Who can obtain birth and death certificates?
The list below shows those who are eligible, by law, to receive most certificates.
Even if you are on the list below, you may not be able to get the certificate you want. The law limits the release of stillbirth certificates, and some birth certificates, to a smaller number of people. See Birth Resulting in Stillbirth and, Confidential Birth Records for information.
- Persons or entities eligible to receive certificates:
- Subject of the record
- Child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of the subject
- Current spouse of the subject
- Parent named on the subject’s record, or a grandparent or great-grandparent of the subject
- If the requested record is a death record, a sibling of the subject
- Legal custodian, guardian, or conservator of the subject
- Health care agent of the subject (health care power of attorney is required)
- Personal representative of the subject’s estate
- Successor of the subject, if the subject is deceased
- If the requested record is a death record, a trustee of a trust
- Person/entity demonstrating that the certificate is needed for the determination or protection of a personal or property right (supporting documentation required)
- Adoption agency – for post-adoption searches required by law (Employee ID required)
- Representative of a local, state, tribal or federal governmental agency, if the certified vital record is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties (Employee ID required)
- Attorney who represents the subject, or who represents a person or entity in # 1 above. (Minnesota Attorney License Number or copy of non-Minnesota attorney license required)
- Person with a court order directing release of the certificate (not a subpoena)
- Authorized representative of anyone listed in numbers one to four above. The representative must have a signed statement from that person which:
- specifies the signer's relationship to the subject of the record
- provides information to identify the vital record
- identifies the representative by name, and
- grants the representative permission to obtain the certificate