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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 5, 2018 10:36 AM
From: Representative David H. Zimmerman
To: All House members
Subject: Death Certificate Fees (Coroners)
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to exempt coroners from paying for death certificates when they have an unclaimed body.

In Pennsylvania, death cases are referred to a county coroner when the circumstances suggest that the death was sudden, violent or suspicious in nature, or was the result of other than natural causes. Coroners are tasked with making an immediate investigation and supplying necessary data, including the medical certification of death.

An issue was brought to my attention recently by county coroners regarding death certificates and unclaimed bodies, and the cost to coroners and state police. The remains of a body need to be put to rest and in order to do that, a death certificate is needed. As you know, anyone applying for a death certificate needs to pay a fee. The fee associated with death certification applications recently increased from $9 to $20 in November 2017.

In an effort to alleviate this burden on our coroners and state police, I am introducing legislation to amend the Vital Statistics Law of 1953 to exempt county coroners from being charged a fee for certified copies of records if requested in connection with their official duties regarding the interment of an unclaimed dead body.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2136