IDPH - Illinois Department of Public Health

Death Records

Death records are not public records and are only available to those who have a personal or property right interest (“property right” is defined as something that it is owned, tangible such as a car title or a property deed) with the decedent. If you are not a relative of the deceased person, a letter or document from the office or agency that needs the death certificate must accompany the request.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records offers two types of copies of death certificates. A certified copy is suitable for legal purposes (e.g., to settle an estate, to claim a will or for insurance purposes) and the uncertified copy is for genealogical purposes.

Obtain a Death Certificate

Certified Copy of a Death Certificate

A certified copy of a death certificate is used for all legal purposes.

Uncertified Copy of a Death Certificate

An uncertified copy is a plain paper copy of a death certificate. Uncertified copies, often used for genealogy or research, are for informational use only and cannot be used for legal purposes.

What you need to provide

In order to request a copy of a death certificate you must complete the form Application for Search of Death Record Files in its entirety and submit it along with:

A valid government issued photo identification (If not provided, unreadable or expired, the request will be returned unprocessed.)

The required fee. For information about fees, click here.

How to order


Correct a Death Certificate

What you need to provide

Types of documents


Information for Researchers

Researchers have two methods to obtain copies of death certificates.