I have sent a request to obtain copies of Salvatore’s (Sam’s) death certificate. He died in Maryland (even though he technically lived in West Virginia). As far as I know, death records are kept in the state where the deceased was pronounced dead, so if that happens to be in a different state than the residence, check the hospital’s location. This may not always hold true, since Ridgely, WV (Sam’s residence) is such a small town that practically all of it’s commerce and industry occurs in Cumberland, MD (my home town, also Sam’s death place).

Information about obtaining the certificates in Maryland can be found at the site of the Maryland Vital Statistics Administration. To sum it up, I had to fill out this PDF, photocopy my driver’s license, include return postage and I also chose to include a photocopy of the original death certificate I dug up to make their search go faster. Note: I’m still surprised that the certificate of death is held all the way in Baltimore, when the death that occurred in Western Maryland. They may have a digital document database or something, I advice others completing this process to be very careful that you don’t throw money away by requesting documents from the wrong county. Maryland will not refund searches, most states probably wouldn’t either. You may be able to call and ask them so check if the record exists.

I included a return envelope, again opting for a large size (folded in half) so that they can send the documents back without being bent. To send this large envelope, they say the postage is $1.05, but I found it simpler to attach the necessary regular stamps to be in excess of this amount, three $0.44 stamps ($1.32). This amount will be affixed to the return envelope also, so total postage for this step is the same as the marriage certificate, $2.64.

The document itself is expensive, $12.00 for 1 (I’m ordering a second, but again, in these posts I won’t be tracking the costs of duplicate documents since I’m helping my mother get citizenship also.) They ask for a personal check, they will refuse cash.

Total cost of this stage: $14.64

Total cost so far: $32.16