There are a lot of reasons why you might need to order a death certificate. One of the most common vital records, death certificates are a part of someone’s legacy. To start a death certificate search, you need to know a few things about state laws and eligibility requirements.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Do You Need to Get a Death Certificate in Nevada?
- Steps to Get a Death Certificate in Nevada
- Frequently Asked Questions: Death Certificates in Nevada
Nevada is one of the states with strict privacy rules around vital records. The state began recording deaths in 1911, and these are protected documents only available to those with a legal interest in their contents. That means you need a valid reason for needing a death certificate, and you need to prove your relationship with the deceased as a family member or third-party provider.
Death certificate practices vary by state, so how do you get a death certificate in Nevada? Read this step-by-step guide to getting started, depending on your eligibility.
What Do You Need to Get a Death Certificate in Nevada?
First and foremost, death certificates are not public record in Nevada. That means you need to have a “direct and tangible interest” in the record to apply for a certified copy. This is to protect the deceased and the privacy of the family.
There are 4 categories in which you are eligible for a death certificate in Nevada. These are:
- Direct relationship by blood: Parents, grandparents, adult children, siblings, and adult grandchildren
- Direct relationship by marriage: Current spouse or domestic partner listed as surviving spouse on the death record
- Legal relationship: Attorneys, guardians, public administrators, probate officials, estate executors, donor networks, adoptive parents, adoptive adult child, adoption agencies, power of attorney, and informants
- Any individual, company, or organization facilitating a legal process: Law enforcement, insurance companies, title companies, DMV liens and titles, government agencies, student loans, attorneys, ex-spouse, and legal beneficiaries
Only the above individuals or third-party providers can get a death certificate in Nevada. Even then, you need to provide proper photo ID and authorization documents to qualify. If you’re eligible, continue to the steps below to begin the application process.
Steps to Get a Death Certificate in Nevada
If you’re wondering how to get a death certificate in Nevada, you’re in the right place. There are 3 different methods to choose from when applying, and you can choose the right one for your needs. Be sure to read each step carefully to avoid any delays in your processing.
Step 1: Choose your method
To begin, select the method you’d like to use to apply. Each method involves the same steps and requirements, but they have different processing times and fees. Your options are:
- Online: The easiest way to apply is through a third-party service called VitalChek. This is the only third-party service approved by the state of Nevada, so avoid other options that might not be legitimate.
- Mail: You can also download the Application for Death Certificates through the Nevada Department of Health Office. This can be mailed with copies of your ID, supplemental documents, and your payment to process your application that way.
- In-person: Lastly, you can visit a Vital Record Office in-person to complete a request. However, check with current office hours and visitation requirements before planning your trip.
If you choose to purchase and apply for a record online through VitalCheck, note there is an additional third-party processing fee. The Office of Vital Records in Nevada is located in Carson City. Regardless of the method you choose, you must still be eligible based on the rules above.
Step 2: Select the type of certificate
In Nevada, you can also choose between different types of certificates. If you only need to verify the existence of a record within the state of Nevada, choose Verification Only. This means you will receive a notice of whether or not the state has this record on file, but you won’t get a physical copy of it yourself.
Alternatively, you can choose between how the parents are listed on the death certificate. The parent’s names can either read as “Mother / Father” or “Parent / Parent” depending on your wishes. This does not affect the cost or application process.
Step 3: List information about the deceased
To begin, share information about the deceased. This should match the information found on the death record. It includes their legal name, date of death, county of death, social security number, parents’ names, and funeral home.
If you’re missing any of the information above, complete your request either by mail or in person. This gives you more flexibility. Fill in as much as possible to speed up your request and avoid any problems.
Step 4: Provide applicant information
As the applicant, you also need to share your information. This includes your name, relationship, and reason for your request, your signature, address, phone number, and ID. You must include a copy of a valid photo ID. If you don’t have a photo ID, you can use 2 separate secondary IDs.
You might also need to include supplementary documents relating to any of the required proof on the updated requirement list. For example, you need to provide a copy of the birth certificate to show you’re a family member of the deceased. If you don’t provide supplemental documentation, your request will be denied.
Step 5: Submit your payment
Death records cost a fee in Nevada, as they do in other states. Depending on the county the record is from, the payment is different. Here are the current fees by Nevada county:
- $25 per certificate: Carson, Clark, Douglas, Lyon, Mineral, and Washoe counties
- $22 per certificate: All other counties
If you only wish for the record to be verified (vs receiving one yourself), this is a flat fee of $10. If you order online through VitalChek, there is an additional fee of $12.50 per search. Through VitalChek, you can pay with a credit card. Otherwise, send a check or money order with your application made out to the Office of Vital Records. You may only pay cash if you visit in person.
Note that these fees are nonrefundable. Even if your order cannot be completed or your search doesn’t yield any records, your fee will not be returned.
Step 6: Mail or finalize your request
Lastly, it’s time to mail your application, visit in-person, or submit your request through VitalChek. Before doing so, ensure the information you entered is correct and as complete as possible. The more information you provide, the faster your request is completed.
If you’re mailing your request, address it to:
Office of Vital Records
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, Nevada 89706
The above address is also where you visit in person for a request. Note the current office hours before visiting, and consider filling out an application in advance to save time. Lastly, contact the Vital Records Office with any questions or concerns about your application at (755) 684-4242 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions: Death Certificates in Nevada
Whether you need to send a notification of death letter to credit bureaus, you’re conducting family research, or you’re sending an IRS death notification, it’s common to have questions along the way. Consider these frequently asked questions below to guide your death certificate request in Nevada.
Are death certificates public record in Nevada?
Death certificates are not public record in Nevada. They’re only available to those with a tangible, legal interest in these records, like close family and government officials. This means you need to meet clear eligibility requirements and prove your identity for your request to be completed.
However, for records older than 50 years, this is not the case. These records are available through state archives, and you might be able to access them for free online on the Nevada State Library website. This is common for those doing family and genealogy research about deceased loved ones.
Who can request a death certificate in Nevada?
Only those who are eligible can request a death certificate in Nevada for a death that occurred within the past 50 years. The state of Nevada uses 4 distinct categories to identify who is eligible. You must have a:
- Direct relationship by blood
- Direct relationship by marriage
- Legal relationship
- A legal or government-authorized reason for your request
Additionally, you need to have proper proof of any of the above. This could be your name listed on a legal document, court order, or so on. If you don’t qualify, your request will not be processed.
How long does it take to get a death certificate in Nevada?
In Nevada, death certificate processing times vary depending on the method you use as well as the county the record is in. Each county has its own processing times, but it’s typically somewhere between 2 to 7 business days. Contact your local Vital Record Office for the latest processing times.
What if you can’t answer all of the questions on the application?
If you’re unable to answer all of the questions on the death record application, it’s best to submit a mail application or apply in person. To submit online through VitalChek, all required fields must be entered.
Even if you’re unsure of the date of death, you can apply for a search in person. While your request might not be found, you can still submit an incomplete request in person or by mail.
Nevada Death Record Requests
Depending on your relationship with the deceased, it’s straightforward to apply for a death certificate in Nevada. As long as you can complete a request form and provide proper identification, the processing time is relatively fast in this state.
A death certificate is an important part of someone’s legacy. Whether you’re creating a family history or handling a loved one’s final affairs, this is an act of compassion and remembrance. Ensure you follow each of the detailed steps above to complete your application correctly and easily. Nevada makes it simple for relatives and authorized representatives to apply for death records efficiently.
If you're a Nevada resident and ready to start preparing your own end-of-life planning documents, Cake has Advance Care Planning forms you can download. To help ease your planning, we have all the documents you need in one place.
- “Attachment ‘A’ Proof Required List.” Department of Health Nevada. DPBH.NV.gov.
- “Death Certificates Frequently Asked Questions.” Southern Nevada Health District. SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org.
- “How to Find Nevada Death Records.” Family Search: Nevada. FamilySearch.org.