Death Certificates and Reporting

Deaths Reportable

  • All forms of criminal violence, unlawful acts or criminal neglect
  • All accidents (motor vehicle, home, falls, industrial, etc.)
  • All suicides
  • All deaths caused or contributed to by drug/chemical overdose or poisoning
  • Sudden death of a person in apparent good health
  • Deaths unattended by a medical entity
  • Deaths occurring in prison or a penal institution or while in the custody of the police
  • Deaths during or due to complications of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
  • Deaths related to employment
  • Deaths which occur in any suspicious or unusual manner
  • Fetus born deceased due to maternal trauma or drug abuse or in the absence of a physician/midwife
  • Deaths wherein the body is unidentified or unclaimed
  • Deaths known or suspected as due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard

Death Certificates

Who May Request a Death Certificate?

Only certain people can request a death certificate. You must be:

  • Legal representative of the decedent's estate
  • Immediate family member
  • Extended family member who indicates a direct relationship to the decedent
How Do I Obtain a Death Certificate?

Initially through the funeral home, and then subsequently through the Division of Vital Records, which maintains records of deaths that occurred from 1906 to the present. Certified copies of death certificates (with a raised seal) are issued and acceptable for various uses, such as:

Estate Settlement, Insurance Policies, Pension/Retirement, Property Transfer, Social Security, Stocks/Bonds.

Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103
Phone: (724) 656-3100