Multi-Year Death Search
If you do not have specific information related to the death of your relative (e.g., such as the decedent's first and last name, exact spelling of the decedent’s last name), it will be necessary for you to access other resources in an attempt to obtain this information before proceeding with a multi-year death search request. An applicant should only be submitting a multi-year search request when the exact year of death is unknown.
· A multi-year death search will be completed for deaths that occurred from 1963 to the present.
· Requests are processed in approximately 22 weeks from the date of receipt.
Multi-Year Death Search Requirements
If the year of death is unknown, an applicant may request a multi-year death search. The fee is $34.00 for a search of two to ten years (this fee includes one certification). Additional years may be searched at a rate of $25.00 for a span of two to ten years.
Before completing the Application for Multi-Year Search of Death Records, please note the following:
- Beginning and ending year: Be careful when designating a ten-year span.
For example, 1963 through 1973 represents (11) years rather than ten (10) years. In this case, you would either have to designate 1963 through 1972 or 1962 through 1971.
- Name at Death: Decedent’s first and last name is required to conduct a multi-year search. However, if you know the decedent’s middle name and/or suffix, please include this information. Be certain to list the married name for a female decedent when applicable.
You may list only one spelling of the first and last name in the “Name at Death” entry. If there are variations to the spelling of these names or you know the maiden name of the decedent, you may indicate these names in the entry for “Other” located on the bottom of the application form . However, this information will only be utilized to determine if we have located the appropriate death record. We will not conduct a search utilizing these spellings or the maiden name of the decedent (e.g., a request for a married name and a maiden name would require an additional application with the appropriate fee).
- Place of Death: Be sure to provide at least the county of death.
If your relative has a common name, it may not be possible to determine if the appropriate death record has been located.
On December 15, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett approved Senate Bill 361.
This bill amends the Act of June 29, 1953 (P.L. 304, No. 66), known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953, to provide for public access to certain birth and death certificates after a fixed amount of time has passed. This legislation provides that such documents become public records 105 years after the date of birth or 50 years after the date of death.
Effective February 13, 2012, you may now access Pennsylvania death indices to search for death records from 1906 through 1962. Information on searching the indices is available on the Public Records page.