The state only has Louisiana death records that go back to 1957. You will have to do your research at the Louisiana State Archives if you need to go back farther than that.
Privacy laws in Louisiana keep death records confidential for 50 years after the date of death, with exceptions for immediate family only. You can request older records without restriction, but will have to prove that you are the child, parent, grandchild, grandparent or sibling of the deceased in order to get a copy of the record.
To request a certified copy of a Louisiana death record from the state Vital Records office, you can either mail in an application or drop it at the counter in person. If you are near your local parish health unit, you can also hand in an application to one of those office as well. For any walk-in requests, you may either get your records as you wait, or within 24 hours. A mailed in application will take a couple of weeks.
The mailing address for the state office is: Vital Records Registry, PO Box 60630, New Orleans LA, 70160 USA. And if you are heading there in person, you'll need the street address: 1450 Poydras Street, Benson Tower Suite 400, New Orleans LA, 70112 USA.
The forms used to apply for a Louisiana death record are the same as for birth records, so take care to fill out the form correctly in order to get the right certificate back. You need to complete the fields about the person's name, date of birth and death, and place of death. You also need to indicate your relationship (with accompanying documents as proof) if you are accessing records more recent than 50 years. ID requirements would be a clear photocopy of any government issued photo ID, but if you are applying in person you can just show your ID to the clerk rather than include the extra paperwork.
With your application, you need to enclose the fee for the search which is currently $7 USD. When no record is found, a "no such file" certificate is issued and there is no refund.
For any Louisiana death records from before 1957, you'll have to start looking through various archives. The New Orleans Public Library has a public archive of microfilmed death records that range from 1804 to 1914, though you can only search through these in person at the library. Most of these are only for the Orleans parish though. For other parishes, you will need to contact their court clerks.
Some online genealogy websites have collections of indexes for some of the parishes available online for searching for various ranges of years, depending on their resources.
Once you find the record, you may get a mix of information on the deceased (depending on the year and the parish). Most will have the deceaseds full name, date of birth or their age, date of death, location of death, and possibly also their marital state with spouses name as well as their occupation at the time of death.
How to request Louisiana death certificates by mail:
If you would like to request Louisiana death records by mail, you will need to download and complete the Louisiana Death Certificate application.
As part of the application process, you will need to prove your identity by including a copy of your current, government-issued photo ID.
Return the above paperwork with a check or money order for $7.50. This covers the cost of the death certificate, as well as the state fee.
For more information about requesting Louisiana death certificates, you should contact the Department of Health:
Louisiana Department of Health
Vital Records Registry
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
Ordering Louisiana Death Records
Louisiana death records are not considered part of the public record. Subsequently, Louisiana is considered to be a "closed records" state and only certain people will be able to make a request for copies.
Ways That You Can Order Death Records
If you are eligible to order Louisiana death records, then there are three different ways that you can make your request. The first is to stop into the office and make a request in person. The second is to send in an application and fees by mail. The third is to use an authorized service provider for an additional fee. This provider will allow you to order Louisiana death records online or by phone and fax.
Not Open To All
Since Louisiana is a closed records state, Louisiana death records are only available to select people. In order to request a record, you must be the deceased's surviving spouse, parent or grandparent, adult child or grandchild, sibling, or a beneficiary of their insurance policy.