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Obtaining Tennessee Death Certificates

Introduction to Tennessee Death Certificates


This article is designed to help you get a Tennessee Death certificate.  Counter to common belief, not everything is on the Internet.  Personal Death certificates are one of the items that are not readily available online, and that is probably a good thing.  You do not want a Death certificate in the public domain, where it can be seen by anyone.  However, this does not mean that you can’t easily get your Death certificate.  

Tennessee Death certificates have been maintained by the Tennessee Department of Health – Vital Records for individuals that died in the state of Tennessee in the past 50 years.  Older records are maintained by Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division, Nashville, TN 37243-0312.


Tennessee Death Certificate Authorized Persons


By Tennessee state law, Tennessee Death certificates are confidential records and can only be obtained by the following authorized individuals:

  • Mother/Father (or Legal Guardian) of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate
  • Grandparents and Great Grandparents of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate
  • Husband/Wife of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate 
  • Adult Son/Daughter of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate
  • Adult grandchildren of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate
  • Sister/Brother of individual named on the Tennessee Death certificate
  • Aunt/Uncle of individual named on the Tennessee Death certificat
  • Legal Representative of an Authorized Person of Person Named on the Tennessee Death Certificate


Tennessee Death Certificate for Genealogy Purpose


Most information from Tennessee births, deaths, marriages, and divorces can be provided to any requestor as a hand written transcript. This is called a verification.

Requests for verification should be made in writing to the Vital Records office.  You must provide enough information so that our staff can locate the record you would like verified.  The fee is $15.00 per record per year searched.  This fee is charged for the search for the record and is not refunded even if no record is found.  The Vital Records Office keeps birth records for 100 years and keeps death, marriage, and divorce records for 50 years; after that time, the records are sent to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for public access and family research.

Cause of death is not verifiable and is not released except to immediate family members or their legal representatives for certain reasons as specified by state law.


Death records are available for the past 50 years. The fee is $7.00 per certified copy. The cause of death is not normally included on a certified copy unless specifically requested and then is available only to certain family members or legal representatives.


Tennessee Death Certificate Ordering


Options Option 1 – Order Tennessee Death Certificate Online

This option is the simplest and easiest way to get your Tennessee Death Certificate.  Order online and you will get your Tennessee Death Certificate usually in less than a week.  Many times you will have the option of receiving your vital record by next-day or second-day service.

Order Birth and Death Records Online!  


Option 2 – Order Tennessee Death Certificate through the Mail

Follow the instructions below, if you are not ordering your Tennessee Death certificate online.  It usually takes 2 weeks upon receipt of request to be sent to you:

Step 1: Download Mail-In Application

Step 2: Please provide as much of the following information as possible to locate the Tennessee Death certificate:

  • Full name of person at Death on the Tennessee Death certificate
  • Date of Death on the Tennessee Death certificate
  • Sex on the Tennessee Death certificate
  • County (or city) of Death on the Tennessee Death certificate
  • Your name 
  • Your signature 
  • Your relationship to the person whose Tennessee Death certificate you are requesting 
  • Address where the Tennessee Death certificate is to be mailed 
  • Self addressed stamped envelope
  • Your daytime phone number
  • By Mail: Send the above information and the appropriate fee to:
Tennessee Vital Records
Central Services Building
1st Floor
421 5th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee  37243


Option 3 – In Person

In Person in Tennessee: You may go to any county health department in the State of Tennessee to obtain a certified copy of a Tennessee Death certificate. Most Tennessee Death certificates can be issued while you wait.


Tennessee Death Certificate Ordering Cost


The fee to search for a Tennessee Death certificate is $7.00, which includes one certified copy of the Tennessee Death certificate or a "Certificate of Failure to Find." For each additional copy of the Tennessee Death certificate ordered at the same time, the fee is $7.00. Checks or Money Orders should be made payable to "Tennessee Vital Records." Please do not send cash. Fees are not refundable. Additional fees are required for expedited service.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 22:33