How to Get a Death Certificate in Connecticut: Step-By-Step

Updated

After someone’s death, this event is recorded with the local or state Vital Records Office within days. States have collected death records for over 100 years, and this is an important part of handling someone’s final affairs. If you’re wondering how to get a death certificate in Connecticut, you’re in the right place. 

While the funeral home or person in charge of handling the deceased person’s remains is the one who files for the death certificate, you will need to order copies of this document through the state Vital Records Office.

The office will conduct a death certificate search to find the right document, and the applicant’s identity might also need to be verified depending on the type of certificate requested.

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With so many reasons why you need the death certificate, from family history to handling someone’s legal affairs, it’s easy to get started in Connecticut. Learn how to get a death certificate in the state of Connecticut by following the step-by-step guide below.  

What Do You Need to Get a Death Certificate in Connecticut?

There are a number of reasons why you may need a death certificate, and this is something anyone can access in Connecticut. While some states have strict privacy laws around death certificates, this isn’t the case in Connecticut. Any adult can purchase a death certificatehowever, there are some limitations. 

A copy of the death certificate without the decedent’s social security number is available to anyone who applies. If you need a certified copy with the social security number included, you need to be a next of kin or spouse. 

If you’re requesting a certified copy with the social security number, you will need to not only identify your relationship with the deceased but also show valid proof. This is for the privacy of the deceased and their family. Regardless of the type of record you order, the process is similar. 

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Steps for Requesting a Death Certificate in Connecticut

Like other states, Connecticut has multiple options for how to order a death certificate. The application is identical no matter which method you choose, so determine which is the best fit for your needs. Follow these steps below closely to request a death certificate in Connecticut. 

Step 1: Choose your order method

There are two options for ordering a death record in the state of Connecticut. You can either order online through the third-party service VitalChek or complete a printed application to mail to the state Vital Records Office. 

You need to apply either online through VitalChek or by mail using the State Application. The process for both VitalChek and mail applications is similar, but there is an additional fee for using the third-party service. 

Lastly, you can also visit the in-person service desk at the Connecticut Department of Public Health in Hartford. This is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays, but the hours are subject to change at any time. 

Step 2: List information about the deceased

The first part of the Connecticut application for a death certificate asks for information about the deceased. This should match the details found on the death record. Though you don’t need to fill out the entire section, the more you complete, the quicker your request will be completed. An incomplete request might not be able to be found. 

You need to include the name of the deceased, their sex, date of death, the town of death, date of birth, place of birth, parent’s names, and spouse’s name. Include as much as you can to make sure it’s easy to locate your requested document. 

Step 3: Share your personal information

As the applicant requesting a death certificate, you also need to include your own information on the application. This is needed even if you’re not applying for a record with the social security number included. Your information is kept with your request for record-keeping purposes. 

You need to share your name, address, telephone number, email address, and relationship with the deceased. You can also share your reason for the request (genealogy, benefits, and so on). If you wish to notify the IRS of a death, for example, list financial or legal notification. Lastly, sign the application or continue to the next section if you’re using VitalChek. 

Step 4: Provide proof of eligibility

If you’re eligible to receive a copy of the death certificate with the social security number, you can choose whether you’d like to receive this type of copy. If so, you need to provide proof of your eligibility. 

Your proof needs to include a photo identification as well as a document showing your relationship with the deceased. This can be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or court document. If you don’t provide adequate proof, your request will not be completed.

Step 5: Pay the required fees

A certified copy of the death certificate costs a flat fee of $20 in Connecticut. If you’re applying online, you may pay using a credit card. For mail applications, only money orders are accepted. You may not send a personal check. Make your money order payable to the Treasurer, State of CT. 

If you choose to order online through VitalChek, there is a third-party fee of $7 per order. It’s important to note that these fees will not be refunded even if your request can’t be completed. 

If you’re requesting a death certificate for a deceased veteran, you are allowed to have one free copy. To do so, provide a copy of your ID and proof of your relationship with the deceased. This will only be completed if the deceased has their veteran status indicated on their death certificate. 

Step 6: Complete your application

Last but not least, check that all of the information on your application is correct. Any errors could delay or impact your search, so you want to make sure everything is right. When you’re ready, submit your online order or mail your application. Mail your state application for a death certificate to:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Vital Records Section
Customer Services, MS # 11 VRS
Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Keep a copy of any confirmation codes for your records. For any problems with your order, contact the Connecticut Vital Records Office at tel: (860) 509-7700. 

Frequently Asked Questions: CT Death Certificates

Because death certificates aren’t something you order often (if at all), it’s normal to have questions about the process. In addition, rules and regulations differ between states. These frequently asked questions below are specifically for Connecticut. 

How long does it take to get a death certificate in Connecticut?

The specific processing time in Connecticut depends on the state’s current queue in the Hartford Vital Record Office. If you choose to send your application to a county office, the typical wait time is between 4 and 6 weeks. If you need your document sooner, order online or ship your application using express service. 

If your loved one passed within a few weeks, it might be possible to get copies of the death certificate directly from the funeral home. This is the individual that files for the death certificate in the first place, and the initial records typically come through this service provider.

If the funeral home has yet to finish processing the death record, they will not be available through the state Department of Health.

Are death certificates public record in Connecticut?

Death certificates are public record in Connecticut. These are available to anyone who can complete an application and pay the required fee. That being said, there are limitations to who can order specific types of death certificates.

Only next of kin can order a death certificate with the deceased person’s social security number. This has to do with identity fraud and privacy concerns, so this information is protected and not public record. The exception to this is older records which are freely available on the state Archive website

Can you get a death certificate for free?

You can get a death certificate for free in Connecticut under a few circumstances. Firstly, if your loved one is a veteran, you qualify for one free death certificate as their next of kin. You will need to show proof of your identity and status as the next of kin (marriage certificate, birth certificate) to claim this free certificate. 

Second, you can browse free death certificates online through the Connecticut State Library. You can view early microfilms of vital records starting in 1897. You can also contact local Departments of Public Health to find other free records for historic or genealogical research purposes. 

When do you need the social security number on a death certificate?

In Connecticut, you can choose between ordering a death certificate with or without the social security number of the deceased. The social security number is only listed for those who prove their next of kin relationship with the deceased. Otherwise, these are not included in the certified copies. 

That being said, when do you need the social security number listed on a death certificate? In most cases, this isn’t necessary.

If you wish to send a "notification of death" letter to the credit bureaus or do any other legal or financial actions, you might need the social security number included. This is to verify the identity of the deceased. Otherwise, you aren’t likely to need it to finalize someone’s affairs. 

Order a Death Record in Connecticut

Each state has its own rules and laws around death certificates. Not only do these protect families, but they also ensure only relevant parties have access to sensitive information. In Connecticut, any adult can order a death certificate if they’re able to complete an application. However, there are still limitations and eligibility rules to be aware of before applying. 

The death certificate is one of the final documents in our legacies. Though it seems simple, it tells a part of our story, and it becomes a greater piece in the bigger family history puzzle. Whether you’re finalizing someone’s affairs or collecting family mementos, this is an important step to take.


Sources

  1. “Contact Information.” Connecticut State Department of Health. CT.gov
  2. “Death Certificates.” New Haven Department of Health: Death Certificates. NewHavenCT.gov
  3. “Request a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate.” Connecticut State Department of Health. CT.gov
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