New Mexico death records are strictly confidential, regardless of the age of the record, and can only be requested by legal representatives or members of the deceased's immediate family. In particular that means, you have to be the child, parent, sibling or current spouse of the person on the death record. Grandparents are also eligible to make a request.
The process for making a death record request is simple, you just fill out the 1-page form and either drop it off at the Vital Records office or mail it in. Make sure to include the current fee, and you will get a certified copy of your requested record.
The Sante Fe office is at 1105 South Saint Francis Drive, and they are open during standard business hours for counter service. You can also mail your application material to the same location, but to New Mexico Vital Records, PO Box 26110, Santa Fe NM, 87502 USA. Mailed in applications will take about 4 weeks to be processed and mailed back out to you. They will send an official certified copy, and they don't issue any other kinds of documents for New Mexico death records.
The New Mexico Department of Health website has the form you can print from their page (http://www.vitalrecordsnm.org/Forms/Death%20Search%20Application.pdf), or you can just send a letter that includes the same information. You need to include the full name of the deceased, when and where they died, and their social security number (if you know it). You also have to provide your own name and address, and include a photocopy of your ID. They only accept government-issued identification with a photo.
A certified death record will cost $5 USD, though the fees do change periodically. Check the forms for the latest information. You can pay with a certified check or a money order, made out to the "New Mexico Vital Records". The fees are to cover the search and if they are not able to find the New Mexico death record that you have asked for, you don't get your money back.
The earliest European settlers to come to New Mexico arrived in the late 1500s but the area didn't join the United States until 1912. The state began requiring the registration of deaths around 1907, and the Vital Records office only has material back that far. County registrar offices may have older data, but only for deaths that occurred in their county. If you contact the registrar, they can let you know what kinds of archived records they have available.
Another idea for older information is the New Mexico State Archives. You can get all the details on their complete holdings on their website (http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/archives/archives_hm.htm) and find more documents, such as church and cemetery records and possibly even old newspaper obituary notices. Not all New Mexico death records have to come from the official office to be of help in your research.
These are the steps you should take to order a New Mexico death certificate by mail
If you decide to have your request processed by mail, then you will need to complete a New Mexico Death Certificate application.
You will also need to obtain a copy of your government-issued photo ID as required by state laws.
A check or money order in the amount of $5 will also need to be enclosed. Return the payment, application, and identification to the Vital Records Office. You should receive your copy of the death certificate within 4 weeks.
For more information on how to access New Mexico death records, call or write:
New Mexico Department of Health
New Mexico Vital Records
P.O. Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Requesting New Mexico Death Records
After a loved one has passed away, you may need New Mexico death records to finalize all of their affairs. These records can be requested from the New Mexico Department of Health. Keep in mind that New Mexico death records are restricted access records, meaning that only select people will have access to them.
Two Ways To Order
If you need New Mexico death records, there are two ways that you can make an order. You can visit the Department of Health in person at the Santa Fe office. You can also mail in an application for New Mexico death records and have your request processed by mail.
Death Records Are Restricted
New Mexico death records are part of the vital records that are considered to be restricted access records. Only immediate family of the deceased will be able to access these records, and proof of identity is required. All other requests for New Mexico death records must provide legal documentation supporting their need for the record.