The state department for Vital Records has a collection of Oregon death records that go back to 1903 though the State Archives has additional material going back farther than that (more on that below). Records become part of the public domain after 50 years, so anyone can request death records of that age. More recent records are only available to immediate family members (parent, child or spouse) and legal representatives who have a tangible need for the documents.
If you are eligible to have the record, you can just make a request for a copy from the department of Vital Records in Portland. Going directly to the counter at the office with your forms and payment is the quickest method as you will usually get your Oregon death record while you wait. Their address is the Vital Records Office, 800 NE Oregon Street, Room 205 in Portland.
When you can't get to Portland, they also accept mailed-in requests sent to Oregon Vital Records, PO Box 14050, Portland OR, 97293-0050 USA. By sending your request by mail, you will have about a month to wait for processing. Make sure you include all the necessary paperwork (form, fee, ID) or your request can be rejected outright.
You can print out your own copy of the Oregon death records request form from their website (http://public.health.oregon.gov/BirthDeathCertificates/GetVitalRecords/Documents/deathor.pdf). All the current fees and regulations are on the forms, so read through before putting the rest of your application together in case something has changed.
The information you are going to need includes the full name of the deceased, their date and place of death, and their spouse's name. You also have to give them your full name and address as well, and also your phone number. A clear photocopy of one piece of photo ID is also part of the application requirements.
Along with the completed and signed form, you have to submit a $20 USD fee for the cost of the search. You're paying for the search, not the record, so if nothing is found you don't get a refund. You can also order additional copies of the same record for $15 each, and these fees are refunded if the initial Oregon death record is not located. Include the total fees as a check or money order made out to "DHS Vital Records".
As mentioned, there are older records not in the Vital Records office collection that you may need. the best way to get Oregon death record information from before 1903 is to access the State Archives. They have death records from as far back as 1864 for some parts of the state, most notably the city of Portland.
The Archives are located at 800 Summer Street NE in Salem, and most of their holdings are open to the public for viewing. To help with your search, their vital records webpage ( http://www.sos.state.or.us/archives/vital.html) has a list of their complete collection, including which counties and cities have records for which years. Some indexes can be searched online but most will need to be accessed in person.
Ordering Oregon death certificates can be accomplished by taking these steps:
An Oregon Death Certificate application will need to be completed and printed out to complete your request.
A copy of your current, government-issued photo ID must accompany all requests. Please provide legal documentation supporting your need for a record when you make your request.
In addition to the above documents, you will need to include a check or money order in the amount of $20 to cover your search fees.
Contact the office below for any additional questions regarding accessing Oregon death records:
Oregon Department of Health
Oregon Vital Records
P.O. Box 14050
Portland, OR 97293-0050
How To Order Oregon Death Records
Oregon death records are available from July 1903 to the present day. To make a request for Oregon death records, you will need to contact the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.
Methods For Ordering
Requests for Oregon death records can be made in many ways. Requests can be made in person, as well as by mail, phone, fax, and internet. Processing times will vary depending on the method used to make the request, and additional fees will be required for faster processing times.
Restricted Access To Oregon Death Records
Oregon death records are considered private for 50 years after the date of occurrence. During this time, only immediate family members and those with legal access will be granted copies of Oregon death records. Additional identification may be needed to process your request if you are not an immediate family member.