View Single Post
Old 06-10-2009, 04:07 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: With Candy Darling
Posts: 15,989
Originally Posted by Claire Beauchamp View Post
It could be that it's public in that anyone should be able to SEE it, but only certain people can obtain a COPY of it.
I think this is the most correct. I've been big into genealogy for the last few years, and this last year I've been ordering death certificates from a variety of States, each one with their own special rules and restrictions. I believe all States I've contacted allow you to view the certificate in person, but not to copy it unless you meet certain criteria which, of course, vary from State to State. On the "best side" is Missouri, which has a great online search and free download of most death certificates up to the 1950's or so.