Who Can Obtain a Death Certificate

Indiana Codes 16-37-1-10, 16-37-1-11, and 16-37-1-11.5 serve as the State statutes for the fees, relationship, and identification requirements to purchase documents from the Vital Records office. The purchaser must have a “direct interest.” A direct interest is defined as a documented and verifiable financial and legal interest or an immediate direct kinship (parent, adult sibling, or grandparent) to the person named on the record.

Others such as guardians, attorneys, funeral directors, or other authorized agents acting on behalf of the registrant or their family may demonstrate a direct interest when information is needed for determination or protection of personal or property rights.

Individuals without a direct interest may purchase a non-certified copy of a death record from ISDH Vital Records.

Depending on the individual’s interest in the record, additional documentation may be required.

Direct Interest:

  • Parents of the individual listed on the certificate – must be listed on the record
  • Spouse of individual named on the certificate – must show proof of marriage
  • Child or Grandchild, 18 years or older, of individual named on the certificate – must show proof of relationship
  • Grandparents of the individual listed on the certificate – must be parent of a parent listed on the record & show proof of relationship
  • Sibling, 18 years or older, of individual listed on the certificate – must show proof of relationship
  • Aunt or Uncle of individual named on the certificate – must show proof of relationship
  • Niece or Nephew, 18 years or older, of individual named on certificate – must show proof of relationship
  • Step-Parent of individual named on the certificate – must have ID with valid marriage certificate
  • Genealogy – individual named on the certificate must be over 75 years old and deceased – must show proof of death
  • Funeral Home or Director – must have documents required to handle the body

No Direct Interest:

  • Legal Interest – must show proof of interest

For a full listing of identification requirements, please see the Identification Requirements page within the Death Information section of this website.