You will be able to request a copy of a North Carolina death record from at least 1930 when applying at the main Vital Records department, though some counties may have further records from 1911. You will have to make your request directly to the registrar's office for that county to access these older records though. The Vital Records department does not have access to them.
But for any records after 1930, you should have a fairly easy time getting a copy because the state offers both certified and uncertified copies. Certified copies are official and can be used to establish identity, and they are printed with a raised state seal. These documents are only available to the family of the deceased, included siblings, spouses, children, parents and any other direct descendant.
On the other hand, the uncertified North Carolina death records are for "informational purposes" only and cannot be accepted as identification. They are printed on plain paper and these documents can be purchased by anyone, regardless of their relationship to the deceased. This makes them ideal for any genealogical or family history purposes.
In either case, the process for making a records request is the same. First you need to get the right forms from the Department of Health and Human Services website (http://vitalrecords.nc.gov/vitalrecords/documents/othercert.pdf). This form is also used for marriage and other vital record requests so make sure you are only filling out the death certificate section. Provide all standard identifying information on the deceased, such as their full name, where and when they died, and either their birth date or age when they died. They will also ask what your reason is for requesting this document.
If you are requesting a certified copy of a North Carolina death record, you also need to indicate your relationship and provide documentation.
Also include the $24 USD search fee along with the application form. This will need to be paid as a money order or a certified check made out to "NC Vital Records". There are no refunds if they can't find your record. An additional $15 will get you faster expedited service, and it will cost $15 each for any extra copies of the same record that are ordered together.
The forms and fee can either be mailed to the office or dropped off in person if you are in the Raleigh area. Dropping your application off will get you same-day service and standard service for mailed-in requests is around 12 weeks. Expedited service is around 2 weeks. You might also get quicker service if you make your request through the county registrar's office where the death took place (you can do this for old records as well as recent ones).
For mailing, use the following address: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Vital Records Unit, 1903 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1903 USA. If you are coming in person, their office is at 225 North McDowell Street, Raleigh NC.
North Carolina death certificates can be requested by mail through these steps:
You will need to complete a North Carolina Death Certificate application to have your request processed.
Be sure to fill out the application completely and include any necessary documentation if making a legal request.
You will also need to include a certified check or money order covering the $24 fee. Personal checks are not accepted. Return the application and payment to the Vital Records office.
For questions regarding North Carolina death records, you can contact:
North Carolina Department of Health
North Carolina Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
Requesting North Carolina Death Records
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services maintains vital records for the state, including North Carolina death records. The Department has North Carolina death records on file from 1930 to the present day.
Ways Requests Can Be Made
North Carolina death records can be ordered by standard or expedited service. Standard service takes three to five weeks to process your request, and it can be done by mail or visiting the office in person. Expedited services take approximately two business days to process and are subject to an additional fee. You can order expedited services in person, by mail, by phone, and online.
Limitations To Ordering
North Carolina death records are not available to the public. In order to access the record, you must be a direct relative of the deceased or have a legal need to access the record. Documentation will be required for legal access.