West Virginia death records become public domain fifty years after the date of death. If you want to access a recent death record, you must submit a request and prove that you’re a member of the deceased’s immediate family (spouse, parent, sibling grandparent or grandchild) by sending copies of photo identification with the request. West Virginia has been officially recording death occurrences since 1917, although some may go back as far as the 1850s. Some of the records may be incomplete and difficult to decipher because of being handwritten, but you may be able to get the information you need. You must complete the request form, available from the Health Statistics Department, and send it, along with appropriate documents and a $12 fee (to Vital Registration) to the following address:
West Virginia Dept. of Health
Vital Registration Department
350 Capitol St.
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Phone: (304) 558-2931
The form you need to complete only requests the full name of the deceased and the date and place of death. But, you also must state your relationship to the deceased and provide your address and phone number. The state attempts to process your requests within five business days of receipt, but it may be longer depending on the workload. There are no refunds from the state if a death record isn’t found.
The state of West Virginia doesn’t have as many stringent rules and regulations about obtaining death records as some states, but if you would like a faster response without all the red tape involved, you can use a private, Internet search site. If you Google ‘Internet search sites’ you’ll be bombarded with many various sites. Most offer the same type of services and if no record is found, you pay nothing. One of the advantages to using a private search site is that you don’t have to prove that you’re related to the deceased or provide copies of photo identification. You’ll also receive a response, likely within minutes, of submitting a small amount of information used for the search. The search engines and databases of private search sites can reach far beyond those of the state. You might find information that you never expected on a vital record because of the timeliness and accuracy that these databases maintain. These sites encrypt your payment data, making it impossible for anyone to access that information or discover who requested the death record. Whether you have legal issues to research or want to further trace your family tree, look into the advantages of private Internet sites to help you in your search. Click on the link below to discover how an Internet site can help you find West Virginia death records.