Death Certificates

Death records 50 years old and older are public records. All records less than 50 years old are only available, by request, to a close blood relative.

The death certificate is filed in Portsmouth if the following occurred:
  • The death occurred in Portsmouth
  • The decedent resided in Portsmouth and the death occurred in the state of Rhode Island
Applying for a Certificate
A close blood relative may apply in person. He or she will be required to complete a state-mandated form and present an official picture ID (such as a driver's license or military ID.)

Request by Mail
A certified death certificate may also be requested by mail. Information to include is the deceased's name and date of death. A photocopy of your picture ID (such as a driver's license or military ID) must be included with the request along with an explanation of how you are related to the deceased. For ease of use, access the death certificate request form.

Fees & Payments
A money order, payable to the Town of Portsmouth, must also be included. The fee is $20 for the initial copy and $15 for each additional copy of the same document requested at that time. A self-addressed, stamped envelope should also be included for a speedy response. A contact name and number is also suggested in the event additional information is needed or questions arise. Every attempt is made to respond to the request within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. Requests should be mailed to:
Town Clerk's Office
2200 E. Main Road
Portsmouth, RI 02871

State Law
Pursuant to Rhode Island State Law, one may only obtain a death certificate for one's parent, one's children, brother, sister, grandchild or grandparent. One must be able to prove relationship if the last names are different. A social worker or attorney may also obtain a death certificate for his / her client.