To Order A New Mexico Death Record/Certificate

A Brief Background

In 1917 New Mexico was the only state without a State Health Department, and thus without a vital records/health statistics component. The Spanish influenza epidemic which hit New Mexico in 1918, and World War I combined to make the need for such apparent. For example, without a centralized, public health related compilation of death information, it was impossible to evaluate the influenza emergency. Thus in 1919* a State board of Health was created, and the first unit created was that of Vital Records and Health Statistics, which would govern the reporting of births and deaths and the disposal, disinterment and transportation of the dead. The unit has been in continuous operation since that time.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the administrative uses of vital records increased substantially, with proof of identification and/or age being required for all manner of socio-economic circumstances, from playing Little League to eligibility for benefits such as Social Security, obtaining a passport, gaining employment, inheriting insurances and property, closing credit accounts, and many more. As these administrative purposes have increased, so have fraudulent uses of these documents, resulting in a fraud unit within Vital Records. The demand has also given rise to more issuing offices, credit card and fax services to meet customer demand.

As the premier health data base in the US, demand for health data also has increased from publication of statewide statistics on an annual basis to web-based, much more frequently up-dated, local, state and national health data. New Mexico Health Statistics publishes numerous analyses of the data collected both in hard copy and in digital format. New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics receives its data from hospitals, midwives, funeral directors, the Office of the Medical Investigator, tribes and pueblos and individuals. New Mexico data is also shared with the National Center for Health Statistics--one of the Centers for Disease Control--in order that national statistics on topics such as causes of death, teen pregnancy, abortions, births to single parents, etc can be used to assess the health of the US.

* Birth and death records prior to 1919 were collected by a variety of institutions which were not health-related, including counties and churches. For the most part these records are not available from New Mexico Vital Records and Health Statistics.

New Mexico birth and death certificates are restricted access records.

New Mexico Vital Records are restricted-access records and are only issued to immediate family members or individuals that demonstrate tangible legal interest.

Ordering Certified DC from NM Vital Records

Send a letter with following information:
* The decedent’s name.
* Date of death.
* City of death. Include county if known.
* The name of the mortuary in charge of final arrangements.
* Requestor's relationship to the person on the death certificate.
* The purpose you are requesting the death certificate.
* Your name and signature.
* Your mailing address.
* The fee for a death certificate is $ 5.00 per certified copy.
* Make your certified check or money order payable to "New Mexico Vital Records".
* Do not send cash.
* Mail your letter along with the correct fee to:

New Mexico Vital Records
Post Office Box 26110
Santa Fé, NM 87502-0110

Please allow 4 weeks for processing.

Obtain a New Mexico Death Certificate In Person

Over the Counter Service for requesting death certificates in the Santa Fé State Office is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Counter hours are subject to change during Holidays or other infrequent closings. The Santa Fé State Office is located at 1105 South Saint Francis Drive. The office is located on Saint Francis Drive between Córdova Road and Alta Vista Street. Most searches for vital records are processed within a 15 to 30 minute time period. A person making a counter service request, must complete an application that is available at the office and must present a current government issued picture identification. The fee for obtaining a death certificate is $ 5.00 per certificate.