Death is an inevitability that all of us will have to go through someday. Normally, when a person dies, a report will be filed that contains the details surrounding that particular individual’s demise. And the resulting documents are then considered vital information. Traditionally, when a person wants to obtain a specific death certificate, there are procedures that he must go through in order to acquire the said file. In the state of Virginia, there are offices that are responsible for Virginia Death Certificate with regards to its proper storage, maintenance and dissemination.
Every state in the country has a vital statistics office that handles all vital information within its jurisdiction. People who want to access these kinds of reports usually visit these offices. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, as it is officially known, death reports are the responsibility of the Virginia Department of Health through the Office of Vital Records. Here you can submit your request either in person or via mail.
The abovementioned state office handles public death records from the 1st of January 1853 up to December of 1896, and then from the 14th of June 1912 all the way up to the present. Each copy will cost you $12, which is payable to the State Health Department via money order or personal check. But if you want more detailed accounts on how to get certified copies of death reports and other vital information, you can always visit the official website of the Virginia Department of Health.
Access to more recent death certificates are only given to the next of kin since these types of accounts only become public information 50 years after the fact. If you are interested in Virginia death records that are not available at the Virginia Department of Health for some reason, the Archives Division of the Library of Virginia may be able to help you in that aspect since they keep copies of any surviving documents from 1853 to 1896. In addition to birth and death certificates, the Archives Division also keeps passenger lists, census, land, bible, military and tax reports, and even church documents that can be quite useful for genealogy purposes.
In retrospect to the traditional methods in obtaining public information, the abovementioned means are relatively more convenient especially with the help of online resources. However, the fact of the matter is that some people are still quite despondent with the procedures and strict requirements that are associated with various government sources. With that said, the emergence of commercial information providers has been a welcomed prevalence, especially for genealogists who are looking to gather as much information in a more efficient and practical manner.
These days, privately run information services have become quite common on the Internet. In exchange for a one-time fee, these commercial information providers will offer unlimited access to a broad database that not only houses public death records, but of other vital information as well. Utilizing these services will not limit you to one state alone in terms of your document search, since they can cover vital reports from multiple states through a nationwide search option. This, along with the other online features, will definitely make your search a more comprehensive and efficient one.