how to get a death certificate in Georgia

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

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

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

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

In Georgia, death certificates are completed by a physician, medical examiner, or coroner, and the funeral director.

Georgia 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 Georgia

Georgia’s Department of Public Health is in charge of vital records in Georgia.

Georgia has been filing death certificates for those who passed away in Georgia since 1919.

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

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

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

How to Get a Death Certificate in Georgia?

Georgia death certificates can be ordered by mail, by phone, in person, or online using approved third-party providers.

How to Get a Georgia Death Certificate by Mail

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

State Office of Vital Records
1680 Phoenix Blvd., Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30349

The application form is available from the Georgia Department of Public Health website.

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

The cost is $25 for one copy, plus $5 for each additional copy. Payment for mail-in applications can be made by check or money order made payable to “State Office of Vital Records”.

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 a Georgia Death Certificate by Phone

To order a death certificate by phone in Georgia, you can use the state’s approved 3rd party provider, Vitalchek. The phone number for phone orders is 877-572-6343.

How to Get a Georgia Death Certificate In Person

To order a death certificate in person in Georgia, you can go to the State Office of Vital Records, which accepts walk-in service. You may also be able to visit a local county office of vital records. You can see the list of locations here, and contact them directly to ask.

The State office is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday (except state holidays), and is located at:

1680 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30349

The phone number is 404-679-4702.

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

Payment for can be made by check or money order, made payable to “State Office of Vital Records”. The cost for ordering in-person is $25 for one copy, plus $5 for each additional copy.

How to Order a Georgia Death Certificate Online

To order a Georgia death certificate online, you can order through Rover, Georgia’s official service for ordering vital records online, or one of several independent companies: VitalChek and GoCertificates.

  • Rover is an official state of Georgia service. Certificates cost $25 for the search fee and first certificate, $5 for each additional certificate, plus an $8 processing fee. Expedited processing and shipping within the US is available for $10 per order, and you can pay via Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex. Regular orders take 4 to 6 weeks processing, and expedited orders take up to 5 business days of processing time.
  • VitalChek is an independent company. Certificates cost up to $38, plus the cost of shipping to deliver the certificate(s).
  • GoCertificates is another independent company. Pricing unavailable online.

Information Required to Obtain a Death Certificate in Georgia

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 Georgia ID requirements for applicants.

Information Required to Request a Death Certificate in Georgia

To order death records in Georgia, you need to provide information about the deceased to help the Department of Public Health find the death record you need.

In Georgia, the following information is required:

  • First, middle, and last name of the deceased
  • Last name at birth, if different
  • Sex
  • Date of death
  • Place of death, including hospital, county and state
  • Age at death
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Name of funeral home

The application form will also ask you personal and contact information, plus your proof of relationship to the deceased.

Qualifications: Who Can Order a Death Certificate in Georgia

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

According to Georgia law, death certificates have “restricted access”. Only certain people can access restricted Georgia death records, and documentation is required. These people include:

  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Grandparents
  • Adult child or sibling
  • Spouse
  • Attorney or legal representative
  • A government agency representative

When requesting a Georgia death certificate, you’ll need to provide your name and relationship to the deceased individual, and may need to provide additional 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 Georgia?

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

Along with the application, you need to include a photocopy of your valid ID such as one of the following:

  • Georgia Driver’s license
  • State of Georgia Identification Card
  • State of Georgia Weapons Carry License
  • Driver’s license issued by another U.S. State
  • Official ID card issued by another U.S. State
  • U.S. or foreign Passport
  • U.S. Military Identification, Military Dependent Identification, or Veteran’s Identification
  • Consulate Card
  • Transportation ID
  • Debit Card with Picture
  • Employer ID Card
  • School, University, or College Identification Card
  • DMV ID Card
  • Department of Corrections Identification Card

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting a Georgia Death Certificate

How much does a Georgia death record search cost?

Georgia charges $25 for one copy, plus $5 for each additional copy for a death certificate applied for at the same time. 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 a Georgia death certificate (ordered at the same time), the fee is $5 per copy.

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

Georgia law restricts access to vital records, including death certificates.

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

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