Death Certificates

A death certificate is the official record of death. The record identifies personal information of the deceased and the date, time, location and cause of death. The official document is signed by the physician certifying the death, the funeral director completing the information and the registrar authorized to receive the death record

The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry maintains the death record. In New Jersey, a certified copy of the death certificate can be issued to the deceased’s parent,legal guardian or legal representative; the spouse or civil union partner; and a child, grandchild or sibling, if of legal age. The certified copy can be issued to a state or federal agency for official purposes and a named individual or entity pursuant to a court order.

A certified copy of the death certificate contains a raised seal of the office issuing the record and is printed on State of New Jersey safety paper. The certified document is required to verify a death when probating a will, applying forsocial security and life insurance benefits, transferring property and settling other estate matters.

How to Obtain Certified Copies

Death certificates may be obtained through your funeral director when making funeral arrangements.

Copies can also be obtained by using one of the services listed below. A completed application, acceptable identification and proof of relationship is required.

New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics & Registry

There are three ways to order copies from the Office of Vital Statistics & Registry.

  • Vital records can be obtained from the Walk-in Center at 140 E. Front Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.
  • Requests for vital records can be mailed directly to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, Office of Vital Statistics & Registry, NJ Department of Health, P.O. Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0370.
  • Copies can be requested online from the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. Instructions are listed on the site for completing the order request, submitting identification and proof of relationship, and for processing payment of the fees.

Local Vital Records Office

You can also obtain a copy from the local vital records office in the municipality where the death occurred. Fees for copies of vital records vary. Contact the local vital records office for more information.

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SSI/Medicaid Eligible?

Consider the prepaid funeral resource exclusion.