The state of Kansas has a history that goes back to the arrival of European settlers in the 1830s and it became an American state not long after in 1861. It was from that time that counties began to collect death records, with the state following suit in 1911. If you are looking for vital records from Kansas, that's the time frame you will be working with.
But the privacy laws are strict, and Kansas death records remain confidential indefinitely after death. They do not become public record, even years after the death occurred. If you are researching an ancestor, you will only be granted a request for a death record if you are an immediate relative or have pressing legal need for the documents.
For Kansas death records from 1911 until the present, you can either make your request to the county office where the death took place or to the main Vital Statistics office in Topeka. If you are hoping to find a death record from earlier than 1911, then you have to try the county offices because they have their own document collections from their earlier years that cannot be accessed elsewhere.
For applications to go to the main office, you can go in person if you want to pick up your records within the hour or send it in by mail if you are not around Topeka. You'll be waiting for about 10 days if you apply via mail.
First you get the forms from the Department of Health website (http://www.kdheks.gov/vital/download/death.pdf), and be prepared to provide the name of the deceased, the date and place of death and their parent's names if you know them. The more information you can give, the better. If they are unable to locate the Kansas death record you want, you don't get your money back so be as accurate as possible.
The forms, along with fee and your own identification then go to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Curtis State Office Bldg, 1000 SW Jackson #120, Topeka KS, 66612 USA. All the pertinent details are on the forms, including what ID you have to provide and any changes to the fees. If you are in person, you can pay with cash, otherwise you will want to sent a check or money order made out to Kansas Vital Statistics. The current fee is $15 USD.
The main state office does also take phone orders for vital records, if you wish to pay additional costs for credit card charges. You will have to provide some ID over the phone, such as your social security number.
Because you can only request a Kansas death record for an immediate relative, you may need to search elsewhere if you are trying to look for a more distant relation. Church records can be very helpful for details on funerals and burials, and newspaper archives may have old obituaries that also provide more information when an actual death certificate can't be found.
How to request Kansas death certificates by mail:
If you would like to mail in your request for Kansas death records, you will need to start by completing the Kansas Death Certificate form.
Obtain the appropriate identification. A current, government-issued photo ID is the easiest method. If you do not have a current ID, then you will need to send two pieces from the alternate list.
Obtain a check or money order in the amount of $15. Return this, your completed application, and copies of your identification to the Office of Vital Statistics.
For more help or for questions regarding Kansas death records, you should contact the Department of Health and Environment:
Kansas Department of Health & Environment
Office of Vital Statistics
Curtis State Office Building
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 120
Topeka, KS 66612-2221
Placing An Order For Kansas Death Records
Persons wishing to place an order for Kansas death records can do so through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The Office of Vital Statistics has maintained Kansas death records since July 1, 1911.
Options For Ordering
You have multiple options for placing an order for Kansas death records. Records can be ordered online, in person, by mail, and by phone. An expedite fee is charged for phone and internet orders.
Are You Eligible?
In order to make a request for Kansas death records, you must be listed on the record, be an immediate family member, or be able to demonstrate legal proof of your need to access the record. All requests must be accompanied with acceptable identification in order to be processed.