A death application form must be completed before you can access Pennsylvania death records and you can either apply for a non-certified or certified copy. There is a $9 fee (money order or check) for each non-certified copy and you can expect a wait of three or more months to receive a response. Pennsylvania is one of the first American colonies, dating back to the 1600s, so there are tons of historical records, including vital records available. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania is one of the many states that have severe privacy restrictions on their vital records access. You must be an immediate family member such as a parent, sibling, spouse or possibly an extended family member and be able to prove that you’re related to the deceased. After you’ve completed the form, gathered identification and made copies, include the fee and sent to:
Pennsylvania Dept. of Health
Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, Pennsylvania 16103
On the application, you’ll notice that there are fields in which you must enter some information about the deceased. This includes providing the full name, date and place of death and the Social Security number (if known). Death records and other vital statistics records may date back to 1906. Older records may be found in the state’s archives of vital records and may go back as far as 1852. A legal representative may also be able to access the records if a valid need is proven.
The Internet also offers sites that can help you research vital records and may help you obtain a copy – and full report – of a Pennsylvania death record. These private search sites are tremendously popular with legal professionals and professional genealogists who must search through vital records for a living. They can also make your life easier by providing a quick and easy alternative to the rules and regulations that are required by most states. The fees are generally more than you would have to pay through a state-based search, but the information you’ll receive is much more thoroughly investigated and you receive it usually within moments from submitting the data. The reason that private Internet sites can do this is because they maintain powerful databases and search engines that perform so much better and faster than those maintained by the state. Plus, they have the ability to cross-search through other states if the record isn’t found in the one you submitted. If no record is revealed, you pay nothing. Within minutes you’ll receive a detailed report that you can use for whatever purpose you desire. It’s a way to bypass all of the red tape associated with a state-based search. Find out more about using an Internet search site to find Pennsylvania death records by clicking on the link.