How to get a Florida Death Certificate

How to get a Florida Death Certificate. Senior Justice Law Firm sues nursing home and assisted living facilities for wrongful death. Florida Death Certificates show cause of death.

Why Do I Need to Get a Florida Death Certificate?

When a loved one dies, your world is turned upside down.  In this emotional, painful time, it can be difficult to keep up with your life while grieving a loved one’s passing.  Basic tasks that would otherwise seem simple can appear to be nearly impossible to complete.  Getting a Florida death certificate is an important task that needs to be completed for a number of reasons.  First, you will need a Florida death certificate to claim life insurance, file estate tax returns, and to claim other benefits (such as pension benefits) as a result of a loved one’s death.  Second, if you plan on suing a nursing home or assisted living facility for wrongful death or injury due to negligence, a Florida death certificate can help your case.

In the following sections, we will discuss the two types of Florida death certificates and how to request a Florida death certificate.

What is the Difference Between a “Short-Form” and a “Long Form” Florida Death Certificate?

In Florida, there are two types of death certificates: “Short-Form” and “Long-Form” death certificates.  The key difference between the two Florida death certificates is the Long-Form death certificate contains a cause of death.

In the state of Florida, a cause of death only becomes public after a period of 50 years after the death of an individual passes.  Prior to that, only certain individuals can request a Long-Form Florida  death certificate.

Any individual in Florida can request a Short-Form death certificate without cause of death.  By statute, only certain people can request a Long-From death certificate:

  1. The decedent’s spouse, parent, child, grandchild, or sibling (if 18 years of age or older);
  2. Anyone that provides an executed will pursuant to Florida Statute 732.502, an insurance policy, or other document that demonstrates the requesting individual’s interest in the estate of the decedent;
  3. Any person who provides adequate documentation that he or she is acting on behalf of a person mentioned in items (1) or (2) above.

How Do I Request a Florida Death Certificate at my Local County Health Department?

First, it is important to differentiate between deaths within the state of Florida and deaths outside of the state of Florida.  If the death occurred in the United States, but not in Florida, click here.   If the death occurred outside of the United States, click here.

For deaths that occurred in Florida, you have two options.  First, you can order a death certificate through your local County Health Department.  It is worth noting that, unlike birth certificates, a local County Health Department can provide a Florida death certificate for deaths that occurred throughout the state, not just within the county.  For a list of the addresses, phone numbers, and links to each county’s homepage, click here.  Nearly all counties allow you to request a Florida death certificate in person or by mail.

Request Florida death certificate for lawsuit against nursing home or assisted living facility. Senior Justice Law focuses on suing nursing homes.

How to Request a Florida Death Certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics

Second, you can request a Florida death certificate directly from the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville.  There are a few steps to complete before sending in a Florida death certificate request to the Bureau of vital Statistics:

  1. Provide the following information about the person named on the certificate
    1. full name of the deceased person
    2. sex
    3. date of death
    4. city or county of death
    5. social security number, if known
  2. Provide the following information about the person requesting the certificate
    1. full name
    2. relationship to decedent (if requested cause of death)
    3. mailing address
    4. phone number where you can be reached during business hours (8AM – 5PM EST Monday-Friday)
    5. Funeral Director or Attorney’s professional license number, if they are ordering the certificate
    6. signature of applicant
    7. a copy of a valid picture ID
    8. if legal guardian, include notarized guardianship documents
  3. Clarify type of certificate requested
    1. A certified copy of the Electronic Death Record or Photocopy of an original paper record with embossed seal of Florida
    2. Electronically Registered or Photocopy certification $5.00 each
    3. Additional copies $4.00 each when ordered at the same time as the first copy.
  4. Payment
    1. if by mail – payment must be made by check payable to “Vital Statistics” – cash IS NOT accepted!
    2. if in person – cash, checks, money orders, Visa and MasterCard are accepted
    3. rush service/delivery is available for an additional $10 fee.  Mark the outside of the envelope “RUSH”.
  5. Address
    1. if by mail – mail to:
      • Bureau of Vital Statistics
        Attn: Vital Records Section
        P.O. Box 210
        Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
    2. if in person, visit:
      • Bureau of Vital Statistics
        1217 N Pearl St
        Jacksonville, FL 32202


Using the methods described above, you can now request a Florida death certificate.  If you receive a Long-Form death certificate, you can view the “cause of death”.  If the cause of death is related to a bedsore (also known as sacral or decubitus ulcer), a fall, a fracture or broken bone, aspirational pneumonia, subdural hematoma, or any other cause that sounds related to your loved one’s treatment at a nursing home or assisted living facility, it may be due to abuse or neglect.  Even if the cause of death sounds unrelated, you may have a case against the facility.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help you and your family following a preventable injury or death inside a facility. Call us today to see how we can help: 1-844-253-8919.

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