The settled history of Montana isn't as old as some states, and it joined the new United States of America in 1889.
Montana death records are relatively easy to access as there are no privacy restrictions attached to them. If you provide a completed application and pay the search fee, you can get a certified copy of a death certificate. You can also get non-certified (informational) copies for a lower price. There does not need to be a relationship connection between you and the deceased but you will need to indicate on the form why you are requesting the record.
The vital records office has Montana death records dating back to around 1907 when state-wide registrations were first implemented, though they are not 100% complete until 1920 when all the counties were regularly submitting their vital records registrations.
The place to make a request for a Montana death record is either the central Vital Records office, or at the county registrar's office (in the county where the death occurred). The county offices are the place to go when looking for older records, prior to 1920, particularly if the main office hasn't been able to locate older documents. They should also be able to access the more recent records as well from the local office.
Requests to the main state office will need to be sent to the Office of Vital Statistics, Department of Public Health and Human Services, PO Box 4210, Helena MT, 59604 USA. You can download the forms from their website (https://dphhs.mt.gov/certificates/deathappfillable.pdf) for printing out. You can fill out the form online, and have it print out with your information in place.
To complete the form, you have to identify the deceased by full name, date of birth, date of death, place of death, parent's names and spouses name if applicable. Also include your own contact information, and the reason for requesting the certificate. Even though there are no relationship restrictions for Montana death records, you still need to provide valid photo ID for yourself (a photocopy of both sides is fine).
If you don't have a photo ID, you'll need to provide copies of 2 pieces of official identification. A list of acceptable options are included on the forms. And to further ensure that you are providing valid identification, your signature on the form must be verified and sealed by a notary public.
There are fees for the records search, that are non-refundable even in the event that the death certificate is not found. The current fee is $12 USD, and $5 each for any extra copies that are ordered at the same time for the same record. This is for certified Montana death records. Informational copies are only $10 each. If you are getting records at a county office, you might be able to pay in cash but any mailed-in request will need to be paid by either a check or a money order. They need to be made out to Montana Vital Records.
How to request Montana death certificates by mail:
To request Montana death records by mail, you will need to fully complete a Montana Death Certificate application. Include your reason for requesting the record.
Identification must accompany all requests for Montana death records. A copy of your current, government-issued photo ID is acceptable, or you can include two items from the alternative documents list to send.
Once you have gathered the appropriate documents, return them along with a check or money order in the amount of $12 to the Department.
For more information on how to access Montana death records, contact:
Montana Department of Public Health
Office of Vital Statistics
111 N. Sanders Rm. 209 P.O. Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604
Purchasing Montana Death Records
The Department of Public Health and Human Services provides access to Montana death records for those who need one. Requests can be made by mail, fax, and phone for your convenience.
Ordering Methods You Can Choose From
If you decide to order Montana death records, there are multiple ways to do so. If you prefer to pay with a credit card and order by phone or online, then that can be arranged by an independent company. Additional fees are required for those searches. You can also make the request yourself by completing an application and mailing or faxing it to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Who Can Request A Record?
To be able to request Montana death records, you must complete an application and provide identification, a reason for the copy, and the appropriate fee.