There have been recent changes to the privacy laws in Maine to prevent identity theft and fraud, making the last 100 years of vital records confidential. You can only access Maine death records that are more recent if you are a relation to the deceased. The relationships aren't as stringent as some states, and you can get records for people who are several generations away from you as long as you are a descendant. Spouses are another exception. Anything older than 100 years is fair game to anyone.
The history of Maine is extensive, and there are often records that go back to the early 1700s though you will have to access individual town records to go back that far. The state began to collect records in 1892 but they are not all kept with the same agency.
So for research between 1892 and 1923, you should put in an application or otherwise contact the State Archives. In many cases they can provide non-certified copies of Maine death records (for a fee) without you having to go to the archives yourself. Their address is 84 State House Station, Augusta ME, 04333-0084 USA. After 1923, the records are held by the Office of Vital Records. Records requests for them go to the Office of the Vital Records, 244 Water Street, Augusta ME, 04333-0011 USA.
If you are in Augusta, you can go to the Vital Records office in person for same day service rather than wait for the mail.
In either case, you will need to send a letter outlining your request and the relevant information about the person whose death certificate you are looking for. Their full name, birth date, date of death, place of death, and even their parents names should be included. Also include your own information, including a copy of your own photo ID if you are after Maine death records more recent than 100 years.
There is also a fee for a records search, which is currently $15 USD. If you are requesting by mail, then you have to send a check or money order that is made out to "Treasurer - State of Maine" but they do take cash right at the office if you are there in person. For multiple copies of the same record, it will only $6 each for the extras.
When you are trying to locate Maine death records from before 1892, then the state offices won't be able to help you. Many towns do have their own records that were not submitted to the state and can still be found in their own archives. Contact the town clerk to see what may be available for public access. The State Archives may have some copies, but they do not have a comprehensive collection. Checking with the actual town will help if the State Archives has nothing.
Many genealogy sites have indexes to Maine death records given the long history of the state, and the previously unrestricted access to these records. Further research may be done this way.
How to request Maine death certificates by mail:
To make a request for Maine death records by mail, you will need to complete a form requesting a Maine Death Certificate.
With the form, you will need to include your contact information and a self-addressed, stamped envelope so that the records can be returned to you.
Mail the above information and paperwork to the Vital Records office. You will also need to include a check or money order covering the $15 fee.
For questions and additional information on accessing Maine death records, you can contact the office below:
Maine Department of Health & Human Services
11State House Station
244 Water Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Obtaining A Copy Of Maine Death Records
For access to Maine death records, you will need to contact the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department can help you with accessing the appropriate Maine death records that you will need for your records and legal needs.
Convenient Ordering Methods
To make ordering Maine death records easier, the Department offers several convenient ordering options. The main ways to access records is to send a request by mail or visit the Department in person. However, if you prefer to pay by credit card and make your order by phone, you can also order Maine birth records through an independent provider for an additional fee.
Proving Your Identity
Because Maine death records are considered private information, you will be asked about your relationship to the deceased. Only persons who are directly related to the deceased or have a legal interest in the records will be able to make a request.