When Do I Get the Death Certificates?

Video Transcript

When you receive your death certificates varies greatly by state. It varies greatly by the type of death, so death certificates can take up to 10 business days in order to complete. How fast that process is depends on the completion of the death certificate by the doctor and how quickly the doctor signs the death certificate. If there’s a medical examiner involved, that process can take a little bit longer depending on the tests and the reports that the medical examiner will have to file and report.

Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

After the vital statistic information is obtained and entered electronically, the death certificate is sent to the physician or medical examiner for signature. Upon completion, it is transferred to the county vital statistics office where the certified copies are processed. On average this usually takes 10-12 days (sometimes up to 6 weeks when there has been an investigation, autopsy, or a delay when the medical examiner is signing). Certified copies of the death certificate are original with the seal of the governmental office in charge of vital statistics, and they are usually required by many organizations. Currently, the state of Minnesota charges $13 for the first copy and $6 for each additional copy. This amount is subject to change.

- Abby Schilling
Funeral Director in Richfield, MN

Normally you will receive death certificates within 7-10 business days after the death.

- Jessica Watts
Funeral Director in Jacksonville, FL

We try to have them ready around the time you some to pick up the cremated remains.

- C. A. Bankston
Funeral Director in Fort Worth, TX

That depends on the city, county, and state of death. After the doctor certifies the certificate, the funeral director will fill in the statistical portion and then file it with the local county registrar. It may take anywhere from a day to two weeks or more depending on the region. Some states are set up to handle death certificates online, and that can either expedite or delay the process depending on the resources available to the state. Most states are still on a paper system where it physically has to travel from the doctor to the funeral home to the registrar or health department by mail.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC

In the state of Minnesota it can take anywhere from 5-10 business days after the date of death to receive the death certificates depending on the physician signing in a timely manner. If the medical examiner is involved in an investigation it can take 3-6 weeks to get a death certificate, usually because the investigation and toxicology reports take time to establish. The larger the county, the longer the investigation can take.

- Laura Anderson
Funeral Director in Minneapolis, MN