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Death Certificates

 

DC VITAL RECORDS - IMPORTANT NOTICES

located at 2201 Shannon Place SE, Washington, DC 20020

 

  • CLOSED - The District of Columbia’s Department of Health (DC Health) will be closed on Wednesday,  June 19, 2024, in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day.

    • We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving you again on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

  • CERRADO - Departamento de Salud del Distrito de Columbia (DC Health) estará cerrado el día miércoles, 19 de junio de 2024, en conmemoración del Día de la Independencia Nacional Juneteenth.

    • Pedimos disculpas por cualquier inconveniente que esto pueda causar y esperamos poder servirle nuevamente el jueves, 20 de junio de 2024.

 

WALK-UP SERVICES are available:

  • Monday and Tuesday 9 am - 1 pm

  • Wednesday 9 am - 330 pm

  • Thursday and Friday 9 am - 1 pm

Click here to view our normal hours of operation and service options

 

    Residents can access the new DC Health headquarters via the following public transportation options:

  • Closest Metro Station: Anacostia (Green Line)

  • Closest Bus Routes: 90, 92, A33, A6, A8, B2, DC Circulator, P6, V2, W2, W3, W6, W8

  • Closest Bikeshare Station: Anacostia Metro, Pleasant Street & MLK Jr. Avenue SE

Death Certificates

 

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The DC Vital Records Division (DCVRD) maintains death certificates dating back to August 1874. Death records become public after 75 years. All other death records are closed, and certified copies may only be obtained if you are legally entitled and present the required personal documentation (see below) and fees.

A request for an unofficial copy of an open death record from between 1874 – 1945 can be made with the District of Columbia Archives.

WHO is entitled to a death certificate?

To protect the identity and privacy of citizens of the District of Columbia, DC Health restricts access to death certificates that aren’t in the public record.

By law, cousins, nephews/nieces, aunts/uncles, friends, neighbors, and those without a specific interest are NOT allowed to order an individual’s death certificate.

However, you ARE entitled if you are a:

  1. Spouse
    You must be named as a spouse on the death certificate.
  2. Domestic partner
    You must be named as a domestic partner on the death certificate.
  3. Parent
    You must be named as a parent on the death certificate.
  4. Adult child, Adult Grandchild or sibling
    You need to have the stated relationship supported by actual certified birth records and provide the actual certificate for births outside of the District of Columbia.*
  5. Grandparent
    You need to have the stated relationship supported by actual certified birth records and provide the actual certificate for births outside of the District of Columbia.*
  6. Legal guardian
    You need an original copy of the court order (with a seal) naming you as guardian.
  7. Legal representative
    You need a copy of the retainer agreement, bar card AND a typed letter on the firm’s letterhead authorizing retrieval of this document.
  8. Law enforcement
    You need the DC Superior Court subpoena or other documents ordering issuance AND your unexpired work ID with a photo.
  9. Interested party
    You need proof of tangible interest (that the need for the certificate is related to personal or property rights) or legal need (court, insurance, or estate settlement documents).

HOW can you order the certificate?

For your convenience, there are several ways of ordering death certificates: online, by phone, by mail, and in person via automated kiosks.

Please review our return of fees policy.  This information will be helpful should you notice an error on your certificate and wish to amend immediately.

 

What do I need to bring with me to prove my identity?

We recommend that you bring several forms of ID to ensure that DCVRD employees are able to verify your identity.

For a printable version of the below requirements, please review our Identity Guidelines Information Sheet.

During your visit, you will be required to complete an identity verification questionnaire at our self- service kiosks. (Read more under “How do the on-site kiosks work?”)

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present at least ONE of the following forms of primary photo ID (which must be original, valid, unexpired, and undamaged.):

  • State-issued driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card
  • Passport or passport card
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization card
  • Department of State card
  • Military ID Card
  • Law enforcement ID (must also present DC Superior Court subpoena)
  • Government employee ID (applies only to licensed social workers or government representatives with pre-existing approval from the State Registrar)

If the name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change, like an original marriage certificate or an original sealed legal name change order.

If the kiosk is able to authenticate your identity but you do not have a primary photo ID, you will be required to present TWO FORMS of alternate identification from the list below (which must show your full name, current address and/or signature where appropriate):

  • Valid, unexpired employment ID card (with photo) WITH a pay stub (dated within last 60 days)
  • Expired (within last 5 years) state-issued driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card or passport
  • Photo ID from a school in a U.S. state or territory (within last 3 years) WITH a report card, transcript or other proof of school enrollment (within last 3 years)
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • U.S. Selective Service card
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Federal Census records
  • Court documents
  • Pay stub (within last 30 days)
  • Utility bill (dated within last 60 days)
  • Valid DC ONE card
  • W2 or federal tax return from the previous year
  • DD214 military discharge/separation document
  • Legible printed copy of primary/secondary photo ID

If the kiosk is unable to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present any combination of THREE (3) forms of identification from Primary list above and the additional list below. At least ONE (1) of the THREE (3) forms must be from the Primary list above and all identification must show full name, current address, and/or signature where appropriate.

  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 or filed US tax return from the previous year
  • Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons photo ID or probation/discharge papers with photo

 

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