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How to Find North Dakota Death Records

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Finding North Dakota Death Records[edit | edit source]

North Dakota became a state in 1889, and was created from the Dakota Territory. In 1893 a state law was enacted requiring registration of deaths. This law was repealed in 1895 and then reenacted in 1899. When the State Department of Vital Records was formed in 1923 all prior records kept by the counties were to be set to the state. Death records from 1893 can be obtained from the Department of Vital Records and from the county where the event occurred.

Next Step: When did the death occur? [edit | edit source]

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's death record:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1893[edit | edit source]

Before 1893, no deaths were consistently recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Probate (wills, etc)
Church Records
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year

Deaths 1893 to Present[edit | edit source]

In 1893, North Dakota passed a law requiring registration of deaths. This law was later repealed and then reenacted in 1899. Few deaths were recorded during that period, and even after 1899. But by 1923, the law was in full force and general compliance followed, making registration consistent.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information[edit | edit source]

For deaths that occurred during this time period, try the following databases.

Try 1st:
1893-Current - At North Dakota Department of Health Free; any death occurring in the last twelve months is not included in this index
Can't search the index listed above? Try searching other records for death information.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

If you do not find your ancestor's death, then contact the North Dakota Department of Health Office.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

With an exact date (from a death index, Social Security Death Index, or cemetery record), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From ND Dept. of Health State Office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

Restrictions for obtaining a certificate:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate with cause of death and social security number, you must be:

  • The decedent's spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate

NOTE: An informal copy of the death certificate can be obtained by anyone, but it will NOT contain the cause of death or social security number.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year

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