Effective November 29, 2012, the Division of Vital Records is transitioning to a new telephone system which will enhance our services to you. We appreciate your patience during this conversion process and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Thank you for your understanding.
The Division of Vital Records maintains records of deaths that occurred from 1906 to the present. Certified copies of death certificates (with a raised seal) are issued and acceptable for various uses, such as:
- Settle Estate
- Property Transfer
- Social Security
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW: Death certificates maintained by the Division of Vital Records are not public certificates and, therefore, cannot be released under the provisions of Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know-Law. To determine if you are eligible to apply for a certified copy, please review the following:
Who May Request a Death Certificate?
Only certain people can request a death certificate. You must be:
- Legal representative of decedent's estate
- Immediate family member
- Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent
- Power of Attorney (Please note that a Power of Attorney document is no longer valid upon the death of the individual)
There is a $9 fee for each certified copy. Check or money order should be made payable to Vital Records. This fee may be waived for individuals who served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces or their dependents. The Armed Forces fee waiver does not apply to genealogical requests.
How to Get a Death Certificate
There are 3 ways to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate. Be sure to complete all required information on the application form provided within each link:
- Order online
- Request by mail
- In person at a public office (see 6 locations below):
What if the Year of Death is Unknown?
An applicant may request a multi-year death search .
On December 15, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett approved Senate Bill 361.
Effective February 13, 2012, you may now access Pennsylvania birth and death indices to search for birth records for 1906 and death records from 1906 through 1961. The original birth and death records for these years are located at the Pennsylvania State Archives. Information on searching the indices is available on the Public Records page.