At some point in their lives, most people will need to obtain the death certificate of a family member. While you can search public death records free, getting an official certificate requires a few more steps.
Knowing when you may need one and the process to get one is good information to be aware of so you know what needs to be done when the time comes. Our lawyers explain how to get an official certificate in Florida.
What Are the Reasons You May Need a Death Certificate?
There are many reasons that you may need to get an official certificate, including:
- Requisition payout from insurance
- Transporting remains
- Transferring titles between owners
- Filing tax returns
- To receive retirement, benefits, or pension payouts
- For financial accounts
What Do I Need to Get a Death Certificate in Florida?
To get a certificate in Florida, you must submit a request with the necessary information and pay the required fee. If you want a cause of death printed on the certificate, you must complete additional documentation showing your right to access that information.
For a certificate with cause of death information, you must complete an affidavit. The affidavit must include:
- Your name
- Decedent’s name
- The relationship that gives you the right to receive the document
- Copy of a valid photo I.D. for the eligible person (driver’s license, state I.D. card, passport, or military identification card)
The affidavit must be notarized. It is unlawful to knowingly make a false statement when applying for a death certificate.
How Do I Obtain a Death Certificate in Florida?
You can obtain a certificate through the state where the person died, through the funeral home you’re working with, a third-party company online, or by mail.
How Do I Get a Death Certificate Online?
You can order a certificate online through websites such as VitalChek or myfloridacounty. You can order online any type of Florida vital statistics including a Florida birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates, and other Florida public record information.
How Do I Get a Certificate in Person?
If you need to get a certificate in person, locate the nearest Department of Health.
You can get a certificate in Florida in two ways:
- Request it through your local Department of Health
- Request it through the state Department of Health offices
The Department of Health keeps certificates centralized in Jacksonville, Florida, but there are also local Department of Health Offices in each county. You can get records either through the centralized location or from your local office.
How Do I Order a Death Certificate From the Bureau of Vital Statistics?
The Bureau of Vital Statistics is another way to obtain vital stat certificates such as Florida birth certificates, Florida death certificates, marriage and divorce records, and more.
To order a certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics:
- Complete Form DH727 Application for a Death Record (Available in Spanish as Form DH727S Application for a Death Record). If you can’t complete the form, you can submit all the required information, but be sure not to leave anything out.
- Submit the $5 fee and any fees for requested rush service or additional copies. Submit your check or money order payable to “Vital Statistics.” Cash is not accepted.
- Walk-in at the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics at 1217 N Pearl Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 (8:00 am-4:30 pm).
- Send your request by mail to the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics, P.O. Box 210, Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042.
- Walk-in at your local county health department. Fees may vary.
How Do I Get A Death Certificate In Tampa?
You can get a certificate in Tampa from the Hillsborough County Health Department or the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics. You may contact the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8002.
University Area Vital Statistics
13601 N. 22nd St.
Tampa, FL 33613
Hours: M-F 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough County
P.O. Box 5135
Tampa, Florida 33675-5135
When you request in person, they can search death records by name and fulfill the order as you wait. In Hillsborough County, the cost is $10 for a computer-generated certificate and $3 for a plastic cover.
For requests older than 2009, contact the State Office of Vital Statistics at their Jacksonville location.
In addition to ordering through the county health department, you may place your order for a Hillsborough County death certificate through the centralized state location in Jacksonville or online through VitalChek.
How Do I Get a Death Certificate in Pinellas County?
To get a death certificate in Pinellas County, make an appointment. Walk-ins are accepted, but they are accommodated after those with appointments. Walk-ins are not accepted after 4:35 pm. To get public records in Pinellas County, a certified computer certificate costs $9, with additional certificates costing $8. The standard processing time for mailed non-rush orders is five days. Rush processing costs an additional $5.
Who Can Get a Death Certificate in Florida?
The ability to get an official certificate varies on whether you need a death certificate with or without the cause of death. For each, there are qualifying circumstances.
With Cause of Death:
To get a certificate with the cause of death, you must be an approved person or have an approved reason. Qualifying circumstances are:
- Interest in the estate
- Court order
In addition to the above-named individuals, a person requesting a death certificate may be their agent. In all cases, the person must demonstrate their interest and meet one of the qualifications to receive a document with a cause of death. A valid photo I.D. is required.
Without Cause of Death:
Any person 18 years or older can get a certified certificate without a cause of death. Officials will partially redact the decedent’s social security number.
Are Death Certificates Public Record in Florida?
Certificates are open to the public. Anyone 18 years old or older can ask for one. However, records accessed publicly generally do not contain a cause of death unless the person has a qualifying relationship or the death occurred more than 50 years ago.
If you don’t need an actual certificate, you can complete a death record search by name at Florida Vital Records. While you can usually complete public records search free online, not all information may be accessible. While death certificates are public record in Florida, they are not public in every state.
How Far Back Does Florida Have Death Records?
If you need records from a while back, you should be able to get what you need. Florida records are generally complete from 1917 to the present. Limited records were kept between 1877 and 1917.
What Does a Death Certificate Cost in Florida?
The cost for a certificate in Florida depends on where you order it from. From the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics, fees are as follows:
- $5 – search fee and one copy
- $4 – additional copies
- $2 – search per year if you don’t know the year of death (up to $50)
You may request rush processing for an additional $10. If you are preparing an affidavit, there may be additional notary fees.
Wrongful Death Lawyers in Florida
If you have lost a family member to wrongful death, our lawyers can assist you in taking action to receive financial compensation. There are many steps to bringing your claim, including ordering vital records. Our lawyers provide full-service representation through all the steps necessary to claim compensation. Contact us for a confidential consultation regarding your situation.