how to get a death certificate in Illinois

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

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

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

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

In Illinois, death certificates are completed by the funeral director, with medical professionals filling out the medical portion (physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, or chief medical officer of the facility where the death occurred).

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

Illinois’ Division of Vital Records is in charge of vital records in Illinois.

Illinois has been filing death certificates for those who passed away in Illinois since 1877.

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

When ordering an Illinois death certificate, you’ll need to choose between a certified copy, which is suitable for legal purposes, or an uncertified copy, which can be used for research or genealogical purposes. Uncertified copies are only available if they are more than 20 years old.

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

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

How to Get a Death Certificate in Illinois?

Illinois death certificates can be ordered by mail, by fax, or by online using approved third-party provider,.

How to Get an Illinois Death Certificate by Mail

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

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 E. Ridgely Avenue
Springfield, Illinois 62702-2737

The application form is available from Illinois Department of Public Health.

The cost is $19 for one copy, plus $4 for each additional copy. Payment for mail-in applications can be made by check or money order made payable to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

How to Get an Illinois Death Certificate by Fax

To order a death certificate by fax in Illinois, print and fill out the application form and payment information, and fax it (along with payment information) to 217-523-2648.

How to Get an Illinois Death Certificate In Person

Illinois doesn’t offer in-person ordering for vital records, including death certificates.

How to Order an Illinois Death Certificate Online

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

VitalChek 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 Illinois Department of Public Health cost $19 for one copy, plus $4 for each additional copy, death certificates ordered online through VitalChek require you pay an additional service fee of $12.95. You’ll also need to pay additional shipping costs.

Information Required to Obtain a Death Certificate in Illinois

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 Illinois ID requirements for applicants.

Information Required to Request a Death Certificate in Illinois

To order death records in Illinois, you need to provide information about the deceased to help the Division of Vital Records find the death record you need.

In Illinois, the following information about the deceased is required to receive a certified copy of a death certificate:

  • Death certificate number (if known)
  • First, middle, and last name of the deceased, as written on the death certificate
  • Possible other names (i.e., a maiden name or married name)
  • Date of death
  • Sex
  • Date last known to be alive
  • Place of death (city/county in Illinois)
  • Last known address
  • Parents’ names
  • Name of surviving spouse
  • Date of birth
  • Birth place
  • Social security number

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

Qualifications: Who Can Order a Death Certificate in Illinois

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

According to Illinois law, death certificates have “restricted access” for and are not public record. Only certain people can access these restricted Illinois death records, and documentation is required to get a certified death certificate. These people generally include the deceased’s next of kin.

For records that are more than 20 years old, only individuals who have a genealogical interest, personal interest, or property right interest in the record may request a copy.

What ID is Needed to Get Death Certificates in Illinois?

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

Along with the application, you need to include a valid government issued photo identification (ID) such as driver’s license, a state issued photo ID, or a passport.

You can see a complete list of acceptable ID on the back of the application form.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting an Illinois Death Certificate

How much does an Illinois death record search cost?

Illinois charges $19 for one copy, plus $4 for each additional copy. After paying the fee, you’ll get either your copies of the death certificate. If they can’t find the death certificate you’re after, you may get a “failure to find” certificate.

If you choose to order Illinois death records online through VitalChek, it’s more expensive, due to additional service fees.

Leave a Comment

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