Change a Death Certificate

If you are considering needing to request a simple change to a more significant alteration to an existing Arizona death record, there are legal steps and documentation that is required; additionally, state law designates eligible individuals who may request such changes.

Important Update!


The State of Arizona recently revised the rules that govern how vital records are administered. Please take a few moments to read carefully as you gather the information you may need to apply for certified copies or proceed with making a request to change an Arizona vital record; information has been revised and there may be differences to how requests were made prior to these legal revisions.


The following information is from these state laws and rules; please read thoroughly and carefully.

However, if you have questions come visit our offices and we will happy to assist you!

First Step: Determine the Type of Change


Corrections (Minor Changes)

A correction is a change made to a registered certificate because of a typographical error including misspelling and missing or transposed letters or numbers.

When the request to correct a record is made by: Person Responsible for Final Disposition or the Informant
A person who was responsible for the final disposition of a deceased person's human remains according to A.R.S. §36-831, or who provided the information to a funeral director may request a correction to the deceased person's death certificate if the following requirements are submitted to the County Vital Records where the death occurred:
  1. A letter or application that includes:
    1. The date of the request;
    2. The name in the deceased person's registered death certificate;
    3. The deceased person's sex;
    4. The deceased person's date of birth;
    5. The deceased person's date of death; and
    6. If known, the state file number listed on the death certificate;
    7. The name of the person submitting the request;
    8. The person's relationship to the deceased person;
    9. Contact information for the person submitting the request (i.e. telephone number or e-mail address); and
    10. The specific information in the registered death certificate to be corrected;
    11. and
  2. An affidavit attesting to the validity of the submitted correction, signed by the person requesting the correction;
  3. An evidentiary document that demonstrates the person's relationship to the deceased individual;
  4. An evidentiary document, dated before the date the deceased individual's death
  5. was registered, that demonstrates the validity of the submitted correction;
  6. A copy of the front and back of the applicant's valid government-issued picture ID which bears the applicant's signature or the letter or application must
  7. be signed in the presence of a notary; and
  8. The appropriate fee(s) to correct a birth certificate.

Important!



Corrections or amendments to medical information including fields related to the manner of death and cause of death, may only be corrected or amended by a medical certifier, medical examiner or tribal law enforcement authority.

Amendments (Substantive Changes)
An amendment is a change, other than a correction, to a registered certificate by adding, deleting, or substituting information on the certificate.
A person may request to amend the demographic and final disposition information on a deceased person's death certificate. The following shall be submitted to the County Vital Records Office in the county where the death occurred:
  1. A letter or application that includes:
    1. The date of the request;
    2. The name in the deceased person's registered death certificate;
    3. The deceased person's sex;
    4. The deceased person's date of birth;
    5. The deceased person's date of death; and
    6. If known, the state file number listed on the death certificate;
    7. The name of the person submitting the request;
    8. The person's relationship to the deceased person;
    9. Contact information for the person submitting the request (i.e. telephone number or e-mail address); and
    10. The specific information in the registered death certificate to be corrected; and
  2. An affidavit attesting to the validity of the submitted amendment, signed by the
  3. person requesting the amendment;
  4. An evidentiary document that demonstrates the person's relationship to the
  5. deceased person;
  6. An evidentiary document that demonstrates the validity of the submitted amendment;
  7. A copy of the front and back of the applicant's valid government-issued picture ID which bears the applicant's signature or the letter or application must
  8. be signed in the presence of a notary; and
  9. The appropriate fee(s) to correct a birth certificate.

Second Step: What Documentation may be Required

Examples of Evidentiary Documents that may be Submitted
To Change the Decedent's: Name, Date of Birth or Place of Birth
  • A document such as an original, certified copy of the decedent's birth certificate or a certified copy of a court order that supports the change requested

To Change the Decedent's: Social Security Number

  • A document such as the original social security card or other official document from the Social Security Administration, income tax records or W-2 forms, etc. that supports the change requested

To Change the Decedent's: Parent's Name(s)

  • A document such as an original, certified copy of the birth certificate of the decedent or a certified copy of the parent's birth certificate shall be submitted

To Change the Decedent's: Marital Status on the Original Marriage License

  • A certified marriage certificate or certified divorce decree is required.
  • Note: Additional documentation may be requested to verify and support this request

To Change or Correct the Spouse's Name, the document required depends on the scenario:

  • To add a spouse to an existing Arizona death certificate, an original, certified marriage certificate is required
  • To remove a spouse's name from an existing Arizona death certificate, a divorce decree or other proof from the county's marriage and licensing department is required

Important!



Arizona Administrative Code R9-19-310(C) requires the County Vital Records Office or the Bureau of Vital Records to provide notification of a request to amend information on an Arizona death certificate to the individual (Informant) who provided the original demographic information about the deceased person.

The County Vital Records Office or the Bureau of Vital Records may request evidentiary documents from the person submitting the request (if they are not the Informant) and additional information from the Informant who provided the original death record information to determine the validity and accuracy of the requested amendment and the information on the death certificate.

The informant has 10 calendar days from the date the notice is mailed to respond. If a response from the informant in the specified time frame is not received or the informant responds favorably to the changes requested, the change (amendment) will be made to the death certificate.

If the informant responds unfavorably or disputes the claim, no change will be made to the death certificate until additional documentary evidence is provided. In these cases, the Assistant State Registrar will determine the sufficiency of the evidence provided.

Court Ordered Amendments

Some cases may require a court order to significantly change\amend an Arizona death certificate if the documentation required as specified in the applicable Arizona Administrative Code cannot be submitted.

In addition to the applicable requirements listed above, to request the amendment of a death certificate, a certified copy of the court order shall be submitted.

Questions?


We are professional Registrars ready to assist you and it is our aim to be able to help
you on your first visit. We suggest you plan ahead as best possible and have the items required by state law with you:

Thank you!