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Alabama Death Records

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Are Death Records Public in Alabama?

Death records for events older than 25 years are public records in Alabama. This means they can be accessed by almost anyone. An Alabama death record is an official document containing a compilation of vital information regarding a person’s death, such as the place of death and cause of death. A death record is deemed part of an individual's Alabama vital record, along with birth information, marriage as well as marriage and divorce records. These records are generated and disseminated by the state vital records office.

What Shows Up on Death Records in Alabama?

An Alabama death record typically contains the deceased’s personal data, and death records in Alabama are created to provide information about deceased persons in the state. The significant details contained in a typical Alabama death record include:

  • The full name of the deceased
  • The deceased’s personal and statistical information, including sex, color, or race.
  • The death date, including age at death
  • The place of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Usual residence before death
  • The medical certification of the cause of death

The Alabama Center for Health Statistics (ACHS) started filing death records for persons who died in Alabama in 1908. Generally, the state uses the information provided in death records to track death trends, set public health goals, and assess health status at local and state levels. Death records are also used to process pension claims, stocks, bonds, and life insurance benefits or to transfer real and personal property titles and close bank accounts.

How are Death Records Created in Alabama?

In Alabama, the funeral director is tasked with compiling, filing, and registering a death certificate per the Alabama Vital Statistics Laws § 22-9A-14. The funeral director may be any individual or organization (i.e., mortuary) who first assumes custody of the decedent. Death certificates for each deceased person in Alabama are to be filed within five days with the Office of Vital Statistics.

An Alabama death certificate contains two significant sections: the personal/statistical data of decedents and the medical certification. The deceased’s personal/statistical data is usually obtained from the next of kin or any relative of the deceased. Upon completion of the first section by the funeral director, the deceased's physician or health care provider will complete the medical certification aspect of the death certificate. In the absence of the physician, the health facility's chief medical officer where the death occurred may complete and sign the death certificate. The medical certification section must be completed within 48 hours and sent to the Vital Statistics Office in Alabama.

If a death occurs in Alabama in the absence of a physician, an autopsy may be required to determine the cause of death. The autopsy may be performed by a physician, county medical officer, state medical examiner, or coroner. Sometimes, it may be impossible to determine the cause of death within 48 hours. In such instances, the person in charge of the autopsy may sign the death certificate and state “pending” before sending it to the Vital Statistics Office.

According to the Alabama Code on Vital Statistics § 22-9A-14, a death certificate must also be filed and registered for each dead body found in Alabama. For a dead body where the actual death place is unknown, the death place will be registered as the county where the dead body was found, while the death date will be the date the body was found. The State Registrar may also prepare and file death certificates for deceased persons whose bodies are not found but are presumed to have died in Alabama.

How to Find Death Records Online in Alabama

The Alabama Public Health Department does not maintain an online database of death records where individuals may look up death records online. Hence, the state does not provide online access to death records.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional government sources and third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are a good place to start when looking for specific or multiple records. To gain access to these records, requesters must typically provide:

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities and record availability may vary on these sites compared to government sources.

  • Address where the certificate should be sent (For mail-in requests)

Death Record Search by Name in Alabama

An Alabama death record search by name is the most frequently used option for searching online resources or databases for death record information. The requesting party will be required to input the name of the decedent and date of death into the database, and it will generate possible results.

Death Record Search by Address

To conduct a death record search by address in Alabama, input the decedent's last location or registered address into the database. A death record search by address may also

Death Record SearchCounty Health DepartmentContact Number
Autauga Health Department219 North Court Street
Prattville, Alabama 36067
Department Phone: (334) 361-3743
Fax: (334) 361-3718
Baldwin County Health Department22251 Palmer Street
P.O. Drawer 369
Robertsdale, Alabama 36567
Department Phone: (251) 947-3618
Fax: (251) 947-3557
Barbour County Health DepartmentP.O. Box 238
634 School Street
Eufaula, Alabama 36027
Department Phone: (334) 687-4808
Fax: (334) 687-6470
Bibb County Health Department281 Alexander Ave,
Centreville, AL 35042, United States
Department Phone: (205) 926-9702
Fax: (205) 926-6536
Blount County Health Department1001 Lincoln Avenue
Oneonta, Alabama 35121
Department Phone: (205) 274-2120
Fax: (205) 274-2210
Bullock County Health Department674 Hicks Industrial Boulevard
Union Springs, Alabama 36089
Department Phone: (334) 738-3030
Fax: (334) 738-3008
Butler County Health Department350 Airport Road
Greenville, Alabama 36037
Department Phone: (334) 382-3154
Fax: (334) 382-3530
Calhoun Health Department3400 McClellan Boulevard
Anniston, Alabama 36201
Department Phone: (256) 237-7523
Fax: (256) 238-0851
Chambers County Health Department5 North Medical Park Drive
Valley, Alabama 36854
Department Phone: (334) 756-0758
Fax: (334) 756-0765
Cherokee County Health Department833 Cedar Bluff Road
Centre, Alabama 35960
Department Phone: (256) 927-3132
Fax: (256) 927-2809
Chilton County Health Department301 Health Center Drive
Clanton, Alabama 35045
Department Phone: (205) 755-1287
Fax: (205) 755-2027
Choctaw County Health Department1001 South Mulberry Avenue
Butler, Alabama 36904
Department Phone: (205) 459-4026
Fax: (205) 459-4027
Clarke County Health Department22600 Highway 84 East
Grove Hill, Alabama 36451
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 477
Grove Hill, Alabama 36451
Department Phone: (251) 275-3772
Fax: (251) 275-8066
Clay County Health Department86892 Highway 9
Lineville, Alabama 36266
Department Phone: (256) 396-6421
Fax: (256) 396-9172
Cleburne County Health Department90 Brockford Road
Heflin, Alabama 36264-1605
Department Phone: (256) 463-2296
Fax: (256) 463-2772
Coffee County Health DepartmentHealth Department/Environmental Services
2841 Neal Metcalf Road
Enterprise, Alabama 36330
Department Phone: (334) 347-9574
Fax: (334) 347-7104
Colbert County Health Department1000 S. Jackson Highway
Sheffield, Alabama 35660
Department Phone: (256) 383-1231
Fax: (256) 383-8843
Conecuh County Health Department102 Wild Avenue
Evergreen, Alabama 36401
Department Phone: (251) 578-1952
Fax: (251) 578-5566
Coosa Health Department9518 U.S. Highway 231
Rockford, Alabama 35136
Department Phone: (256) 377-1068
Fax: (256) 377-1067
Covington County Health Department23989 Alabama Highway 55
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
Department Phone: (334) 222-1175
Fax: (334) 222-1560
Crenshaw County Health Department15 Hospital Drive
Luverne, Alabama 36049
Department Phone: (334) 335-2471
Fax: (334) 335-3795
Cullman County Health Department601 Logan Avenue, S.W.
Cullman, Alabama 35055
Department Phone: (256) 734-1030
Fax: (256) 737-9646
Dale County Health Department532 W. Roy Parker Road
Ozark, Alabama 36360
Department Phone: (334) 774-5146
Fax: (334) 774-2333
Dallas County Health Department100 Samuel O. Moseley Drive
Selma, Alabama 36701
Department Phone: (334) 874-2550
Fax: (334) 875-7960
DeKalb County Health Department2401 Calvin Drive, Southwest
Fort Payne, Alabama 35967
Department Phone: (256) 845-1931
Fax: (256) 845-2967
Elmore County Health Department6501 U.S. Highway 231
Wetumpka, Alabama 36092
Department Phone: (334) 567-1186
Fax: (334) 567-1186
Escambia County Health Department8600 Highway 31 North
Atmore, Alabama 36502
Department Phone: (251) 368-9188
Fax: (251) 368-9189
Etowah County Health Department709 East Broad Street
Gadsden, Alabama 35903
Department Phone: (256) 547-6311
Fax: (256) 549-1579
Fayette Health Department215 1st Avenue NW
Fayette, Alabama 35555
Department Phone: (205) 932-5260
Fax: (205) 932-3532
Franklin County Health DepartmentFranklin County Health Department
801 Highway 48
Russellville, Alabama 35654
Mailing Address
Franklin County Health Department
P.O. Box 100
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Department Phone: (256) 332-2700
Fax: (256) 332-1563
Geneva County Health Department300 County Road 41
Hartford, Alabama 36344
Department Phone: (334) 684-2256
Fax: (334) 684-3970
Greene County Health Department412 Morrow Avenue
Eutaw, Alabama 35462-1109
Department Phone: (205) 372-9361
Fax: (205) 372-9283
Hale County Health Department670 Hall Street
Greensboro, Alabama 36744
Department Phone: (334) 624-3018
Fax: (334) 624-4721
Henry County Health DepartmentP.O. Box 86
505 Kirkland Street
Abbeville, Alabama 36310
Department Phone: (334) 585-2660
Fax: (334) 585-3036
Houston County Health Department1781 East Cottonwood Road
Dothan, Alabama 36301
(334) 678-2800
(334) 678-2817
Jackson County Health Department204 Liberty Lane
Scottsboro, Alabama 35769-4133
Department Phone: (256) 259-4161
Fax: (256) 259-1330
Jefferson County Health Department1400 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35233
Department Phone: (205) 933-9110
Lamar County Health Department300 Springfield Road
Vernon, Alabama 35592
Department Phone: (205) 695-9195
Fax: (205) 695-9214
Lauderdale County Health Department4112 Chisholm Road
Florence, Alabama 35630
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 3569
Florence, Alabama 35630
Department Phone: (256) 764-7453
Fax: (256) 764-4185
Lawrence County Health Department13299 Alabama Highway 157
Moulton, Alabama 35650
Mailing address:
13299 Alabama Highway 157
Moulton, Alabama 35650
Department Phone: (256) 974-1141
Fax: (256) 974-5587
Lee County Health Department1801 Corporate Drive
Opelika, Alabama 36801
Department Phone: (334) 745-5765
Fax: (334) 745-9830
Limestone County Health Department20371 Clyde Mabry Drive
Athens, Alabama 35611
Department Phone: (256) 232-3200
Fax: (256) 232-6632
Lowndes County Health Department507 East Tuskeena Street
Hayneville, Alabama 36040
Department Phone: (334) 548-2564
Fax: (334) 548-2566
Macon County Health Department812 Hospital Road
Tuskegee, Alabama 36083
Department Phone: (334) 727-1800
Fax: (334) 727-7100
Madison County Health Department301 Max Luther Drive NW
Huntsville, Alabama 35811
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 17708
Huntsville, Alabama 35810
Department Phone: (256) 539-3711
Fax: (256) 536-2084
Marengo County Health Department303 Industrial Drive
Linden, Alabama 36748
Department Phone: (334) 295-4205
Fax: (334) 295-0124
Marion County Health Department2448 Military Street South
Hamilton, Alabama 35570
Department Phone: (205) 921-3118
Fax: (205) 921-7954
Marshall County Health Department150 Judy Smith Drive
Guntersville, Alabama 35976
Main: (256) 582-3174
Fax: (256) 582-3548
Mobile County Health DepartmentMobile County Health Department
251 North Bayou St.
Mobile, Alabama 36603
Department Phone: (251) 690-8158
Monroe County Health Department416 Agriculture Drive
Monroeville, Alabama 36460
Department Phone: (251) 575-3108
Fax: (251) 575-7935
Montgomery County Health Department3060 Mobile Highway
Montgomery, Alabama 36108
Department Phone: (334) 293-6400
Fax: (334) 293-6410
Morgan County Health Department3821 Hwy. 31 South
Decatur, Alabama 35603
Department Phone: (256) 353-7021
Fax: (256) 353-7901
Perry County Health Department1748 South Washington St.
Marion, Alabama 36756
Department Phone: (334) 683-6153
Fax: (334) 683-4509
Pickens County Health Department80 William E. Hill Drive
Carrollton, Alabama 35447
Department Phone: (205) 367-8157
Fax: (205) 367-8376
Pike County Health Department900 South Franklin Drive
Troy, Alabama 36081
Department Phone: (334) 566-2860
Fax: (334) 566-8534
Randolph County Health Department320 Main Street
Roanoke, Alabama 36274
Department Phone: (334) 863-8981
Fax: (334) 863-8975
Russell County Health Department1850 Crawford Road
Phenix City, Alabama 36867
Department Phone: (334) 297-0251
Fax: (334) 291-5478
Shelby County Health Department2000 County Services Drive
P.O. Box 846
Pelham, Alabama 35124
Department Phone: (205) 664-2470
Fax: (205) 664-4148
St. Clair County Health Department1175 23rd Street North
Pell City, Alabama 35125
Department Phone: (205) 338-3357
Fax: (205) 338-4863
Sumter County Health Department1121 North Washington Street
Livingston, Alabama 35470
Department Phone: (205) 652-7972
Fax: (205) 652-4331
Talladega County Health DepartmentPhysical Address:
1004 South Street E
Talladega, Alabama 35160
Mailing Address:
Talladega Health Department
P.O. Box 455
Talladega, Alabama 35161
Department Phone: (256) 362-2593
Fax: (256) 362-0529
Tallapoosa County Health Department2078 Sportsplex Boulevard
Alexander City, Alabama 35010
Department Phone: (256) 329-0531
Fax: (256) 329-1798
Tuscaloosa County Health Department2350 Hargrove Road East
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405
Department Phone: (205) 562-6900
Fax: (205) 562-6903
Walker County Health Department705 20th Avenue East
Jasper, Alabama 35501
Department Phone: (205) 221-9775
Fax: (205) 221-8810
Washington County Health Department14900 St. Stephens Avenue
Chatom, Alabama 36518
Department Phone: (251) 847-2245
Fax: (251) 847-3480
Wilcox County Health Department107 Union Street
Camden, Alabama 36726
Department Phone: (334) 682-4515
Fax: (334) 682-4796
Winston County Health Departm110 Legion Road
Double Springs, Alabama 35553
Mailing Address:
110 Legion Road
Double Springs, Alabama 35553
Department Phone: (205) 489-2101
Fax: (205) 489-2634

be conducted using the decedent's last known city or county if specifics of their address are unclear.

How to Find Death Records for Free in Alabama

The Alabama Public Health Department does not provide death certificates for free. However, the general public can look up related information like Alabama obituaries, dates of death, and death indexes from third-party sources. This free information is often for old death certificates already open to the public. Other sources like newspapers, census, or church records may also provide related information on death records.

How to Obtain Death Records in Alabama

Death certificates in Alabama are obtainable at the Vital Records Office of the Alabama Public Health Department. Alternatively, death records are available at the local health department in each county or city in Alabama. Generally, a requester must provide the deceased’s personal information to facilitate the search for the deceased’s death record. A requester must also provide a valid means of identification before the record custodian can process the request. The two methods for obtaining Alabama death certificates are:

Mail Request

You can obtain a death record via mail by sending a completed mail-in application form together with the appropriate fee and valid state-issued ID to:

Alabama Vital Records
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625

In addition to the deceased person's personal information, including your daytime phone number and mailing address, where you will receive the death record.

In-Person Request

In Alabama, County Health Departments across the state provide in-person request services for Alabama death records. You can locate the county in Alabama where the death occurred to request a copy of the death certificate. However, these agencies do not maintain other United States death records.

Note that any qualified applicants can request Apostille and Exemplified copies of death records. Death certificates contain the State Registrar's signature and a signed certification from the Alabama Secretary of State. Apostille copies of death records are required for countries that are part of the Hague Convention. In contrast, exemplified copies are necessary for countries not part of the Hague Convention.

Keep in mind that qualified applicants must be relatives of the deceased persons. Also, County Health Departments in Alabama do not provide copies of apostille and exemplified death certificates. Requesters can obtain copies by visiting the following:

Alabama Center for Health Statistics
RSA Tower Building
201 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

A mail request can be sent to the Alabama Vital Records Department using the mail-in application form. While filling out the application form, indicate the type (apostille or exemplified) of the death certificate requested and the country where it is needed. This should be done under the “Reason for Request” section on the form. Persons wishing to make phone requests can do so by calling (334) 206-5418 to order copies of the apostille or exemplified records.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Alabama?

Death certificates in Alabama are not open to the public until 25 years from the death date. The Alabama Vital Records Office only accepts requests for death certificates less than 25 years from the decedent's direct relatives and persons with immediate and tangible interests, including:

  • The decedent's birth parents
  • Husband or wife
  • Son or daughter
  • Sister or brother
  • Grandchild
  • Legal representative

Are Death Certificates Public in Alabama?

Yes, Alabama death certificates are public. However, there are some restrictions. Alabama death certificates are state vital records with 25 years of restricted access from the date of death. However, requesters can obtain certificates after 25 years upon payment of processing fees.

To carry out a restricted Alabama death certificate search, requesters must submit their legal identification and information to confirm their relationship with the deceased.

The fee for processing a public death search and obtaining a death certificate is $15.00. This covers a certified copy of the death certificate or a ‘failure to find certificate’. All additional death record searches and issuance of certificates will attract an additional fee of $6.00, which are all payable to the Alabama State Board of Health.

The following information will be required for a proper death record search:

  • The full name of the deceased
  • Country or city of death
  • Date of death
  • Gender
  • The decedent’s social security number
  • Age at death or date of birth
  • Their race or ethnicity
  • The decedent’s spouse (If any)
  • Birth parents (If any)
  • Name of requester
  • Signature of requester
  • Requester’s relationship to the deceased
  • Address for receipt of the certificate
  • Phone number

Alabama death certificates can be received by mail or through the state county health department.

How Much Does a Death Certificate Cost in Alabama?

The search fee for an Alabama death certificate is $15, while an extra copy requested at the same time costs $6. Since the payment is non-refundable, the Vital Records Office will either send a certified copy of the requested death certificate or a “Certificate of Failure to Find”. Expedited requests will attract additional costs.

The fee for an exemplified or apostille death certificate is $25. Each extra copy of the death certificate, which does not include a certification from the Secretary of State, is $6. Requesters can make payments to the State Board of Health with checks or money orders. Credit card payments are accepted for phone requests.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Death Certificate in Alabama?

Generally, requests for Alabama death certificates made via mail are processed between seven to ten days. Requesters can make expedited requests by calling (334) 206-5418. In-person requests are processed on the same day within 30 minutes or less.

Death Certificate and Other Death Records: Understanding the Difference

In Alabama, the difference between death certificates and other death records is that a death certificate is legal proof of death issued to a deceased’s spouse or close relative. The medical personnel in charge issues this document containing:

  • The cause of death
  • The time of death

The medical personnel may also include other crucial details about the decedent's death.

A death record is a document containing information about a person's death. This record is used by the government for health statistics, public health records, and even to stop the decedent's pension. One can find public death records easily by conducting a death record search on the appropriate platform.

How Long to Keep Records After Death

Relatives of decedents usually need vital records like marriage certificates, tax return documents, birth certificates, and death certificates for claiming the decedent's estates. As such, it is crucial to keep such records permanently. However, if any of these records go missing, relatives of the deceased may locate the appropriate record custodian to request it. For instance, vital records like marriage, divorce, birth, and death certificates are maintained by the Vital Records Office of the Alabama Public Health Department.

How to Expunge Death Records in Alabama?

There is no provision for the expungement of death records in Alabama law. Rather, the expungement law in Alabama allows only persons convicted of misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses to erase their criminal records. Individuals who have successfully expunged their records may refrain from discussing details of their past convictions.

How to Seal Death Records in Alabama

In Alabama, death records cannot be sealed; only criminal record information like arrest reports, misdemeanor convictions, and selected vital record information can be sealed by the record holder to restrict them from public view. These sealed records are only available to the record holder and approved law enforcement agencies in Alabama. A death certificate in Alabama is automatically restricted by law for the first 25 years from the time of death. The restricted death records are available to only the deceased person's relative and legal representative for the first 25 years.

How to Unseal Death Records in Alabama

Relatives of decedents cannot unseal death records in Alabama as no laws support such an action. However, a death record automatically becomes publicly available after 25 years from the death date.

How to Use the Alabama Death Registry

The Alabama Department of Public Health provides an easy-to-access death registry for all public requesters. However, the death registry is not maintained independently. Rather, the death information held by the department is maintained alongside other vital records and can be accessed through the vital records service.

The information typically required to search for death information on a death registry includes the decedent's name, date of death, county, and last known address.

How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person in Alabama

An Alabama obituary search can be done by querying local publications in the judicial district where the deceased was resident. Some publications maintain an online database or index of publications. To proceed with Alabama obituary search using these databases, input the full name, the date of death, and the location of death into the database and the results will be generated. Where online options are not available, the requestor may query the local library or national center for vital statistics.

Likewise, public requesters seeking to obtain the obituary information of a specific person can do so online by sending a mail-in request to the Office of Vital Records in Alabama or the public health department.

Alternative to local publications and the National Center for Health and Vital Statistics, death information or obituary records can be obtained through a third-party aggregate site or online vendor. However, these sources do not issue certified copies of vital records.

What is Considered a Death Notice in Alabama?

Alabama death notices are public notices published in dedicated columns of local newspapers by family members or close relatives of a deceased person to officially inform the public of their death. The publication usually covers details such as the decedent's surviving family and details of the funeral.

A key difference between death notices and obituaries is that while a death notice is usually brief, obituaries are detailed and lengthy. However, death notices and obituaries are both public announcements of people's deaths posted in newspapers and other publications. Summarily, while a death notice tends to be a shorter version of a death announcement, an obituary is typically a long-form publication containing the decedent’s biographical information and is usually published by the newspaper's staff as editorial content.