Tangible Interest - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Tangible Interest

The individuals listed below may purchase certified copies of death certificates, or birth certificates classified as public. Any qualified individual must complete an application and pay the required fee to obtain a birth or death certificate.

Who can obtain birth and death certificates?

All Minnesota death records and most Minnesota birth records are public.

Some birth records are confidential. Find information about who can obtain confidential birth records at Confidential Birth Records.

Information about who can obtain a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth is on the Birth Resulting in Stillbirth webpage.


  1. Persons or entities qualified to request 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
    • Party responsible for filing the record (generally a health professional or mortician)
    • 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)

  2. 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)

  3. Attorney (Minnesota Attorney License Number or copy of non-Minnesota attorney license required)

  4. Person with a court order directing release of the certificate (not a subpoena)

  5. 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


If you have questions about who is eligible to obtain birth or death certificates, contact us at health.vitalrecords@state.mn.us or 651-201-5970.

Authority: Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 7
Updated Tuesday, 03-Sep-2019 07:53:50 CDT