Vital Records section in Denver can issue a certified copy of the death certificate in up to 35 business days.

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

The cost for ordering in-person is $20 for one copy, plus $13 for each additional copy.

How to Order a Colorado Death Certificate Online

To order a Colorado death certificate online, you need to order them through one of two independent companies approved by Colorado.

  • VitalChek. Costs up to $34, plus the cost of shipping to deliver the certificate(s).
  • GoCertificates. Pricing is unavailable on the website.

Processing time for online orders through 3rd party providers is up to 35 business days, plus shipping costs.

Information Required to Obtain a Death Certificate in Colorado

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 Colorado ID requirements for applicants.

Information Required to Request a Death Certificate in Colorado

To order death records in Colorado, you need to provide information about the deceased to help the Department of Public Health and Environment or VitalCheck/GoCertificates find the death record you need.

In Colorado, the following information is required:

  • First, middle, and last name of the deceased, plus suffix if applicable
  • Date of death
  • Date of birth or age at death
  • State of birth
  • Sex
  • Place of death (town/city, county, and state)

The application form will also ask you personal and contact information, plus your relationship to the deceased and preferred shipping options.

Qualifications: Who Can Order a Death Certificate in Colorado

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

According to Colorado law, death certificates are not public record. Only certain people can access restricted Colorado death records, and documentation is required. These people include:

  • Current or ex-spouse
  • Parent or step-parent
  • Grandparents or great grandparents
  • Siblings or half-siblings
  • Children, grandchildren or great grandchildren
  • Step children
  • Legal representatives (includes paralegals and opposing counsel)
  • Geneaologists
  • In laws
  • Extended family including aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins
  • Probate researchers
  • Employer
  • Beneficiaries
  • Insurance companies
  • Physicians and healthcare facilities
  • Funeral directors
  • Informants
  • Those who can demonstrate a need to protect personal or property rights
  • Agent or power of attorney
  • Consultates of foreign governments

When requesting a Colorado 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 Colorado?

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

In Colorado, you can submit one piece of primary ID (must be current), or two pieces of secondary ID.

Along with the application, you need to include a clear photocopy of your valid, signed government photo ID (driver’s license, passport, state ID, etc).

If the applicant doesn’t have an acceptable form of primary ID, Colorado accepts secondary ID listed types here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Colorado Death Certificate

How much does a Colorado death record search cost?

Colorado charges $20 for one copy, plus $13 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.

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

Colorado law restricts access to vital records, including death certificates, as they are not public record.

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 Colorado, access is restricted to:

  • Current or ex-spouse
  • Parent or step-parent
  • Grandparents or great grandparents
  • Siblings or half-siblings
  • Children, grandchildren or great grandchildren
  • Step children
  • Legal representatives (includes paralegals and opposing counsel)
  • Geneaologists
  • In laws
  • Extended family including aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins
  • Probate researchers
  • Employer
  • Beneficiaries
  • Insurance companies
  • Physicians and healthcare facilities
  • Funeral directors
  • Informants
  • Those who can demonstrate a need to protect personal or property rights
  • Agent or power of attorney
  • Consultates of foreign governments

Leave a Comment

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