Correcting Cause Of Death On Death Certificates

  • We can only correct certificates for deaths that happened in Washington State.

Ordering or correcting a death certificate for the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program

Cause of death section of a death certificate

  • Items 34-56 or the section below the line.
  • Lists information about the cause and manner of death.
  • Completed by the medical certifier.
    • “Medical certifier”: physician, osteopath, physician's assistant (PAC), advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), health officer, medical examiner, coroner, prosecuting attorney or chiropractor who signed the death certificate.

Detailed information on cause of death corrections

Only the three parties listed below can request a correction to the cause of death:

  • The original medical certifier who signed the cause of death section.
  • If the original medical certifier is no longer available (over one month), another medical certifier in the same office.
  • Rarely, the medical examiner or coroner in the county where the death occurred. Only, if the death required an investigation by the Medical Examiner or Coroner.

Note: If you don't agree with the cause of death listed, you must contact the medical certifier or the medical certifier's office.

For Physicians - Report Cause of Death

Our How to Report Cause of Death webpage provides physician responsibilities, preparation of death certificate guidelines, and forms for reporting Cause of Death.

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Helpful links

Proof documents
Correcting a death certificate
Correcting demographic information on a death certificate
Court ordered name change
Ordering certificates