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  4.  → How to Obtain an Arizona Death Certificate in Maricopa County

When we lose a loved one, the last thing we want to think about is all the paperwork and legal affairs that will need to be handled. A death certificate is a key document you will need as you begin to settle the affairs of your loved one, but the process of obtaining one can sometimes be difficult. Often, family members get death certificates through the funeral home in charge of their loved one’s funeral. However, if you find yourself needing to obtain more copies from the Office of Vital Registrations (Vital Records), read along for tips to make the process a little easier.


Check Your Eligibility

Make sure you are considered an eligible person to request the death certificate. Spouses, parents, grandparents, children, and siblings are all eligible to request the death certificate of the person who died. If you are responsible for their burial or cremation, or if you are named the personal representative in their will, you may also be eligible. If you are an eligible person, you can apply for the death certificate on your own, or hire us to navigate the process for you if you need some additional assistance.


Gather the Required Documentation

The Office of Vital Registrations is going to require you to prove your relationship to the person who passed. This is a strict requirement, and it can sometimes require extensive documentation. For example, spouses will need to provide a marriage certificate, and children may need to provide a birth certificate that shows the deceased person’s name as their parent. If you are requesting as the personal representative of the Estate, you will need to provide a copy of the person’s Last Will and Testament which shows your name. Of course, you will need to take your driver’s license or other state-issued ID as well. A full list of all required documents can be found here.


Apply for the Death Certificate

You can apply in person, by mail, or online through a third-party provider. In our experience, the easiest method is by simply going in person to one of the four Vital Registrations offices. Currently, there are locations in central Phoenix, Mesa, Peoria, and Tolleson. You will need to take all of your documents and complete the application at the office. If you have provided all the required documents and paid the fee ($20 per certified copy), you can usually obtain the death certificate(s) that same day. If you can’t go in person, then applying by mail or online are your alternatives. The online process is offered through a provider called VitalChek. However, be aware that these options take longer (potentially a few weeks) and may include additional costs. Applying in person is usually the quickest, easiest, and cheapest method.


Concluding Thoughts

Death certificates are one of primary documents you will need when you begin to settle the affairs of a loved one who has passed away. While requesting a death certificate can sometimes require extensive documentation, we hope this short guide makes the process a bit easier for you. Keep in mind this guide is specific to the process used in Maricopa County. If you still find yourself needing additional assistance with this process, please schedule a consultation with us today.