Question: Who Is Entitled To Get A Copy Of An Indiana Death Certificate?
Answer: Indiana’s death record system begins with the death certificate, which contains data used to generate a variety of other records. It must include the decedent’s cause of death as certified by the attending physician or local health officer. Since January 1, 2011, the person filing the death certificate must use a state-created electronic database, the Indiana Death Registration System to file a certificate of death with the local health officer of the jurisdiction in which the death occurred. Once the death certificate is filed, the local health officer must use the information thereon to make a permanent record that does not include the cause of death. The permanent record, with the exception of the decedent’s Social Security number, shall be open to public inspection. The local health officer must also report the death to the Indiana State Health Department within 5 days. Finally, upon request of a qualifying individual, the local health officer shall provide a certification of birth, death, or stillbirth registration. The requesting party must demonstrate he has a direct interest in the matter and the certificate is necessary for the determination of personal or property rights or for compliance with state or federal law. Depending on the requesting party’s preference, the local health officer has the discretion to include or omit information concerning the cause of death.