Tangible Interest

All Minnesota death records and most Minnesota birth records are public. However, Minnesota Statutes, section 144.225, subdivision 7 limits issuance of a birth or death certificate to a person who has tangible interest. Tangible interest helps protect people who are born in Minnesota and the families of people who have died in Minnesota against fraud and identity theft.

Even if you have tangible interest, you may not be able to get a certificate for a confidential record. Please see the Minnesota Department of Health's website for more information.

Identifying Tangible Interest

You have tangible interest in a certificate if you are:

  • The child, grandchild, spouse, parent, or grandparent of the subject
  • The legal custodian, guardian, or conservator of the subject
  • A licensed attorney
  • A person who can demonstrate that the certificate is needed for the determination or protection of a personal or property right
  • The person who filed the birth or death record or a representative of the organization that filed the birth or death record
  • A person who has a notarized authorization from one of the above individuals to get the certificate on his or her behalf  
  • A person with a court order directing release of the certificate
  • A personal representative of the subject’s estate
  • A representative of an adoption agency
  • A representative of a local, state, or federal governmental agency
  • A sibling of the subject (applies to death certificates only)
  • The subject of the record
  • A successor of the subject, if the subject is deceased
  • A trustee of a trust (applies to death certificates only)

Documentation may be required to support your claim of tangible interest.

Contact the Minnesota Department of Health

If you have questions about tangible interest, email Minnesota Department of Health.