Find Death Records
The Office of Vital Records and Statistics has records for deaths that occurred in the State of Utah from 1905 to present. Utah State Archives death records become public after 50 years of the death event.
Persons entitled to obtain a certified copy of a death record must demonstrate a “direct, tangible, and legitimate interest.” Utah Code Section 26-2-22(2) states “A direct, tangible, and legitimate interest is present only if the applicant is a member of the deceased person’s immediate family; the guardian of the deceased; or a designated legal representative.”
Stillbirths/fetal deaths of 20 weeks or greater gestation as calculated from the mother’s last normal menses period to the date of delivery shall be filed with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics within 5 days of the delivery by the delivering birth facility. Contact email@example.com or call 801-538-6371 to obtain further information on how to file a stillbirth certificate.
Complete the form to order a Stillbirth certificate.
How to File a Death Record
Utah law allows families to care for their dead without the services of a licensed funeral director. Families that do not retain a funeral director must file a death certificate and comply with state laws and rules regarding the disposition of human remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (4)(a)(b)
Filing a Death Record
A death certificate must be filed within five days of death and before final disposition of the deceased’s remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (1)(a).
A burial transit permit is required before removing remains from the place of death (hospital, nursing home, home, etc.) R436-8-1(c).
If you are planning cremation or removal of remains from the State of Utah, a cremation permit and review by the Office of the Medical Examiner is required.
For a dispositioner to begin the death record filing process, complete (but Do Not sign) the death record processing form. The form must be signed in the presence of a local health department staff member. The death record processing form must be returned to the vital records office in the local health department that serves the county where the death occurred. For assistance or questions regarding the filing of a death record, contact the local health department vital records office, or contact the state Office of Vital Records and Statistics.
Information to File as a Dispositioner
You will need to appear in person at the vital records office in the local health department for the county where the death occurred. Be prepared with the following information about the deceased:
- Full name of deceased
- Time of death
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Social Security number
- Did deceased serve in the US armed forces
- Marital status
- Spouse's name (prior to first marriage)
- Residence address
- Names of parents –
- Parent or father's name (prior to first marriage)
- Parent or mother’s name (prior to first marriage)
- Level of education completed
- Place of burial or disposition
- Name, address, and phone number of certifying physician
Certification of the cause of death must be obtained from the attending physician and in some cases, the Office of the Medical Examiner before the death record can be registered. Once you have obtained medical certification the death record will be filed, registered, and necessary permits will be issued.
Transportation of Remains
When transporting remains, the body must be encased in a container (such as a plastic bag) which ensures against seepage of fluid and the escape of odors. A transit permit must either be attached to the container or in the possession of the person transporting the body. R436-8-2
Preservation of Remains
No human body may be held in any place or be in transit more than 24 hours after death and pending final disposition, unless either maintained at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, or embalmed by a licensed embalmer in a manner approved by the State Board of Embalming. R436-8-3
Disposition of Remains
If you are considering non-cemetery burial, or scattering of ashes, check with city/county officials to see if there are any local ordinances regarding burial on non-cemetery property.
Death Record Amendments
A completed Affidavit to Amend a death record must be submitted to the State of Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics (OVRS), or to the vital records office in the local health department for the county where the death occurred, along with required fees for registration.
Two persons/witnesses having knowledge of the facts must complete and sign the affidavits. One of the witnesses on the affidavit must be the informant. Signatures of both witnesses must be notarized.
- Applicant must be 18 years of age to make a correction.
Amendments to the medical items on the death record must be completed by the physician that certified the cause of death. Please contact OVRS for assistance.
Documentary evidence may be required at any time at the discretion of OVRS. A court order may be required to make the requested changes if required documentation is unavailable or unacceptable.
- A completed affidavit is required to amend the record.
- Payment of fees are required to amend the record.
- Acceptable documentary evidence may be required.
- Submit required information to the proper vital records office.
Correcting Decedent Demographic Information
For demographic corrections use the Affidavit to Amend a vital record. Two persons/witnesses having knowledge of the facts must complete and sign the affidavits. The informant who is listed on the death record must be one of the witnesses on the affidavit. Signatures of both witnesses must be notarized.
- A completed affidavit is required to amend the record.
Correcting Marital Status, Adding/Changing Spouse Information or Correcting Informant Information
These amendments may be requested by the person alleging the error exists, such as the informant, decedent's family member, funeral home, etc.
The informant who is listed on the death record and the surviving spouse must complete and sign the affidavit. The original informant must participate in the amendment process to correct the marital status, spouse information or informant information.
If the informant is deceased, an immediate family member or next of kin of the deceased may be allowed to sign the affidavit in place of the informant. Proof of the informant’s death is required.
A court order may be necessary to correct marital status or spouse information in the following situations:
- The informant is unable or unwilling to request the change.
- A party claims he or she is the surviving spouse and is not listed as such.
- Two or more parties claim to be the surviving spouse.
- The record shows the deceased to have been divorced, never married, or widowed and no surviving spouse is listed, and a party is claiming to be the surviving spouse.
- A party claims to be a common law spouse.
A certified copy of the court order must be submitted by the petitioner to OVRS Death Registration, and there may be a required fee for processing.