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File a Death Record

How to File a Death Record

Utah law allows families to care for their dead without the services of a licensed funeral director.   Families that do not retain a funeral director must file a death certificate and comply with state laws and rules regarding the disposition of human remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (4)(a)(b)

Filing a Death Record

A death certificate must be filed within five days of death and before final disposition of the deceased’s remains. (Utah Code 26-2-13 (1)(a).

A burial transit permit is required before removing remains from the place of death (hospital, nursing home, home, etc.)  R436-8-1(c).

If you are planning cremation or removal of remains from the State of Utah, a cremation permit and review by the Office of the Medical Examiner is required.

To begin the death record filing process, complete (but Do Not sign) the death record processing form. The form must be signed in the presence of a local health department staff member. The death record processing form must be returned to the vital records office in the local health department that serves the county where the death occurred. For assistance or questions regarding the filing of a death record, contact the local health department vital records office, or contact the state Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

Information to File as a Dispositioner

You will need to appear in person at the vital records office in the local health department for the county where the death occurred. Be prepared with the following information about the deceased:

  1. Full name of deceased
  2. Time of death
  3. Date of death
  4. Place of death
  5. Date of birth
  6. Place of birth
  7. Social Security number
  8. Did deceased serve in the US armed forces
  9. Marital status
  10. Spouse’s name (prior to first marriage)
  11. Occupation
  12. Residence address
  13. Names of parents –
    1. Parent or father’s name (prior to first marriage)
    2. Parent or mother’s name (prior to first marriage)
  1. Level of education completed
  2. Place of burial or disposition
  3. Name, address, and phone number of certifying physician

Certification of the cause of death must be obtained from the attending physician and in some cases, the Office of the Medical Examiner before the death record can be registered. Once you have obtained medical certification the death record will be filed, registered, and necessary permits will be issued.

Transportation of Remains

When transporting remains, the body must be encased in a container (such as a plastic bag) which ensures against seepage of fluid and the escape of odors. A transit permit must either be attached to the container or in the possession of the person transporting the body.  R436-8-2

Preservation of Remains

No human body may be held in any place or be in transit more than 24 hours after death and pending final disposition, unless either maintained at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, or embalmed by a licensed embalmer in a manner approved by the State Board of Embalming.  R436-8-3

Disposition of Remains

If you are considering non-cemetery burial, or scattering of ashes, check with city/county officials to see if there are any local ordinances regarding burial on non-cemetery property.

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