Our Vital Records Office provides information that funeral homes need in order to register deaths in Wake County.
Notification of Death
A notification of death form must be:
- Completed by the first person who assumes custody of a body (or fetus of 20 completed weeks gestation or more) and
- Faxed within 24 hours to 919-212-9348.
Be sure to indicate on the notification if it is a fetal death.
Reference: North Carolina General Statute §130A-112
When is a burial permit required?
A burial permit is required when a death occurs and the body is removed or transported outside of North Carolina. You must: (document icon) Complete a burial transit permit. (alert icon) Note – a notification of death form is required in order for a burial transit permit to be completed.
Who can issue a burial transit permit?
A burial transit permit can only be issued by:
- Local Registrar where the death occurred.
During regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.):
Wake County Vital Records
Wake County Human Services Vital Records
10 Sunnybrook Road Suite G-32
Raleigh, NC 27610
- Designated sub-registrar: after business hours
If a medical examiner completes the death certificate a copy of that certificate serves as a burial transit permit.
A sub-registrar must issue a burial permit to any funeral home if Wake County’s Vital Records office is closed and a notification of death has been completed.
Ask the funeral home to provide a copy of the notification of death for the decedent for whom the burial transit permit is being completed.
If a sub-registrar issues a burial transport permit, they must send a copy to Wake County’s Vital Records.
In North Carolina, a death certificate must be filed with the Local Registrar of the county in which the death occurred within 5 days of death.
A death certificate cannot be processed if the certificate:
- Is not prepared on the correct death certificate (call 919-250-3917 if you have questions),
- Has not been signed by the funeral director (box 21a),
- Is photocopied or defaced,
- Is incomplete,
- Is completed in pencil or ink that is not black or dark blue,
- Has any strike-throughs, white-out or write-overs in the "cause of death" section, and
- Has more than five changes anywhere on the death certificate.
The word “unknown” may only be used when the information is not actually known (by anyone).
To reduce errors and avoid corrections on death certificates, we recommend:
- Using a copy of the death certificate to obtain the information needed to complete the original death certificate,
- Having the family and funeral home staff review and correct all information on the copy of the death certificate, and
- Carefully copying the information onto the original death certificate.
Funeral Director’s Signature
Death certificates require a funeral director's signature. Please remember:
- Signatures appearing on the certificate must be personally signed by the responsible funeral director (box 21a).
- Signatures must be in black or dark blue ink. Other ink, pencil, rubber stamp or facsimile signatures are not acceptable.
- A funeral director may not give permission for anyone to sign their name on the death certificate. (The person who signs the certificate (box 21a) must be the funeral director whose license number appears on the certificate (box 21b).
For funeral homes that work on behalf of any other funeral home (inside or outside of North Carolina), please advise them that you may sign your own name on the certificate, but you may not sign their name on the certificate. If they want their name to appear on the certificate, you must send the original certificate to them, have them sign it and send it back to you (or directly to Wake County’s Vital Records if the certificate has been completed and is ready to be filed).
Reference: North Carolina General Statute §130A-115
Non-communicable Disease Letters
To ensure timely delivery of a Non-Communicable Disease Letter you must:
- Provide a notification of death,
- Provide a completed death certificate, and
- Request it at least 48 hours prior to when you need it.
Please make sure the name and date of death are accurate, as this is what will appear on the notarized Non-Communicable Disease Letter.
NOTE: You may also be able to obtain a Non-Communicable Disease Letter from the Office of Chief Medical Examiners (919-743-9000) for cases under their jurisdiction.