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Death Corrections

 

For instances when errors are identified on a loved one’s Arizona death certificate, please review the necessary steps and the information needed to request lawful changes.

 

For example, the type of change or correction requested and how recently the certificate was registered affects the forms of factual documentation that may be required. The factual documentation must support the correction request. As Arizona is a closed records state, only eligible parties may request these changes.

 

Here are the most common correction changes and information you may need to prepare your request:

 

The funeral home made an error on the death certificate

These errors are generally typographical in nature and may be seen on the original worksheet the informant prepared with the funeral home.

 

Once an error is detected, the funeral home will provide a letter of correction explaining their error and a copy of the worksheet that was completed and signed by the informant.

 

This correction will be made at no cost or fee to the family; however, certified copies reflecting any changes are $20.00 each.

 

Have additional questions? If you wish to speak with one of our Registrars in person, please call 602-506-6805 and make an appointment. These appointments are held at our Central Phoenix and East Mesa offices only. We are available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm to assist you.

The Decedent’s marital status and/or their spouse’s information is incorrect

When there is a question about the marital status of the Decedent (the death certificate states the Decedent was divorced and someone alleges they were married to the Decedent at the time of death, for example), the following steps must be followed:

 

  1. Either the informant on the original certificate or a member of the Decedent’s immediate family completes an Affidavit to Correct (Death)
  2. The immediate family member must provide proof of relationship to the Decedent
  3. They must include a factual document that establishes the validity of the requested change
  4. Notarize their signature on the Affidavit to Correct (Death) form
  5. Complete and sign an Application
  6. Provide the correction fee

 

We will then notify the informant named on the original death certificate of the request and nature of the change submitted. The informant has 14 calendar days from the date the notice is mailed to respond.

 

If the Office of Vital Registration does not receive a response from the informant in the prescribed time, or the informant responds favorably, the correction will then be made to the death certificate. If the informant disputes the claim, no change will be made until additional documentary evidence is provided (a divorce decree or marriage certificate are common examples). In these cases, the State Registrar will determine the sufficiency of the evidence provided. The final alternative is for the person requesting the change to seek a court order and provide the State Office of Vital Records with a certified copy of that order stating the correction to be made.

 

Note: The informant is the person listed on the death certificate as having provided all of the personal information to whoever prepared the death certificate. An immediate family member is limited to the Decedent's mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.

 

Have additional questions? If you wish to speak with one of our Registrars in person, please call 602-506-6805 and make an appointment. These appointments are held at our Central Phoenix and East Mesa offices only. We are available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm to assist you.

There is a minor spelling error, a typographical error or transposed letters or numbers on the certificate

These types of corrections, in most cases require the following:

 

  1. The person alleging to be the Decedent's spouse must complete an Affidavit to Correct (Death)
  2. They must include a factual document (a certified copy of the marriage certificate, for example)
  3. Have signature notarized on the Affidavit to Correct (Death) form
  4. Complete and sign an Application
  5. Provide the correction fee

 

For changes requested within one year from the date of death generally, only the Affidavit to Correct (Death) with an Application and the correction fee is sufficient.

 

Correction requests made after 1 year from the creation of the death certificate may require additional factual documentation and review by the State Office of Vital Records.

 

We recommend that you contact our office at 602-506-6805 to make sure that the death certificate is available at our location.

 

Note: The informant is the person listed on the death certificate as having provided all of the personal information to whomever prepared the death certificate. An immediate family member is limited to the Decedent's mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.

 

Have additional questions? If you wish to speak with one of our Registrars in person, please call 602-506-6805 and make an appointment. These appointments are held at our Central Phoenix and East Mesa offices only. We are available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm to assist you.

 

Needing to correct other items on an Arizona death certificate

These types of changes require substantial factual documentation and in some cases may not be amendable. We strongly encourage you to contact our office and speak with a knowledgeable Registrar if you have questions.

 

Have additional questions? If you wish to speak with one of our Registrars in person, please call 602-506-6805 and make an appointment. These appointments are held at our Central Phoenix and East Mesa offices only. We are available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm to assist you.

Common examples of acceptable factual documents...

Acceptable factual documents also known as “evidentiary documents” means written information used to prove the fact for which it is presented.

 

Common examples of acceptable factual documents may include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospital or doctor’s office records on letterhead
  • Certified copy of a marriage certificate (a marriage license is not acceptable)
  • Certified copy of a divorce decree
  • Tribal Census record
  • Last Will
  • Social Security record

 

Please note that all provided documents are subject to review and verification before a correction may be processed.

 

These changes and others are classified as minor, major or administrative under state law. We encourage you to make an appointment and speak with one of our Deputy Local Registrars in person. Please visit the Central Phoenix and East Mesa offices only. We are available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm to assist you.

 

How to apply for a certified copy?

 

Three Ways to Apply for a Certified Copy


In Person:

  1. Complete an application
  2. Sign your application
  3. Be ready to provide your valid, government issued photo ID with signature
  4. Bring any additional documents that may be required that establish eligibility such as proof of relationship and factual documents establishing legal or other vital interest
  5. Be ready to pay the appropriate fee

 

By Mail:

    Clear copies of FRONT and BACK of ID is REQUIRED
  1. Print and complete an application for the certified copies of the certificate you wish to order
  2. Sign your application
  3. Attach a clear photocopy of your valid, government issued photo ID with signature or have your signature notarized on the application form
  4. Include any additional documents that may be required that establish eligibility such as proof of relationship and factual documents establishing legal or other vital interest
  5. Include the fee per copy requested and check the accepted form of payment. Remember, NO CASH please through the mail
  6. Mail your signed application, copy of accepted ID, factual documents and proof of eligibility, acceptable payment type and fee with a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

     

    Office of Vital Registration
    PO Box 2111
    Phoenix AZ 85001

     

    **Allow 1-2 weeks for processing to receive your certified copy in the mail

 

Where to apply for out of state certificates.

 

Online:

VitalChek is your direct connection to order certified copies of Arizona vital records (with government seal). Order online through VitalChek and receive your eligible purchase by express mail. Additional fees apply. VitalChek is a third party company authorized by Maricopa County and the State of Arizona to offer this online application option. To obtain information and instructions for ordering Arizona vital records, please review the VitalChek website.

 

Acceptable Identification


Valid, Government Issued Photo ID with signature:

    Clear copies of FRONT and BACK of ID is REQUIRED
  • United States issued Driver’s License or Identification Card

  • United States Territories Driver’s License or Identification Card

  • United States Military Identification Card that contains bearer's signature (some do not)

  • Tribal Identification that contains bearer's signature

  • Passports – United States or Foreign issued

  • Visa – In a passport and the bearer's signature is on the passport not the Visa

  • Permanent Resident Card issued on or after May 11, 2010 which includes a signature

  • Resident Alien Card (Form I-551)

  • Employment Authorized Card (Forms I-766, I-688A or I-668B)

  • Temporary Resident Card (I-688)

 

Note: Expired, cracked, broken, taped or faded identification documents will not be accepted.

Eligibility Requirements

 

In Arizona, eligible applicants must prove their relationship to the person (Registrant) named on the death certificate and may also need to establish their legal interest in the request.

 

Examples of proving legal interest could include the applicant and the Decedent both being listed on property deeds or shared financial accounts, or the applicant being named as a beneficiary in a Will or Trust, for instance.

 

These requirements are in addition to providing a signed Application, clear copy of the applicant’s valid government issued, signed, photo ID and the appropriate fee. *All documents submitted will be reviewed and verified prior to fulfillment of the request.

 

Eligible applicants and the information needed to apply in addition to the application requirements above:

 

Applicant Death Certificate
Parent

The mother or father as listed on the Decedent’s death certificate may apply. If not listed, the parent must establish legal interest

Spouse

The Decedent’s spouse must submit a certified copy of their official marriage certificate (church certificates and licenses are not acceptable) or must establish legal interest

Adult Brother/Sister

The adult sibling must submit proof of their relationship with the Decedent by providing a certified copy of applicant’s birth certificate showing they share 1 parent in common with the Decedent or establish legal interest

Adult Child

This individual must be at least 18 years of age or provide a certified court order of their emancipation. They need to provide a certified copy of their personal birth certificate naming the Registrant as their parent or provide a certified copy of a Tribal Affidavit of Birth (photocopies of non-certified records are not valid). If the adult child was born after 1950 in Arizona, a search can be done to verify this relationship or prove their legal interest in the request

Grandparent

The grandparent must submit proof of their relationship with the Decedent such providing a certified copy of the grandparent’s child’s birth certificate (i.e. the Decedent’s parent) or prove their legal interest in the request

Grandchild, Aunt, Uncle, First or Second Cousin

The grandchild, aunt, uncle, and first or second cousin must submit proof of their relationship with the Decedent such providing a certified birth or death certificates and/or a certified marriage certificate to establish direct lineage to the Decedent or prove their legal interest in the request

Non Family Member

An individual authorized by an eligible family member must submit a signed, notarized written notice from the eligible member with that member’s proof of relationship to the Decedent, in addition to the other application requirements above

Attorney

The retained lawyer must represent an eligible family member of the Decedent and provide their proof of that relationship or represent an eligible person with their proof of legal interest. They must provide a notarized letter signed by the attorney on their business letterhead that includes the attorney’s professional bar number. The letter must state clearly the reason for the record request and include the signed retainer agreement with the eligible family member

Government Agencies

These officials must provide a written request prepared on their agency letterhead stating the reason for the certified copy, include a copy of the documentation evidencing the need. The applicant must include a clear copy of their agency ID badge. Note, certain state agencies must apply directly to the State office

Non-Attorney Legal Interest

These applicants must provide documentation establishing clear legal interest to the Decedent. Examples include but are not limited to: Both the applicant and the Decedent named as joint property or title owners, shared financial accounts, the applicant is named beneficiary on Decedent’s insurance policies, Will or Trust

Genealogy

Arizona is a closed records state and this means that an individual seeking a record that is not yet public must provide proof of their eligible relationship to the Decedent or provide legal or other vital interest. If the requested record is public, the applicant may apply to the State office

Funeral Director

A licensed funeral director may only apply on behalf of an eligible family member as defined above

Private Investigator

These individuals must provide documentation of their business relationship with an eligible applicant, include proof of relationship or legal interest with the Decedent in addition to meeting the application requirements listed above

Fees


    $20.00 - Per certified copy

 

    $30.00 - For corrections. Fee includes the corrected certified copy

 

    $  5.00 - Non certified copy for Gov’t Agency use only

 

 

Accepted Forms of Payment


    MasterCard and Visa

 

    Money Order

 

    Cashier’s Check

 

    Cash is only accepted in person

 

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Four Locations:

 

NEW Location!

North Valley
2423 W. Dunlap Ave., Ste. 110
Phoenix, AZ 85021
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Central Valley
3221 N 16th St
Phoenix AZ 85016
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East Valley
4419 E Main St
Mesa AZ 85205
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West Valley
1850 N. 95th Ave.
Suite 182
Phoenix, AZ 85037
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Contact and Hours:

Ph: 602-506-6805
Hrs: 8:00am-4:30pm

Please arrive by 4:00pm

 

Fees:

$20-Certified Copy
$30-Corrections
$5-Non certified copy (for Gov’t Agency use only)

 

Forms of Payment:
• Visa or MasterCard
• Money Order
• Cashier’s Check
• Cash
(in person ONLY)

 

How to Apply:
• In person
• By Mail
• Online (fees apply)