There are Colorado death records from around 1900 up until the present, though some counties may have earlier ones. Jefferson County for example has some records from 1868.
For recent deaths (within 25 years) you will have to be part of the immediate family, and provide proof of this relationship before a certificate will be issued to you. In this case, "immediate" means spouse, parent, child, grandparent or grandchild and siblings. If you are a more distant relative, you can get a notarized statement from an immediate relative to give you permission. For deaths older than 25 years you will still need to be related, but not in the immediate family. A family tree of some kind to prove relation is sufficient documentation. The Colorado death record you get will be stamped "for genealogical use only".
The cost for each record search is $17 USD with an added fee of $9 if you use a fax or online form to purchase by credit card. Using your credit card in person won't incur a fee. If no records are found, your money isn't refunded and you will just get a notice that it was not found.
You can inquire at the individual county offices if you know the location of birth, otherwise send your application to the department of public health. They also service walk-in requests which can be processed in about a half an hour rather than waiting for the mail. Their address is: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Vital Records Section, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, HSVRD-VR-A1 Denver CO, 80246-1530 USA. If you mail in your application to the above mentioned address, you can have your response in about 3 weeks.
In order to make your request, you need the proper form from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) which can be found on their website (http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/certs/dthcert.pdf). The form will list all the current fees and requirements to getting a Colorado death record. The form will require all additional paperwork, such as copies of your own identification and proof of relation to the deceased. Information to complete the search includes their name, dates of birth and death, place of death, and your reason for making the request.
When you get your record back, you will find the standard types of information though the specifics will depend on the reporting for the county. The deceased's name, and parent's names, dates of birth and death, place of death and their occupation at the time of death. Some records will have a marital status as well.
An additional resource for Colorado death records is the Social Security Death Index (also known as the SSDI in genealogical circles). It's not just for the state but you can search specifically for Colorado deaths. Many genealogy websites have search engines that access this, and you can search by name if you don't have the deceased's social security number. These records are pretty bare and will really only provide a death date, birth date, address at the time of death and their social security number.
In order to obtain Colorado death certificates, simply complete the following steps:
Download and complete the Colorado Death Certificate form.
Make a photocopy of your driver's license. Copies of other state-issued IDs and passports are also accepted.
Return the completed application and payment of $17.00. If the date of death is unknown, include a $5 search fee. For payment methods, you can submit either a check or money order. Should you wish to pay via credit card, or if you will be placing your application request via the internet or fax, then there will be an extra $9 fee assessed.
For more assistance accessing Colorado death records, you can contact the Department at:
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Vital Records Section HSVR-VR-A1
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
How to Obtain Colorado Death Records
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment maintains Colorado death records from 1900 until the present. Access to these records is limited and eligibility has to be proven in order to access them.
How to Obtain Death Certificates
Death certificates can be ordered from the Department by visiting in person, mailing or faxing in the application and appropriate fees, and by ordering online. Additional convenience fees may be charged for certain methods.
Restrictions on Death Records Access
In order to gain access to Colorado death records, you must demonstrate a tangible interest. Certified copies can be issued to direct relatives, their legal representatives or the legal representative of the deceased, probate researchers, genealogists with appropriate credentials, and those who can demonstrate a direct interest in the information.