Changing Death Certificates

We currently have a four (4) month processing turnaround time for certificate corrections mailed in.
  • If you submitted an application with a processing fee, the date your check or money order is cashed is the date we received your request, which helps you estimate the time left for processing.
  • We are working diligently to reduce the turnaround times. If your request has not been processed after four (4) months, please call us at (360) 236-4300. We appreciate your patience, thank you.

Effective January 1, 2023, the Center for Health Statistics Office adopted policy CHS-D9-2023 that describes the requirements for a complete application to change or correct a death and fetal-death certificate using the Affidavit for Correction form. The policy follows state law in chapter 70.58A RCW.

We can amend the record of a death or fetal death that happened in Washington State from 1907 to present. You must complete the amendment application and send it to us. Please follow the directions on this webpage to avoid processing delays or application denial.

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


For each application, you must submit the following:

  • A completed and signed Affidavit for Correction form
  • Copy of your government issued photo identification card
  • Proof of relationship, if required
  • Any required supporting proof documents
Death Certificate Corrections

Demographic section of a death certificate:

  • Items 1-33 or the section above the line
  • Lists information about the decedent, disposition of the remains, and funeral director.
  • Completed by the funeral home with help from the informant (the person(s) best qualified to provide details about the person who died).

Only the people listed below can request an amendment to the demographic section of a death or fetal death record.

Marital Status and Associated Spouse Information:

The State Registrar will only consider requests to change the marital status on the death record under the following circumstances:

  • The informant listed on the record requests to change marital status with an Affidavit for Correction form and at least one (1) proof document;
  • The alleged surviving spouse/partner provides a notarized affidavit signed by the informant and the alleged surviving spouse/partner stating that an error was made and stating the correct information, and a certification of the marriage/partnership or divorce record showing that the person to be listed as the surviving spouse/partner was married to/partnered or divorced with the decedent prior to death; or
  • The alleged surviving spouse/partner or their legal representative provides a certified court order from a probate court if a probate court made a determination on the martial status as part of the decedent’s estate.
Eligible Entity Requirements

Informant listed on the record

The person who provided the information for the report of death.
•    Affidavit for Correction form and at least one (1) proof document for any changes beyond administrative data entry errors. 
•    The informant listed on the record can sign an Affidavit for Correction form identifying a new informant without proof documentation. 

Qualified applicant (other than informant)

For death records this means decedent's spouse or registered domestic partner, parent, sibling or adult child or stepchild, or next of kin as specified in RCW 11.28.120.

For fetal death records this means parent, sibling, or grandparent.

•    Affidavit for Correction form and at least one (1) proof document. 
•    Must provide documentation to prove relationship status. 

Legal representative

A licensed attorney representing either the subject of the record or qualified applicant
•    Affidavit for Correction form and at least one (1) proof document. 
•    Must submit certified copy of court records, legal documentation, or letter of representation that authorizes them to act as the legal representative. 


Cause of Death and Injury Section Corrections

Only a certifier can request to amend the cause of death and injury sections of a death or fetal death record. A certifier is any of the following licensed practitioners who signed the death certificate:

  • Physician;
  • Osteopath;
  • Physician’s Assistant (PAC);
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP);
  • Midwife;
  • Local Health Officer;
  • Medical Examiner; OR
  • Coroner.

Our Facility and Practitioner Corrections Information webpage explains how a certifier may request an amendment to the death certificate.

Acceptable Proof Documents

Acceptable proof documents include:

  • Hospital/medical record
  • Full Numident Report (Social Security)
  • Social Security Abstract
  • Birth, marriage, or divorce record
  • Copy of passport or enhanced identity document
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent resident card (I-551)
  • Health or life insurance policy
  • Military record (DD-214)
  • Official school transcripts
  • Government agency records for establishment of benefits (such as social services or Medicaid

We do not accept a Driver’s License, Social Security Card, family bible, or hospital decorative birth certificate as proof documents.

Proof documents must:

  • Show the true facts that are being requested to be changed
  • Include full name and date of birth
  • Match exactly the correction requested on the Affidavit for Correction. Example, if you are requesting a correction from “Mary Doe” to “Mary Ann Doe”, the proof must show the name to be Mary Ann Doe. Proof cannot show “Mary A. Doe” or “M. Ann Doe”.
  • Be from independent sources, when more than one proof document is required
  • Have been established over five years ago (it could have been printed more recently) OR have been established within five years of birth, if correcting the child's information and child is under five.

Only documents listed below are exempt from the five-year rule and will be accepted from any period of time:

  • Passport
  • Permanent resident card (I-551)


You must use the Affidavit for Correction form.

The form is also printed on the back of every certificate. Print the most recent form if the revision date is before March 2020.

Ordering a new certificate or exchanging a certificate with your application

You can exchange or order a certificate when you change a vital record.

  • If you have a certified copy of a certificate issued less than one year ago, send in the certified copy of the certificate with your correction application. We will exchange the certificate at no charge. Include a copy of a photo identification and proof of relationship, if required.
  • To order a certified copy of a certificate, fill out the birth certificate order form and send it in with your correction application. Follow the instructions on the order form to avoid delays.
  • Certificate will be issued after the correction has been processed.

Submitting the Affidavit for Correction Application

You can submit your completed application to the Department of Health by mail or in-person.

1) By Mail

Center for Health Statistics
Attn: Amendments
P.O. Box 47814
Olympia, WA 98504-7814

2) In Person by appointment

Schedule An Appointment | Washington State Department of Health


Contact us at 360-236-4300 or