Direct Cremate

Death Certificates vs Death Registrations
When you choose cremation you’ll need to get a death registration and a death certificate. Learn how death registration differs from a death certificate.
Death Certificates vs Death Registrations
Consultation with a couple

There’s a lot of documentation involved with death. Few people are familiar with everything that’s involved, which is one of the benefits of working with a reliable funeral home. Something that people often confuse are death registrations and death certificates. Many people think they’re interchangeable when in actuality they are typically two separate things.

This article provides a quick rundown of the differences between death certificates and death registrations as well as why both are needed.

Death Certificates Are More Widely Used

The first thing to note regarding death registrations and death certificates is that they aren’t the same everywhere. Each state handles death documentation differently. While death registration takes on various forms and procedures, most states use death certificates in a similar way. 

Death Registration Declares and Death Certification Documents

The primary purpose of a death registration is declaring the death happened. A physician or coroner formally declares the death, noting the time and date.The death certificate documents the key details surrounding the death and the deceased individual. It serves as proof that the death occurred for the purpose of managing personal and financial accounts. 

Death Registration Comes Before Death Certification

You can’t have a death certificate without death registration. The registration is needed in order to generate the death certificate. 

Death Registration is Needed for Cremation

In order to cremate, the death must be registered with the state first. You can then order death certificates after the cremation is complete. The medical examiner’s office will work with the funeral home to complete the death certificate.

Copies of Death Certificates Can Be Requested

A death registration isn’t documentation that can be requested, but a death certificate is. In most states, immediate family members are able to contact the Vital Statistics office and request a copy of the death certificate provided they can produce personal information about the deceased. Typically it takes about 10 days after the request to receive a death certificate.


Direct Cremate works directly with coroner and medical examiner offices to make sure the death registration and death certificate are completed correctly. Once the registration is in place we’ll perform the cremation and have the official death certificates sent to you as soon as they’re finalized. Call or text to learn more about how this aspect of cremation works.

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