The Vital Statistics Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 144.211 to 144.227, and Minnesota Rules, chapter 4601 define requirements related to death registration in Minnesota. The following is a description of requirements by selected topic.
Death Registration Requirements
For each death which occurs in the state, Minnesota Statutes, section 144.221, subpart 1, requires a death record to be filed within five days after death and prior to final disposition. See also Minnesota Statutes, section 149A.90, subdivision 1.
Minnesota Rules, part 4601.1500, require the mortician, funeral director, or other person in charge of disposition of the body to file the fact of death and demographic information before interment or other disposition of the body.
Minnesota Rules, part 4601.1600, require the person in charge of disposition of the body to collect fact of death and demographic information and contact the physician to request the cause of death information.
Obtaining a Death Certificate
Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 7, allow a funeral director to obtain a death certificate if he or she filed the record. Additionally, according to paragraph (b), a funeral director, who filed the death record, may request a death certificate on behalf of the child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of the decedent within 180 days of the time of death.
Standardized Format for Death Certificates
Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 8, requires the use of a standardized format for death certificates .
Certified Death Certificate - Fact of Death:
A fact of death certificate shows information required by Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2550, subpart 1, to record the time and place a death occurs and to identify the decedent.
A fact of death certificate may be purchased immediately upon filing. The family or personal representative of the decedent may use the fact of death certificate to close bank accounts, cash in stocks or bonds, notify credit card companies, initiate property settlements, and begin other activities related to settling an estate.
Certified Death Certificate - Fact and Cause of Death:
In addition to the information collected for the fact of death, a fact and cause of death certificate shows cause of death information required by Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2550, subpart 2.
A fact and cause of death certificate may not be available immediately. The physician, coroner, or medical examiner may require additional time to determine the cause of death. A fact and cause of death certificate may be required by life insurance companies.
Minnesota Statutes, section 144.226, sets fees for death certificates ($13), delayed death registrations ($40), and amendments to death records ($40).
Amending Death Records
According to Minnesota Rules, part 4601.2100, an amendment is required to change fact of death information after a certificate has been issued. A mortician may correct, without charge, a record that he or she filed before a certificate is issued and within one year of the date of death.