Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Death
The questions and answers below address
general information about Death Certificates.
responsible for registering a death and how long should it take?
All deaths in the state must be registered.
The death certificate is to be registered with the
Vital Statistics office of the county in which the death
occurred within 5 calendar days after the death or discovery
of death. The funeral
home or cremation establishment you contracted with is
responsible for registering the death of a loved one.
Because they are the first to assume custody of the
body, it is their responsibility to provide a burial-transit
permit to the vital statistics office before final
disposition or removal from the state and within 5 days
after death of the individual.
They are obligated to prepare the death certificate
on a form approved by the state registrar.
This form contains information required by the
department plus items necessary for legal, social and health
purposes. In the
event death occurs without medical attendance, it known or
suspected to be an accident, homicide, or suicide, the
signature of the medical examiner is required on the death
natural deaths, the attending physician must sign the death
medical certification can be acquired within 5 day; however,
because of unforeseen circumstances an additional 5 days can
Who can request a certified copy of a death certificate? / Can I
get a copy of a death certificate if I am not an immediate family
In Florida, anyone may order a Florida Death Certificate
"Without cause of death". A Florida Death Certificate
"With Cause of Death" is confidential by Florida Law and
may only be issued as follows:
•To the decedent's spouse, parent,
child, grandchild, or sibling (if 18 years of age or
•To any person who provides a
"Will" that has been executed pursuant to state statute
732.502; an insurance policy or other document that
demonstrates his or her interest in the estate of the
•Or to any person who provides
documentation that he or she is acting on behalf of any
of the previously mentioned persons.
•Fifty (50) years following the
date of death, "Cause of death" becomes public
information and anyone may obtain a Death Certificate
with this information. Any time period prior to the
fifty years, "cause of death" is considered confidential
by Florida law.
Acceptable forms of identification
(Must be valid / current)
|State issued driver's license
or identification card.
Do I have to send
a photo ID if sending my request through the mail?
If a death certificate with the cause of death is requested
by an immediate member of the family, a beneficiary on an
insurance policy, or executor of the will, a photo copy of
your current driver’s license must be enclosed along with
What records are
Charlotte County Vital Statistics office has available death
certificates on individuals who died here in Charlotte County
from 1990 to present. Deaths certificates for individuals who
died in Charlotte County prior to 1990 and other Florida deaths
can be obtained through the State Office of Vital Statistics in
Death certificates from other states can be ordered at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.
How can I order a death
certificate from another state?
What do I do if I need a death certificate
to give to a foreign government (an “apostille”)?
A death certificate which is prepared to give to a
foreign country is called an apostile.
The following situations are examples of when a apostile
death certificate could be required:
•Burying a deceased family member
in a foreign country
•Settling an estate of a deceased
family member in a foreign country
For more information, visit the Florida State Vital
Statistics Office website
Why are there two types of death certificates (with
cause and without cause)? How do I know which one I
The cause of death is not public record. There are
specific eligibility requirements for certificates with
cause. Anyone can obtain a death certificate without
cause. Places requiring a death certificate without
cause are the courthouse, title companies, tax offices,
banks, property claims. Death certificates with the
cause of death are required by insurance companies when
the policy is on the deceased individual and investment