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

Updated

The process for obtaining a death certificate varies state by state. You might need a death certificate for an IRS death notification or to notify credit bureaus of a death. Follow along, and we’ll take you step-by-step through how to get a death certificate in Utah.

Jump ahead to these sections:

Aside from legal purposes, there are other reasons for needing a death certificate, such as doing genealogy research, planning a funeral, or getting remarried. Other reasons could include figuring out a parent’s cause of death if you were adopted after they passed.

Keep scrolling, and you’ll find out the information you’ll need to get started.

What Documents Do You Need to Get a Death Certificate in Utah?

That depends.

If seeking a certified original death certificate as a family member, you'll need to prove your relationship and identity as directly related to the deceased. 

If seeking a certified original death certificate as legal counsel or other representative, you’ll need to prove who you are and the legal need—and write a letter stating these things on the company letterhead.

Otherwise, if your loved one has recently passed, the funeral director supporting your request will facilitate this request. Keep reading for more information on obtaining an Original Death Certificate or a copy of a death certificate.

Steps to Get an Original Death Certificate in Utah

Every death certificate ordered from the Vital Records Office is issued by the state of Utah and considered a Certified Original Death Certificate.

If your loved one has recently passed, a funeral director assisting in the preparations can handle the arrangements for you to receive this certificate and any additional ones that you request. However, if you’re not currently planning a funeral, but require certificates for other reasons, Utah’s Vital Records Office has a few guidelines for you to follow. 

You can request a death certificate online or via mail. Here’s how to do it.

Requesting an Original Death Certificate Online

To obtain a death certificate online in Utah, you’ll first need to create a Utah.gov account if you don’t already have one. Visit the website and provide the information to create an account. You’ll receive a confirmation email. Follow the prompts in that email to activate your account and sign in.

Provide your information and that of the deceased

After you sign in, the site will direct you to a “User Dashboard” where you can request a death certificate. The Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics needs to verify your identity once you request a death certificate. They’ll need you to provide the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address, including city and state
  • Your Utah Driver’s License number or Utah State ID number
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Phone number
  • Email

If you’re not a Utah resident, you don’t need to provide your Driver’s License information at this time.

Next, the portal will ask you to verify your relationship to the deceased. In Utah, you must be one of the following to obtain someone’s death certificate:

  • Spouse
  • Sibling
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Maternal Grandparent
  • Paternal Grandparent (if the father is listed on the birth certificate)
  • Grandchild
  • Designated Legal Representative

Note: if you are a designated legal representative, you’ll need to prove your legal need by stating it on company letterhead. You can email that request to vrequest@utah.gov or fax the letter to (801) 538-7012.

After you’ve selected your relationship with the deceased, you must provide a reason for your request. The options include:

  • Personal use
  • Government benefits
  • Genealogy 
  • Insurance
  • Other (you’ll be asked to clarify this later

Next, you’ll be asked to provide information on the deceased, including their full name, date and place of birth, date and place of death, and their gender. You’ll also be asked to provide their parents’ names and their spouse’s as well. 

Click save and continue

When finished filling out the requested information, click on the green “Save and Continue” button located at the bottom center-right.

Request copies

The final page lets you request the number of certified copies you’ll need to handle any executor duties or to complete your genealogy research. There, you may request up to thirty copies. Fees and charges are non-refundable and include:

  • $30.00 for the first copy, which includes the death certificate search fee
  • $10.00 for each additional copy
  • $4.00 online convenience fee
  • $1.39 identification verification fee

Note: you’ll receive an email letting you know the certified death certificate(s) is available for pickup at the Office of Vital Records in Salt Lake City or any Department of Health location around the state. You’ll need to bring a valid ID. Otherwise, you can have them mailed to you. 

Ordering an Original Death Certificate by Mail

If you plan on ordering by mail, follow this link to the Utah Department of Health’s death certificate application. There, you can print out the application needed to obtain a copy of the death certificate. 

Along with the death certificate application, you’ll also need to provide a copy of your ID (or two). You’ll need to provide one “Primary” form of ID, such as a Driver’s License or Passport, or two “Secondary” forms of ID, such as a utility bill and a vehicle registration. See the application for a full list of acceptable forms of primary and secondary IDs.

If you don’t have access to a printer at home or your local library, you can write a letter to the Vital Records office. It should state:

  • The type of record you’re requesting
  • The name of the person on the record
  • The date of death, place of death
  • The name of their parents, using any maiden names if applicable
  • Your relationship to the deceased 
  • Your reasons to request the document
  • Your signature

Mailing Address:
Vital Records
PO Box 141012
Salt Lake City UT 84114-1012

Before you request a document

Tricksters and bad actors beware, the Utah Office of Vital Records states that anyone who is fraudulently requesting vital records can incur a penalty of up to $5,000 and spend up to five years in prison.

Steps to Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Utah

In some circumstances, you don’t need an Original Death Certificate. Sometimes an uncertified copy will do. There are several ways to access these in Utah. Let’s have a look.

In-person search at the Family History Library and Family History Centers

The Family History Library is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s open to the public and it’s free. That means you can access any of the 3 million+ records in person without incurring costs associated with paid sites or third-party agencies.

Family History Centers are branch libraries located across Utah and are available for both members of the LDS and the public. Like the library, access is also free.

Online search at Utah Division of Archives 

Using the online portal of the Utah Division of Archives, you’ll note that some cities and counties (not all) have microfilm for Death Records, pre-1898. 

More records are available for later periods, including Death Records, 1898–1905, and Death Records, 1904-–1996. 

Additional online search tools 

For Utah Deaths and Burials, 1888–1946, create an account with FamilySearch.org and key in the following deceased ancestor information:

  • Name 
  • Race 
  • Marital Status
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace, if known
  • Birthyear, if known, otherwise use a range

You can also include a relationship in this search to facilitate a better response.

For Utah Death Registers, 1847–1966, including Military Death certificates and cemetery inventories, create an account with Ancestry.com. The information provided here is based on the Utah Death Index but isn’t considered a certified original death certificate.

Photocopies

Finally, you can make a photocopy of the Original Death Certificate using any copy machine. Some reasons people might want a copy as opposed to using an original include:

  • Originals are expensive
  • Some places accept copies over originals
  • You may have an original available but need to make a non-certified copy for someone else.

Many people assume they'll need originals for every transaction after a loved one dies. But that's not the case. Some places readily accept a photocopy. 

Ask your funeral director for advice so you can keep the costs low.

Frequently Asked Questions: Death Certificates in Utah

The most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about death certificates in Utah are about public records, who can order them, and how long it takes to receive them once they’ve been ordered.

Are death certificates public records in Utah?

Death records in Utah remain private for 50 years after the date of death. Afterward, they become part of the public record, available in the Utah State Archives.

Death records older than 100 years and earlier than 1905 are available for public search and do not require filing fees or requests. However, they may not be available in the State of Utah’s death index since statewide registration wasn’t mandated until 1905. 

Salt Lake City only started recording deaths in 1848. Statewide, the year was much later: 1897.

If you come up empty-handed, check out the public archives and family history centers. You may find your information there.

Who can request a death certificate in Utah?

To request a death certificate in Utah, you must be able to provide information that qualifies you as one of the following immediate members of the family, guardian, or legal counsel:

  • Sibling
  • Designated Legal Representative
  • Maternal Grandparent
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Paternal Grandparent (if the father is listed on the birth certificate)
  • Grandchild
  • Guardian

Another qualification, according to Utah statutes, states that anyone with "direct, tangible and legitimate interest" may request a death certificate.

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

Requests for a death certificate in Utah can take up to three weeks. However, requests are not guaranteed to be filled or mailed.

If you run into a roadblock, don’t give up. There are other free ways to search for death records, such as:

  • Cemetery records
  • Newspapers
  • Probate (wills)
  • Social Security Indexes
  • Tax Records
  • Church Records
  • Census Records
  • Bible Records
  • Military Records
  • Family History Centers, including those big-name ancestry websites

Additionally, you can choose to hire a third-party resource to search for the information for you. Or, for more information, contact:

Utah State Department of Health
288 North 1460 West Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Telephone: 801-538-6105

Researching Your History

Understanding one’s genealogy is more popular than ever. With television shows and commercials about big-name websites, you’ve got plenty of outside influence guiding you to the search. After all, you might find out that your family member did something extraordinary.

If you have more questions about end-of-life planning or to start researching your family tree, check out the resources at Cake. We’re here to help.


Sources:
  1. Ancestry.com. Utah, U.S., Death Registers, 1847-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. ancestry.com/search/collections/6967.
  2. “Death Certificates in Utah.” Utah Information, Utah Information, n.d. utahinformation.org/reports-records/death-records.html.
  3. “The Office Source for Utah Vital Records.” Utah.gov, Utah.gov, n.d. secure.utah.gov/vitalrecords/index.html.
  4. Utah Division of Archives and Record Search. “Research Death Records.” Archives.State.UT, n.d., archives.state.ut.us/research/guides/death.htm.
  5. Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah.gov, n.d. vitalrecords.health.utah.gov/death.
  6. “Utah, United States Genealogy.” Family Search, Family Search, n.d. www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Utah,_United_States_Genealogy.
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