Order a death certificate
Learn how to order a death certificate for someone who has died in King County or Washington state.
You must have a relationship to the person whose death certificate you are ordering. You will need to show proof of your identity and relationship. You will also need to pay any necessary fees. There are no refunds, even if we cannot locate the record or if you are not eligible to receive the death certificate.
Please follow the steps outlined below before you order.
Confirm the record is available
King County has death records for:
- All people who died in Seattle at anytime
- All people who died in King County from 1944 to the present
- All people who died in Washington from 2015 to the present
If you need a certificate for any other deaths in Washington, contact the Washington State Center for Health Statistics.
Confirm you are eligible
To order a death certificate you must be a “qualified applicant.” Qualified applicants are:
- Spouses or domestic partners
- Parents, stepparents, or legal guardians
- Children or stepchildren
- Grandparents or great grandparents
- Legal representatives
- Authorized representatives
- Government agencies
- Courts (if used for official duties)
Confirm you have the right information
You will need the following information about the subject of the death certificate:
- First and last name
- Month and year of death
- City or county of death
Confirm you have documentation to show your identity and eligibility
You must submit documentation to prove your identity and your relationship to the subject of the birth certificate.
- To prove your identity, you will need 1 government issued ID, like a drivers license or passport. The ID must include your photo, full name, and date of birth. The ID cannot be expired by more than 60 days. You can see a full list of acceptable IDs (144 KB) on the state Department of Health’s website.
- To prove your eligibility, you will need to provide 1 of the acceptable documents (207 KB) listed on the state Department of Health’s website.
Order and pay
Death certificates are $25 each. There may be extra fees depending on how you order and pay. There are no refunds even if we can't locate the record or if you are not eligible to receive the death certificate.
Order onlineWe use an outside service, VitalChek, to process online orders 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Each death certificate costs $25. VitalChek charges an extra $15 per order, which includes standard shipping. You can pay with a credit or debit card. You can choose rush shipping for an extra fee.
Start your order here.
Order by phoneYou can order by phone 24 hours, 7 days a week by calling 1-888-273-4623.
- To order over the telephone, a credit card is required.
- All telephone orders are processed within 15 to 20 business days and then sent by regular mail, unless you select rush delivery.
- Rush delivery is available via UPS for an additional fee of $18.50.
- UPS rush delivery requires a signature when delivered. UPS will not deliver to PO boxes.
Order by mailYou can order a death certificate by mail and pay with a check or money order. You will need to download the death certificate order form (297 KB) and mail it in. There is a fee of $4 for mail orders. Your certificate will arrive in 2 to 3 weeks.
Orden de Acta de Defunción del Estado de Washington (304 KB, Spanish)
Order in-person at the Vital Records OfficeOur lobby is now opened from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
- King County Vital Records will be using VitalChek kiosks for ordering, and the fee is $28.50.
- Please be aware that the kiosk will close at 4 pm to ensure that all services are completed by the end of the day. If you arrive for service after 4 pm there is a chance that your certificates may not be available until the following business day.
- Valet parking is available in the King Street Garage, and the first hour is free.