Michigan Death Records Lookup
The Freedom of Information Act makes Michigan death records public and available for anyone to obtain, and the State of Michigan offers records going as far back as 1867. These records are maintained by the Vital Records Office, through the Health Department, located in Lansing. You can obtain death records online, by phone, or in person. Whether you are tracing your ancestry, researching something historical, or handling a loved one’s estate after they have died, the State of Michigan makes it easy for you to obtain the necessary death records.
What Is In Michigan Death Records
A death record gives you information on where and when a person died. It will also usually provide
- cause of death
- place of birth
- age at time of death
- marital status
- names of parents
- date record was filed
In addition, the record may include names of their siblings, spouse, and children, and their mother’s maiden name.
Types of Michigan Death Records
When applying for a Certified Copy of a Michigan Death Certificate, it will contain an official seal. This type of record is necessary when you are reporting a loved one’s death to the Social Security Administration, banks, insurance company, or other lenders, etc. It serves as a proof of death.
Unofficial death records that are only useful for research may include obituaries, copies of wills, photographic evidence of a tombstone, or cemetery records.
Obtaining Michigan Death Records Online
If you are looking for death records from 1867-1897 in Michigan, you can search records yourself online for free through the Genealogical Death Index System (GENDIS), provided by the State of Michigan. It is a simple website that includes search tips to help you, and it can be searched with as little as a last name.
To obtain Michigan death records from after 1897, there is a fee for the search and retrieval of the record you wish, and the initial fee only covers searching within one death year, so you will want to be certain of that information when you begin. When you are ready with the information and your valid driver’s license or state ID, you can make the request and pay with credit or debit card online. Through the State of Michigan site you will be forwarded to their only trusted vendor, VitalChek, to complete your request and payment. VitalChek is also able to accept orders by phone, and the State of Michigan also offers the option of emailing them for further information or assistance.
Obtaining Michigan Death Records In Person
Requesting a death record in person is also an option, and this can be done by visiting the Vital Records Office, located at 333 S Grand Ave, Lansing, MI. The office is open Monday through Friday 8:00am-5:00pm, but you must present your request by 3:00pm to receive same day service. There is a fee for this service, and you will be required to show proof of identification. For additional information prior to your visit, you can visit their website or email them.
Michigan strives to respect the Freedom of Information Act and make death records available. The State of Michigan Vital Records Office provides easy to follow instructions for your security and ability to obtain the records you need.