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Death Certificates

 

DCVRD notices

7/8/2021:  The DC Health Vital Records Division (DCVRD) will be available for the following types of services as of Monday, July 12, 2021:

 

EMERGENCY WALK-UP SERVICES:

Masks are required. Customers must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth before entering the building.

Walk-up services are available for customers to request birth, death and domestic partnership certificates. Customers may also visit DCVRD to apply for domestic partnership registration and termination. Service wait times can be found here: https://www.dcvsims.com/public/waittimes.

We highly recommend making an appointment, as appointment holders will be served within fifteen (15) minutes of their scheduled appointment time. See below for more information.

 

APPOINTMENT SERVICES:

  1. Birth, Death and Domestic Partnership Certificates – make an appointment at https://dchealth.dc.gov/page/vital-records-appointments or call (202) 442-9303 option 1 and then option 9.
  2. Out of Institution Birth Registration – send an email to [email protected] to schedule an appointment. As was required prior to the pandemic, appointments are required for out of institution birth registration services.
  3. Delayed Birth Registration - send an email to [email protected] to schedule an appointment. As was required prior to the pandemic, appointments are required for delayed registration of birth services.
  4. Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage (AOP) Services – make an appointment at https://dchealth.dc.gov/page/vital-records-appointments or call (202) 442-9303 option 1 and then option 9. Appointments are required for AOP services.
  • Masks are required. Customers must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth before entering the building.
  • Appointment holders will be given a 15-minute grace period. If you arrive after the grace period, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment in consideration of other scheduled customers.
  • If you are unable to select highlighted days on the calendar, all appointments have been booked for this month. Please check the next month.
  • If the calendar will not advance to the next month, there are no future appointments available at this time. Please check back later.

 

REMOTE SERVICES:

  1. Online Certificate Orders - https://dchealth.dc.gov/vital-records (click the "Remote ordering service provider" section for all online ordering options)
  2. Phone Certificate Orders - 1-877-572-6332 Option 2
  3. Mail-in Birth Certificate Application - https://www.vitalchek.com/Fax-Phone/DC_Birth_Application.pdf
  4. Mail-in Death Certificate Application - https://www.vitalchek.com/Fax-Phone/DC_Death_Application.pdf
  5. Certificate Amendments – Email us at [email protected] for instructions
  6. Out of Institution Birth Registration - send an email to [email protected]

Please allow 2-4 weeks for remote order processing time. Shipping times will vary based on shipping method selected by customer.

 

AMENDMENT SERVICES:

  1. Walk-up amendment services are available for submitting amendment applications and payment processing. Amendment applications will be examined and decisions determined within 3-5 business days. Amendment customers will receive notification to make payment for approved applications. If an amendment application is denied, customers will receive a denial letter detailing requirements for approval, which may include petitioning the appropriate court. Masks are required. Customers must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth before entering the building.
  2. Remote Amendment Applications – Email us at [email protected] for instructions.

 

FUNERAL HOME SERVICES:

  1. Funeral Home Portal Orders - https://funeralhome.vitalchek.com
  2. Funeral Home Amendments - Instruction Sheet - Amendment of Death Record (Funeral Director)

Death Certificates

 

death

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.

Certified copies of open and closed records are available at the DCVRD. Archived copies of public (open) records are available at the DC Office of Public Records.

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 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 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).
  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 name on your identification does NOT match the name on the certificate, you must prove evidence of a legal name change. This may include a certified marriage certificate, certified divorce decree or a certified legal name change court order that reflects the history of the changes to the name(s) on the certificate(s) requested.

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 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 3 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
  • Signed Social Security card or Social Security Disbursement Statement
  • Unexpired Vehicle registration/title
  • U.S. Selective Service card
  • Voter’s registration card issued within last 3 years
  • Federal Census records issued within last 3 years
  • Filed Court documents
  • Pay stub (within last 30 days)
  • Utility bill (dated within last 60 days)
  • Valid DC ONE card
  • W2 from the previous year
  • DD214 military discharge/separation document
  • Hospital Newborn Discharge document related to a birth occurring within the last year
  • Official correspondence from US Citizenship and Immigration Services

If the kiosk is unable to authenticate your identity, you will be required to present ONE form of primary photo ID and TWO of the documents from the list below. (These options will appear when you present your primary photo ID.)

  • Signed Social Security card or Social Security Disbursement Statement
  • Vehicle registration/title
  • Utility bill (dated within the last 60 days)
  • Sealed court documents
  • W2 from the previous year
  • Hospital Newborn Discharge document related to a birth occurring within the last year
  • Official correspondence from US Citizenship and Immigration Services