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How To Register Death Records

House Bill 2574 Goes into Effect adding Natural Organic Reduction as Option for New Disposition

Change: Effective July 1, 2022

What This Means: Natural Organic Reduction is being added as a type of disposition and the disposition type Dissolution is being renamed Alkaline Hydrolysis. These dispositions will be available in OVERS for decedents who have a date of death of June 21 or later but are only available for decedents who have a disposition date of July 1 or later. For more information, visit the House Bill 2574 Job Aid

Senate Bill 850 Goes into Effect

Change: Effective January 1, 2022

What This Means: Death records for individuals who were homeless at the time of death must list “Domicile Unknown” in the Street Name field on the Resident Address page in OVERS. This includes decedents who were houseless but receiving care at a hospital or other institution. For more information visit the Senate Bill 850 web page.

Information for FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program

Change: Effective April 12, 2021

What This Means: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19. For information about this program, please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program page.

OVERS Notification

Change: Effective January 6, 2020, a notification will be sent to funeral homes if manner of death is changed from 'Pending Investigation'.

What This Means: OVERS has new functionality to automatically notify a funeral director when the Manner of Death on the Other Factors page is changed from 'Pending Investigation' to a final Manner of Death. This type of change is completed by the medical examiner. The notification to the funeral director will be sent as an internal OVERS message and an external email.

Senate Bill 298

SB 298 Changed the Eligibility Requirements and 2-year Limitation for Funeral Directors Effective January 1, 2020

Senate Bill 298 changed the eligibility of customers who order certified copies of death records with cause of death information and the 2-year limitation on ordering for funeral directors.

Grandparents, grandchildren and siblings can order death records with cause or manner of death information. Documents showing proof of eligibility or relationship must still be provided.

The 2-year limitation has been eliminated.

The law applies to orders received after January 1, 2020.

As always, funeral directors may only give records to those persons eligible to receive one.

Place of Injury Functionality

Effective December 17, 2018 OVERS released a new Place of Injury functionality.

Change: When a Medical Examiner or medical certifier selects Home for Place of Injury, OVERS can now populate the decedent's residence address in the Location of Injury section with a simple check box. This means if the injury occurred in the decedent's residence, the address will no longer need to be entered manually on the Injury page.

Please see our Place of Injury: Auto Populate - Home Guide for step-by-step instructions.

ID Tag Number Edit

Effective September 10, 2018, OVERS released a new ID Tag Number Edit.

Change: Under Disposition Page of the decedent record, an ID Tag Number is now required to complete the death record. Please enter the ID Tag Number. The number is found on the metal discs for burial or cremation supplied to you by the Center for Health Statistics (Oregon Vital Records.) If the ID tag field is left blank, a red edit will appear upon validation, prompting you to enter the ID tag information.

Please see our ID_Tag_Red_Edit.pdfID Tag Number (pdf) for step-by-step instructions.

24-hour receipt of body card functionality

Effective May 1, 2018, OVERS released a new 24-Hour Notice functionality on the system.

Change: The paper 24-Hour Receipt of Body Card (45-106) has been converted to an electronic process in OVERS. This process is now for fully electronic and drop-to-paper records. The electronic card is called 24-Hour Notice. The 24-Hour Notice begins when the funeral home creates a new death record or assumes ownership of a death record. The 24-Hour Notice status is then assigned to the death record. This will be filled out by the County. Please remember for fully paper records, you will still need to fax or mail in the 24-Hour Receipt of Body card (45-106) to the county of death Vital Records Office. For electronic and drop-to-paper records, the county will receive an electronic notification automatically.

Our Quick Reference Guide for 24-Hour Notice Card provides step by step instructions:

Frequently asked questions about OVERS 24-hour card

Q: When do counties stop requesting hard copies of the 24-Hour Receipt of Body Card?

Effective May 1, 2018, OVERS released a new 24-Hour Notice functionality on the system. For fully electronic and drop-to-paper records, funeral homes will not need to send in hard copies of the 24-Hour Receipt of Body Card (45-106) as of May 1, 2018. This is for fully electronic and drop-to-paper records. If county vital records staff receive a hard copy, please shred in a secure manner.

Q: What if I entered the wrong county for the county of death question?

Once the correct county is entered into OVERS, the record will be updated automatically.

Q: If the Medical Examiner completes the personal information, does the 24-Hour Notice still get created?

No. Funeral home users will need to take ownership of the case, they will need to search for cases started by the Medical Examiner or another funeral home. In the OVERS search page, select the record and assume ownership by selecting Ok in the pop-up box. Step by step instructions can be found in the Quick Reference guide in the link above.

Sex designation functionality

We have released our new sex designation functionality in OVERS.

Change: Effective April 16, 2018, OVERS has new options for sex designation. The selections of Female, Male, Undetermined and Unknown are the same, but you will also see X. X, indicating nonbinary, has been added to include individuals who are not exclusively male or female. X will be an option in the sex drop-down on the birth and death search screens. You can leave this field blank if you are unsure of the sex of the individual when completing a search.

Updated instructions and worksheets are available below. Our Quick Reference Guide for sex designation on death records provides step-by-step guidance.

Frequently asked questions about sex designation in OVERS

Q: How do I tell family members about the new sex designation options?

Starting April 16, 2018, the sex designation on the death record includes the following categories:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Undetermined
  • Unknown
  • X

Unknown is used if sex cannot be determined after verification with medical records, inspection of the body, or other sources.

Undetermined is used in cases where the sex cannot be determined due to a medical condition.

X is a new sex designation on the death record. X, indicating nonbinary, has been added to include individuals whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female.

Informants can make the decision to have the sex be X on the death record. However, please remind the informant or family members that the sex designation on the death certificate should match the sex designation on other legal documents, especially the decedent’s birth record.

Many states no longer require individuals who are affirming their gender identity to go to court and prove they have sexual reassignment surgery to change their sex designation on legal documents. Individuals who have affirmed their gender identity may have legally changed their name and sex designation on legal documents through an administrative process.

It is important to respect the request of the informant, while at the same time letting the informant know if the name and sex designation on the death certificate do not match other legal documents there may be difficulty processing benefits and handling legal matters.

Q: What if the sex designation is different than Medical Examiner’s observation?

The Medical Examiner may notice the sex designation selected is different than the physical remains. The Medical examiner cannot change the sex designation. They should put a note in the comments section if they notice this difference.

Q: What if the sex designation does not match with Social Security Administration (SSA) Online Verification Service (OVS)?

We cannot submit a correction to SSA electronically. SSA’s system only accepts a record once. The family can take a certified copy of the amended death record to SSA to show the correct information.

For more information on OVS see our Social Security Administration Online verification Service help page.

SSA Online Verification Service availability

The Social Security Administration closes its Online Verification Service of social security numbers for a few hours every night, even though our OVERS death registration system is available 24/7. If you attempt to confirm a social security number outside of their hours of operation, you will likely receive a ‘SYSERR’ message.

Please see our OVS Frequently Asked Questions page for availability and more information.

Death record instructions, worksheets, and supplies




Registration assistance and correspondence