The state maintains a record of deaths for 50 years, at which time the records are moved to the State Archives and become public record. For any records earlier than that, only legal representatives who have an immediate requirement for the record (to settle estates, real estate transactions or other such concerns) are able to make a request.
Missouri death records that are older than 50 years can even be researched online at the Missouri State Archives (http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates). You can search through actual images of the complete record, and print out as many copies as you want. The collection of actual certificates in this form range between 1910 and 1960.
You can also make use of the archives for pre-1910 records, but only for transcriptions of the death registrations. You can still find out the name, date of death, cause of death and where they were born.
If the archives are not any help, you can always put in an application with the office of Vital Records for a Missouri death records. Local public health offices can also take your requests if that is more convenient, unless you are looking for a death that occurred in St. Louis; they have their records kept at the Recorder of Deeds office instead.
The vital records office is at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Records, PO Box 570, Jefferson City MO 65101 USA. When applying for a death certificate by mail, you can expect a 2 to 4 week wait for a response.
Your application will need to include the proper forms and the search fee. All mailed in requests will need to be officially notarized by a notary public to verify your identity. If you are dropping of your request in person, then you will have to show your photo ID at the desk.
The forms are on their website (http://health.mo.gov/data/vitalrecords/pdf/birthdeath.pdf) and you will need to make sure you are filling in the sections for a death record rather than a birth record. Provide the name, date of death, place of death, parent's names and spouses name if known. The more you supply, the more accurate the search will be. If the Missouri death record you want cannot be located, you are not issued a refund for the search fees.
The fee to search for a death record is $13 USD and an extra $10 each for any additional copies of the same record. Checks and money orders for mailed applications should be made out to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and you can likely pay in cash if you are visiting a local center in person.
Depending on the county where the death occurred, a Missouri death record can have varying levels of information. You can find out the deceased's name, birth date, date of death, place of death, cause of death, attending physician, the deceased's occupation and possibly where they were buried.
How to request Missouri death certificates by mail:
Print and complete a Missouri Death Certificate application to be mailed in. All fields are required.
Self-address and affix postage to a legal-sized envelope to be used to return you record to you.
Send your request to the Department of Health and Senior Services. A check or money order covering the $13 fee must accompany all Missouri death record requests.
For more help accessing Missouri death records, you can contact:
Missouri Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Requesting Death Records In The State Of Missouri
Requesting Missouri death records can be done through the Department of Health and Senior Services, as well as through your local health department. All requests need to be made with an official application with the appropriate fee enclosed.
Ways To Make A Request
For your convenience, there are several different options for placing an order for Missouri death records. You can mail in an application to the state health department, or you can visit your local health department in person. Credit card orders can be placed over the phone with an independent provider for an additional fee.
Demonstrating Need For The Record
To request Missouri death records, you need to be able to demonstrate a need for the record. Only immediate family members and the surviving spouse or their legal representatives are authorized to make a request. If you have another legal need for Missouri death records, then you will need to provide the appropriate documentation with your request.