Getting any vital records from New Jersey can be a little complicated because they divide up requests into genealogical and non-genealogical groups, and then offer 2 different kinds of documents in either case. You can get a certified copy with the state seal, that can be used for official identification purposes or a certification which is just a plain paper copy.
A genealogical request is one where you are looking for a New Jersey death record that is more than 40 years old. Newer records than that are considered to be non-genealogical and are processed faster. The restrictions on actually getting the records are the same either way.
There are no restrictions on getting a plain paper certification, but if you are getting a certified copy then you have to prove that you are an immediate family member of the person on the record. Proof will have to be provided with your application.
The request forms for New Jersey death records are available on the Vital Records website (http://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/start.shtml). Check the links to get the right forms, as the they are actually different for genealogical or non-genealogical requests. They both need the same basic information on the deceased. Fill in their full name, date of death, place of death, parent's names and the deceased's social security number if you know it.
The form is used for all kinds of vital record requests, so make sure you fill out the area for New Jersey death records. You need to identify yourself with contact information as well as a clear photocopy of your ID. If you are getting a certified copy, you also need to include proof that you are properly related to the person on the certificate.
With the properly filled out forms, you also have to include the right fees. At the moment, it will cost $25 USD for a death record, payable by check or money order. It should be made out to "Treasurer - State of New Jersey".
Once your application papers are all put together, then the difference between a genealogical and non-genealogical request come into play. Non-genealogical requests can be dropped on in person, at the Vital Statistics office and you can get your records in about 2 hours. The address is Bureau of Vital Statistics, 140 East Front Street, Trenton New Jersey. If you mail it, send to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, PO Box 370, Trenton NJ, 08625-0370 USA and the wait will be 8 to 10 weeks.
A genealogical request for a New Jersey death record cannot be handled while-you-wait at the counter, so you will have no choice but to mail it to the same address just listed. Wait times for these requests will be 12 to 14 weeks.
The website for the Department of Health and Senior Services (http://www.state.nj.us/health/vital/start.shtml) has all the details, since this state has a more confusing request system than most.
Records older than 1901 are exempt from these exceptions and are freely available for research from the State Archives. They have records and indexes that date back to 1878 in many counties.
To make a mailed request for New Jersey death certificates, take these steps:
A New Jersey Death Certificate form will need to be completed in full to make a mailed request.
A copy of your driver's license will need to accompany your request for a New Jersey death certificate. If you do not have a driver's license, you will need to include two alternate methods of identification as listed on the Department's website.
Mail in the completed application and copies of your ID, along with a check or money order in the amount of $25, to the address listed below.
For more information regarding accessing New Jersey death records and any other questions, contact:
New Jersey Department of Health
New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics and Registration
Customer Service Unit – Non-genealogical Requests
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
How To Make A Request For New Jersey Death Records
You can contact the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services when you need copies of New Jersey death records. There are two types of death records that you can request: certified copies that are needed for legal purposes and certifications that are given for genealogical requests.
Methods You Can Use To Place An Order
You can make requests for New Jersey death records directly to the Department by mailing in a request or visiting them in person. If you need expedited services or would like to pay with a credit card, then you can use an independent service and pay an additional fee. Records requested in this manner can be made by mail, phone, fax, and online.
Certified Copies Have Limitations
Certified copies of New Jersey death records are considered private information and therefore require proof of relationship to the deceased. This includes requests made by parents or legal guardians, adult children and grandchildren, adult siblings, and others who are able to show a legal need for the record.