Birth & Death Certificates

If you request the certificate in person, you will be asked to complete and sign an application stating that you have tangible interest in the certificate. You will be asked to show identification.

Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 7 restricts access to a certified birth or death certificate to a person who has a tangible interest in the requested certificate.

Tangible Interest
You have tangible interest in a certificate:
  • If you are the subject of the certificate;
  • If you are the child, grandchild, spouse, parent, grandparent, legal custodian, or guardian of the subject;
  • If you are a personal representative of the estate of the subject; or
  • If you are the person who filed or a representative of the organization that filed the birth or death information with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or a local registrar.
  • You may also be issued a certificate if a person who has tangible interest authorized you to receive the certificate or if you can demonstrate to the state registrar that the certificate is necessary for the determination or protection of a personal or property right.
A local, state, or federal governmental agency may be issued a certificate if it is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties.

Preventing Fraud
Tangible interest is a fraud protection measure. The prevalence of fraud is on the rise and most Minnesota birth and death records are public data. Tangible interest helps protect people who are born in Minnesota and the families of people who die in Minnesota by restricting access to the certificates that are used for most legal purposes such as school registration, applying for a passport or a social security number, or settling an estate.

Tangible interest does not change the classification of the data. Public data is still public. Access to private or confidential data is still restricted.

If you request the certificate by mail, you need to complete and sign an application form stating that you have tangible interest in the certificate, and need to have the application notarized before it is returned to the Treasurer's Office.