Physician and Medical Examiner Info Page

Death Registration Information for Coroners, Medical Examiners, Physicians and Designated Staff Assistants

Effective October 1, 2017, medical certifiers are expected to complete cause of death information in MR&C. To complete death records online, become an MR&C user by completing and submitting the Medical Certifier / Designated Staff User Agreement (PDF).

The State Registrar is responsible for administering and enforcing the Minnesota Vital Records Act. Duties of the State Registrar include promoting uniformity of policy and procedures throughout the state in matters pertaining to the system of vital records and, prescribing the means for transmission of data to accomplish the purpose of complete, accurate, and timely reporting and registering of vital events.


Death registration in Minnesota is electronic, using the statewide web-based vital records application, Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C).

Information about the fact of death, and the cause and manner of death, are registered in real-time to create one death record for each decedent. Electronic death record registration using MR&C results in timely, accurate and complete records. Timely electronic death record completion means families can obtain death certificates without delay, disposition can be authorized electronically, and death data can inform public health.

Effective October 1, 2017, the Office of Vital Records (OVR) will no longer enter cause of death information into MR&C from paper worksheets sent to OVR by medical certifiers or funeral establishments. Make sure that you are ready. Become an MR&C user by completing and submitting the Medical Certifier / Designated Staff User Agreement (PDF) and complete death records online.

As a medical certifier and MR&C user, you may designate staff in your health care facility to enter cause of death information into MR&C on your behalf. Staff designated by you must become MR&C users and you must provide your designated staff with the cause of death information.

In Minnesota, only medical certifiers may provide information about the cause and manner of someone’s death and certify the death record. Medical certifiers include:
  • Advanced practice registered nurses
  • Physicians (including medical examiners and coroners)
  • Physician assistants

Medical certifiers fulfill an important final step in completing a patient’s care by providing cause of death for the death certificate. Families use these permanent legal records to settle the affairs of their loved one and to obtain insurance, veterans’ and retirement benefits.

The death certificate cause of death information is the source for state and national mortality statistics. Cause of death information guides decisions on which medical conditions receive research and development funding, sets public health goals, and measures health status at local, state, national, and international levels.

A properly completed cause-of-death section provides an etiologic explanation of the order, type, and association of events resulting in death.

Data derived from death certificates is no more accurate than the information provided on the certificate.

In the United States, the legal authority to register deaths lies within 57 jurisdictions (50 states, 2 cities and 5 territories). The 57 jurisdictions share death record information with the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The compiled national mortality statistics inform a variety of medical and health-related research efforts. Local and state public health agencies use information from the death record to assess community health status and for disease surveillance (e.g., drug overdose deaths, influenza and other infectious diseases).

What's New?

Fall “specificity” needed on death records (PDF)


Statutory Authority:

Minnesota Vital Records Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 144.211-144.227

Minnesota Rules, chapter 4601