Vital Records Program Operations for Funeral Staff

minnesota department of health

Funeral Director and Funeral Staff colleagues:

Thank you for providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your efforts to continue to register deaths and provide families the support they need, especially with the evolving health situation. We want you to know that MDH and the Office of Vital Records (OVR) are here to support your work and assure that registration and certification activities continue. Vital records are essential and we are following the Governor’s orders and MDH’s plan.

OVR is open

  • Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C) is a priority IT system—MR&C is available and is fully operational.
  • MR&C and general support and service are available to you and all of our partners. Contact the OVR Help Desk at 651-201-5970 or
  • OVR is processing and fulfilling requests for vital records documents. We post our processing times on our MDH webpages. We give expedited requests priority.

Advice for staff who register deaths and order certificates

  • Log in to MR&C from anywhere. MR&C is a web-based system that is available 24/7 from any internet connection.
  • Know that the online verification system (OVS) for Social Security numbers updates every night. MR&C may not return a Social Security Number verification if you are entering data when the system updates. If this happens, be extra careful to check the social security number you entered for accuracy. No other action is required.
  • Email the completed fact of death worksheet PDF to the family so that they can verify the accuracy of data easily without having to meet in person. 
  • Allow more time for medical certifiers to enter cause of death information. Operations in clinics and health care facilities may be irregular which could affect death registration.
  • Wait to request death certificates. Allow extra time to make corrections and assure the accuracy of all data elements.
  • Check with your local vital records office before ordering death certificates. Most counties are providing services only by mail, email, phone, or online. Some offices are closed. Make sure that the office is fulfilling requests before you place your order.
  • Order death certificates from another county or from OVR if your local office is closed. If you order from OVR, use the MDH Death Certificate Application.
  • Have copies of certificates sent directly to the family by using the Add mail to option when ordering.

Please protect yourselves and stay healthy. Information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is on the Minnesota Department of Health website.