What Is Written on a Death Certificate?

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Death certificates are official records that include all personal information on a person who has died.

Death certificate information forms are standard, but details included on them vary according to the manner in which someone dies—murder versus cancer, for example.

1 Personal Information

This section of a death certificate includes name; date and place of birth; Social Security number; marital status; spouse and parent names; home address.

2 Place of Death

This area on the death certificate covers the location where a person died; method and place of "disposition" (such as burial or cremation); and the signature and license number of a funeral service official.

3 Cause of Death, Part 1

This section is where a doctor or medical examiner details the place and time of death as well as the cause of death, both "immediate" and "underlying."

4 Cause of Death, Part 2

This section includes a little more background detail. One box asks if tobacco contributed to the death. Other boxes focus on females and whether the deceased was pregnant, and the specific manner of death ("Natural," "Homicide," "Accident").

5 More Personal Details

The final section includes boxes covering a person's education, occupation and race.