An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect on July 23, 2014 for La Paz, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma Counties until July 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM. Learn more about how to stay safe in extreme heat and stay informed about future heat alerts.

Office of Vital Records

Who Can Obtain a Death Certificate

Only persons 18 years of age or older may obtain a certified copy of a death certificate.

Note: An applicant presenting documents from a foreign country as proof of relationship or proof of legal interest must provide certified copies of the documents. Photocopies are not acceptable. The applicant must also provide a certified translation of the documents.

Arizona is a "closed record" state. That means that vital records are not public record. Arizona law restricts the public's access to vital records to protect the confidentiality rights of our citizens. A.A.C. R9-19-405 specifies that only the following persons may receive a certified copy of a death certificate:

Click on your description below for more information about your eligibility to obtain a death certificate.

Spouse or Immediate Family Member

The applicant is eligible to receive a certified copy of their death certificate if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The applicant must provide either:
    • Proof of relationship:
      • Birth certificates that link the applicant to the deceased or
      • Marriage certificate that links the surviving spouse to the deceased.
        Note: Listed as the informant on the death certificate is not sufficient proof of relationship.
    • Proof of legal interest, examples include copies of:
      • Will that links the deceased to the person with legal interest
      • Insurance policy
      • Court order of guardianship
      • Title to personal or real property listing the deceased and applicant as co-owners
      • A document that establishes a legal interest in the record
    • The applicant submits a signed application.
    • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application.
    • The applicant submits the appropriate fee(s).

Attorney Representing an Estate

The attorney must submit a letter of request on his/her letterhead stating their professional relationship ("representing the estate of the deceased"), signed by the attorney and contains the attorney’s bar number along with the appropriate fee(s).

Attorney Representing Family Members

An attorney representing a family member is eligible to receive a certified copy of a death certificate if all following are submitted by the attorney:

  • A letter on the attorney’s letterhead stating their professional relationship to the family member signed by the attorney and contains the attorney’s bar number.
  • Documentation that the family member has retained the attorney.
  • Documentary evidence of the family member's relationship to the registrant.
  • The appropriate fee(s).

Attorney Representing Persons with a Legal Interest

An attorney representing a person with legal interest is eligible to receive a certified copy of a death certificate if all following are submitted by the attorney:

  • A letter on the attorney’s letterhead stating their professional relationship to the person with legal interest, signed by the attorney and contains the attorney’s bar number.
  • Documentation that the person with legal interest has retained the attorney.
  • Documentary evidence of the person's legal interest, examples include copies of:
    • Wills that link the deceased to the person with legal interest Insurance policy
    • Court order of guardianship
    • Title to personal or real property listing the deceased and applicant as co-owners
    • A document that establishes a legal interest in the record
  • The appropriate fee(s).

Non-Attorney Legal Interest/Other Vital Interest

A person with a legal interest is eligible to receive a certified copy of the death certificate if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Documentation is provided to establish that:
    • There is a relationship between the deceased and the requestor.
    • The requestor substantiates a legal interest in the certificate.
  • Notarized or certified documents are preferable but not required.
  • The applicant submits a signed application.
  • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application.
  • The applicant submits appropriate fee(s).

Third Party

An applicant who provides a signed authorization from the surviving spouse or other adult member of the deceased’s immediate family will receive the requested death certificate if the third party meets the following criteria:

  • The applicant provides a signed and notarized authorization to release the copy to the applicant from the surviving spouse or family member or
  • A signed authorization along with a photocopy of the signer's valid government issued identification
  • Proof of relationship from the authorizing part.
    • Note: A person with legal interest cannot authorize a third party to receive a certificate on their behalf.
  • An application signed by the applicant.
  • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application.
  • The appropriate fee(s).

Private Investigator

A private investigator is eligible to receive a certified copy of a death certificate if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The applicant provides documentation of their business relationship with the eligible person.
  • The applicant provides proof of relationship or legal interest between the eligible person and the deceased.
  • The applicant submits a signed application.
  • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application.
  • The appropriate fee(s).

Genealogical Researcher

A genealogist is eligible for a certificate that is NOT public record if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The applicant establishes a relationship to the individual whose record they are requesting
    • Acceptable types of credible documentation to establish relationship: Birth certificate, Death certificate, Marriage certificate.
    • Non-acceptable types of documentation to establish relationship: Pedigrees, Lineage charts, Family trees.
  • The applicant submits a signed application.
  • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application.
  • The application submits the appropriate fee(s).
  • A genealogist requesting a certificate that IS public record does not need to establish relationship to the individual whose record they are requesting but must submit the following:
    • A signed application
    • The applicant provides valid government issued identification or notarized signature on the application
    • The appropriate fee(s).