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How to Obtain Death Certificates in Michigan

By W.A. Swan

Obtaining a death certificate in Michigan is a simple process for both online and mail applications. Most applications can be handled through the state system. The city of Detroit has its own system. To start either type of application, you must start with the website for the Department of Community Health, which has all the needed information. Once there, you can follow the steps in either section below.


Step 1. Go to the website for the Department of Community Health. Using the menu on the left of the page, click on the link to order records by mail if you wish to use this method. This will take you to the application page, where you can download the forms as a PDF file.

Step 2. Download the application form. The link to request death certificates is midway down the list of forms. Choose from "certified copies," "authentication" (for visas and foreign countries) or "verification," which certifies that there is a death certificate on file. To get the actual death certificate, you want the first link.

Step 3. Print out the application. Read the entire application as this also includes the list of filing fees, mailing addresses and time frame for completion of the application. Questions can be called in at the number listed on the bottom of the form.

Step 4. Fill out the requested information and send it to the Vital Records Office address listed at the bottom of the page. Deaths recorded before 1916 will take up to three months to process; requests for certificates after 1916 will take up to four weeks.


Step 1. Go to the website for the Michigan Department of Community Health. On the left is a menu with a link to ordering death certificates online. You can also use the link in the resources below. You will go to the VitalChek website set up for Michigan. This is the only way to order death certificates online.

Step 2. Check the button next to "Death Certificate" in the box on the right of the web page. Click "continue" to start the application process. Follow along through each screen. Fill in the information requested on each screen to proceed through the site. You cannot proceed without filling in each screen.

Step 3. Continue through the prompts to the order screen, where you can view the order. At the order screen, you can verify information and order additional copies. The next screen allows you to purchase your order.

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