Procedures for Obtaining a Death Certificate

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Death certificates are brought to or sent to the Durham County Health Department from Funeral Directors, Hospitals, and the Medical Examiners Office. The Health Department processes the certificates and forwards them to the Register of Deeds Office.

Procedure For Getting A Death Certificate:

Persons applying for certificates shall make their request via in person, by mail or online. If applying in person, an application for the certificate is completed. The completion of this application would include:
  • Name of the Deceased
  • Date of Death
  • Relationship of person requesting the certificate
  • Applicants name, address, and phone number
  • Applicant signature is required
  • Applicant must present a valid State issued ID (Drivers License, State issued Identification card, Military Identification, or United States Passport). Expired Identification is not accepted.
If applying by mail, customers are required to provide the same information required as if you were applying in person along with a Xerox copy of a State issued ID as listed above.

Who Can Apply?
  • Anyone can apply and receive uncertified copies of certificates.
Cost / Fees: Cash/Check/Money Order - Make Payable to: Durham Co. Register of Deeds 
  • The cost for uncertified copies is $.25 per copy
  • The cost for mailing an uncertified copy is $1.00
  • The cost for certified copies is $10.00 per copy
Who Can Obtain Copies Of Death Certificates?

Immediate family (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Spouse, Grandparents, Adult Children), Legal Guardian, Attorney, Case Manager, Trust Advisors, Informant named on certificate, Funeral Homes, anyone that is named as beneficiary on an insurance policy (proof required).

Fees for Amendments

Non Expedite at Local County Processing:
  • Local Office processing fee - $10.00 - cash/check/money order: (Make payable to: Durham County Register of Deeds).
  • State Processing fee - $15.00 check/money order.  (Make payable to: NC State Vital Records).
  • Certified copy fee - $10.00 - cash/check/money order - (Make payable to: Durham County Register of Deeds).
Expedite at Local County:

County will be notified within three days if changes are approved, and documentation is needed if ordered by the court. Customer will receive birth / death certificate from county.
  • Local Office processing fee - $10.00 (cash/check/money order) - (Make payable to: Durham County Register of Deeds)
  • Expedited State processing fee - $30.00 (check/money order) (Make payable to: NC State Vital Records)
  • Non-Expedited State processing fee - $15.00 (check/money order) - Make payable to: NC State Vital Records)
  • Certified copy fee - $10.00 (cash/check/money order) (Make payable to: Durham County Register of Deeds)
State Vital Records Office in Raleigh Expedite Fee:

State processing fee - $45.00 – (check/money order) - (Make payable to: NC State Vital Records).  This includes processing and certified copy mailed to customer within three days or a letter is sent explaining why the requested change cannot be completed.

By Appointment At The State Office

State processing fee - $45.00 – check/money order) includes processing and certified copy if correction can be made at the time of the appointment.

For more fee information, contact:

State Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699