How to Obtain Florida Death Certificate

By Alexis Dawes
Old death certificate.

Death is a somber occasion that can become even more stressful if you can't find all the paperwork you need for an insurance policy or to close out an estate. Among other things, the death certificate is one of the main pieces of documentation you'll need. So how do you obtain a Florida death certificate? It's all a matter of getting the necessary information to the Florida State Office of Vital Statistics.

See if you're an eligible recipient. If you know the death certificate was issued as "Without cause of death," there are no eligibility restrictions. Anyone may request the death certificate. Same thing if you're requesting a certificate more than 50 years after the person's death.

But if the certificate is "With cause of death," you must be a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or sibling of the deceased who's at least 18, or someone acting on their behalf. You're also eligible if you have a will or an insurance policy of the deceased.

Download, complete and print the Application for Florida Death or Fetal Death Record. It's a PDF form, and you can fill it out online. You'll need the deceased person's full name, sex, date of death, city or county of death, and the Social Security number, if you know it.

Make a copy of your driver's license or state-issued ID. You'll need to include a copy with your application.

Include notarized guardianship documents. If you're the legal guardian of a minor who's related to the deceased, you'll need to submit those notarized documents with the application.

Submit the application and any additional documents. One certified copy of the death certificate costs $5. If you'd like additional copies, they're $4 each. Standard shipping is free, rushed is $10 and express costs $10 plus a pre-paid express delivery envelope.

Mail it to: Bureau of Vital Statistics Attn: Client Services P.O. Box 210 Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042

If you'd prefer to submit it in-person, go to: Bureau of Vital Statistics 1217 Pearl St. Jacksonville, FL 32202

Or you may apply over the telephone by calling 904-359-6900 extension 9000, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Only credit card orders are accepted over the telephone.

Wait to receive the death certificate in the mail. The processing time for standard service is around 10 business days. Rush just means it's processed before the standards orders, and Express takes one to two business days.

About the Author

Alexis Dawes has been writing ebooks and web content since 1999. She is the author of ebooks such as "Desperate Buyers Only" and "The Good and Fast Content Creation Formula." She currently writes a variety of how-to articles for eHow.