Obtaining death certificates from Puerto Rico? #general

David W. Perle

Happy fall, all!

I'm having a bit of an ordeal trying to obtain the death certificate of my
great-grandfather who died while living in Puerto Rico in 1965. Basically,
they only provide to immediate family or to an "heir," and an heir needs a
legal "need" for it. I'm going through VitalChek (which I believe is the
only avenue) for ordering the copy, a VitalChek rep handling Puerto Rico
requests told me a couple of weeks ago that I count as an heir, but she was
apparently mistaken. I tried justifying my request that the family wants
the record not only for genealogical purposes but also in order obtain
important genetic family health information with regard to cause of death.
No dice.

I've been told more than once and I think more than twice that only mother,
father, spouse, child may order a copy otherwise. Obviously, most of that
is absurd for an adult great-grandchild in 2018 to be contacting them about
concerning someone who died in 1965.

Between Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, and New York, I have never heard of such
a thing where they tell you that you basically have no right to your
great-grandfather's death certificate >from 53 years ago.


David W. Perle
Washington, DC


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