Death Certificate Information

It is necessary to file a legal form called a death certificate as soon as possible after a death occurs. A certified copy of the death certificate is often necessary to settle the financial affairs of the deceased.

The Anatomy Bequest Program can file death certificates with the Minnesota Department of Health Vital Statistics Section for donors who die in Minnesota. A donor’s family may hire a funeral home of their choice to provide this service instead. 

If the Anatomy Bequest Program is going to be filing the death certificate, a staff member will call you within 1-2 days of the donor’s death in order to collect demographical information for the generation of the death certificate. It is important that the information given to our staff member is accurate in order to prevent errors which can require an amendment to be filed.

Once the information is gathered the death certificate will be generated and sent to the donor’s doctor for certification of the donor’s cause and manner of death. Upon receipt of the death certificate back from the doctor, the Anatomy Bequest Program will file the death certificate with the Office of the State Registrar. 

Generally the entire death certificate process takes approximately three weeks. An Anatomy Bequest Program staff member will contact you when the certified death certificate is available to be purchased via the Minnesota Department of Health. Unfortunately, the Anatomy Bequest Program is unable to directly provide copies of the death certificate. 

There are two ways you can obtain a copy of the donor’s death certificate.

  1. Pick up at a county registrar’s office: Death certificates are available for a fee at any County Vital Records Office which offers death certificate service regardless of the county of death. This is a same day service and you can order as many copies as you need. For more information on applying for a death certificate copy, refer to the list of county websites below.  
  2. Mail, fax or email application: Death certificates are available for a fee by completing an application and sending it to the Minnesota Department of Health. Applications are available online or by calling the Anatomy Bequest Program at 612-625-1111. Please note: Applying for death certificates using the mail, fax, or email option requires a notary signature and may take an additional 6-8 weeks for processing. 


Medical School

Phone: 612-625-1111 Fax: 612-625-1688


Address: 3-102 Nils Hasselmo Hall, 312 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455