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Illinois Death Records: How to Perform an Illinois Death Records Search

Illinois Death Records: How to Perform an Illinois Death Records Search
February 12, 2023

The demand for access to death records in Illinois(as with most other states) is borne out of its frequent use as proof of a relationship with a deceased person. 


This is particularly important when requested in matters of ownership claims and inheritances. Other than that, most people request to collect it at its point of registration only a few days after the death of the record owner is recorded.


Illinois allows its residents to access the death records compiled and created in the state. 


And although access to its death records is a statutory provision of Illinois compiled statutes, requesters must go through the right channels for their applications to be successful. This article seeks to provide a guide through the right channels.

Illinois Death Records Explained

Whenever the death of a person is reported in Illinois, the next move is to identify the person and the cause of their death. Next, an effort is made to register the death with the relevant civil registration authority. 


These three actions represent the essence of the use of death records in Illinois.


A death record serves informational purposes and as official and legal documentation of death—a vital event. 


a stack of files


They are presented as certified and uncertified copies of the birth record, with the latter only ever useful for informational and genealogical purposes. 


The death record is conserved at the Illinois Department of Public Health, where it can be inspected and collected by eligible persons.

What Can I Find In An Illinois Death Record?

Illinois death records contain personal information and information related to the death and persons charged with registering the death. They include:


* The decedent's full name and social security number
* Their age, house address, and occupation at the time of death
* Gender, race/color, and other statistical or identifying information 
* Name of parents, spouse, siblings, or children
* Place, date, and cause of death
* File number and method of disposition
* Name of the funeral home, coroner, nurse, or medical certifier

How Are Illinois Death Records Created?

Illinois death records are created and registered sequel to a series of events and actions being executed. First in the line of events is the deposition of the corpse in a mortuary or a funeral home. 


There, the funeral director collects the deceased's personal information from someone qualified to provide them, usually a next of kin or a court-authorized person. 


The names and signatures are collected from this person and the funeral director as well.


This is quickly followed by the certification of the cause of death. This responsibility often lies with a medical professional who is familiar with the health status of the deceased. 


In the absence of such a person, a state court has the power to appoint persons to independently obtain and verify these details themself. The death record document is subsequently handed out to the state's registrar to give it official and legal recognition status. 


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Where Can I Find Illinois Death Records 

The offices of the Local County Clerk and the Illinois Department of Public Health are both responsible for the custody and issuance of death records in the state. 

The latter, through the Illinois Vital Records Office, allows in-person requests, mail requests, and fax requests, the latter via (217) 523-2648. 


In all cases, interested requesters must fill out the Application for Illinois Death Record form. The form is to be submitted along with the specified payment, a valid government-issued ID, and all other supporting documentation to the address:


Illinois Department of Public Health,
Division of Vital Records,
925 E. Ridgely Avenue,
Springfield, IL 62702-2737


As mentioned earlier, you can also find a person's death records when you visit the county clerk in the county where the person was reported dead. 


You'd be required to pay the service fee and provide some documentation to support your interest in the record.


Another route worth taking(albeit restrictive) in your quest to find death records is the National Death Index (NDI) portal made available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. 


Access to this database is strictly reserved for epidemiologists and other health professionals involved in investigative operations. There is a $350 service fee and a $0.15 per record-year search fee to deal with, though. 


files sitting on a table

Third-Party Websites

Most third-party websites grant unlimited and unconditional access to the information in their databases, from which death record-related information is often included. 


There, you can find relevant information culled from a person's death record by running a search against their name and last known address.


If their last known address is the same as the state or county where the death was recorded, it becomes much easier. You can now expect to find search results information pulled out from their death records. 


To do this, enter the search parameters(subject's name and state/city/county) in the designated text fields.


Click the search/submit bar, and you'll get to find the death record information of interest to you in no time. 


The right results may be displayed along with several others depending on the popularity of the search subject's(the deceased) name. You can provide supplementary information about the subject to make the result more accurate.

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