The first European settlers came to Michigan in the 17th century, and it changed hands between the French, British and even Canadians before becoming part of American territory. They officially became a state in 1837.
You can make a request for a certified copy of a Michigan death record without any restrictions on relation or date of death, which makes accessing these records very easy.
The state began collecting death registrations in 1867 but their records aren't really complete until 1915. Some additional material may be found at the county level for these years as they have their own death records that were not given to the state.
You can make your request for a Michigan death record directly to the office of Vital Records, either in person at their counter service or by mail. If you are at the office in person, you can usually get same-day service provided you are there before 3pm and pay in cash or credit card. The address is 201 Townsend Street, Capitol View Building, 3rd Floor, Lansing MI, 48913 USA.
For mailing purposes, their address is Vital Records Requests, PO Box 30721, Lansing MI 48909 USA. Sending an application by mail usually means a 5 week wait, and you will have to include the search fee as either a check or a money order. Make those out to the State of Michigan. You can pay with check or money order for counter service as well, if you prefer.
The current fee for getting a Michigan death record is $26, and you can add an extra $10 if you want a rush delivery (3 weeks instead of 5). Double-check the form before you send to make sure the fee hasn't changed.
The forms for both mailing and drop-off requests can be found at the state's website (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deathapp_6467_7.pdf). You need to fill in the fields identifying yourself as well as the person you want the record of. Provide their full name, date and place of death, and parent's names. If you do not know the exact date of death, your fee will cover a one year search. Additional costs will apply if you need them to search further ($12 per year).
Since you do not get your money back if the record you want cannot be found, you may want to visit the Library of Michigan and check their indexes of death records. You can also do an online search of early indexes (between 1867 and 1897) at the Michigan Department of Community Health website (http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/gendisx/search2.htm). Just enter the name and estimated death date. This is particularly helpful if the state office doesn't have a certain record for this time period. You can locate which county has the record on hand.
When you get your Michigan death record back, the information you receive may vary by county and year. Most should include at least the deceased's full name, date and place of death, either their age or actual birth date and possibly the cause of death. Some records may include their parent's names, their own occupation and possibly where they are buried.
How to request Michigan death certificates by mail:
To order Michigan death records by mail, you will need to complete and sign an application for a Michigan Death Certificate.
Make sure that you sign the application and that it is filled out completely.
Return the signed application, along with a check or money order covering the $26 fee, to the Vital Records Office. If you are selecting expedited service or additional copies, be sure to include the appropriate fees for those as well.
If you need further assistance accessing Michigan death records, you can contact the Michigan Department of Community Health using the information below:
Michigan Department of Community Health
Vital Records Requests
P.O. Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909
Requesting Michigan Death Records
If you need Michigan death records, the easiest way to obtain them is by placing an order by mail through the Michigan Department of Community Health. Most requests will take 3-5 weeks to process depending on the method selected, though records dating before 1916 can take up to three months to process.
Ways You Can Order Michigan Death Records
Requests for Michigan death records are most commonly made through the mail. You can also request them in person. For expedited orders, Michigan death records can be requested online through an independent company, though extra fees and shipping charges will apply to your order.
Who Can Access A Death Record?
Anyone who fills out an application and mails in the appropriate fees can request Michigan death records. All applications must be signed in order to be accepted.