How to Get a Georgia Death Certificate

By Shewanda Pugh
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The state of Georgia considers death certificates a matter of public record. Therefore any individual may request a copy of a certified certificate recording a death within the state from the year 1919 onward. Vital records may be requested from the state vital records office in person or through mail, or from the county in which the death took place, in person. Applications can also be processed online, through a third-party processing site called Vital Chek.

Gather the required information. The Georgia Department of Community Health requests that applicants supply as much information as possible to aid in their search for the record. Therefore, you will be required to supply the full legal name, date and place of death (city and county), sex, age and race of the deceased. Finally, your name, relationship to the deceased, and your contact information, including where the certificate is to be mailed, will need to be suppliedl. With the exception of the race of the deceased, all of this information is required.

Download the death certificate request form from the Georgia Department of Community Health website. Print and fill it out in its entirety. Be sure to sign your application.

Decide on your method of submission. For those who do not require expedited services, or the use of a credit card, applications can be mailed or submitted to the County Vital Records Department for processing, provided you are in the county where the death occurred. Georgia state agencies accept cashier's check or money order only. For those who require credit card processing, Vital Chek, a third-party processing center recommended by the state, should be utilized. Vital Chek charges an additional processing fee.

Mail in the application along with the appropriate fees, or apply in person with both at the County Vital Records Department. As of April 2010, the death certificate application fee was $15 for the first copy, and $5 for each additional copy. Alternatively, you may visit the Vital Chek website and place your order there. For those requiring a copy of a fetal death certificate, contact the state office at 404-679-4702 directly.

Mail your request to:

Vital Records 2600 Skyland Drive, NE Atlanta, GA 30319

Wait for the certificate to arrive. The state of Georgia sends records via first class mail and processing can take several weeks if you're not utilizing Vital Chek's expedited processing services.

About the Author

Shewanda Pugh attended Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She also holds a Master of Arts in writing from Nova Southeastern University. Pugh's work has been featured in several print publications, including the "Farquhar Forum," "Go!Riverwalk" and "Foreword Magazine."

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