Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad
When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, Consular Officers:
- Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased.
- Notify the next-of-kin.
- Provide information about the disposition of the remains and the personal effects of the deceased.
- Provide guidance on forwarding funds to cover costs.
- Serve as provisional conservator of the estate if there is no legal representative in the country.
- Prepare documents for the disposition of the remains in accordance with instructions from the next-of-kin or legal representative.
- Oversee the performance of the disposition of the remains and the distribution of the effects of the deceased.
- Send signed copies of the Consular Report of Death of an U.S. Citizen Abroad to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in settling estate matters in the United States.
What is a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad?
A Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad is:
- Issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate;
- An administrative document that provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the personal estate of the deceased U.S. citizen;
- Generally used in legal proceedings in the United States as proof of death;
- Based on the foreign death certificate, and cannot be completed until the foreign death certificate is issued (This can be up to four-to-six weeks, depending on the country).
What is a Foreign Death Certificate?
A Foreign Death Certificate Is:
- Issued by the local authority, often the registrar of deaths.
- Written in the local language and prepared according to local laws.
- In some instances, not accepted in the United States for insurance and estate purposes.
Obtaining Copies of the Report of Death
- A Consular Officer will send the family up to 20 certified copies at the time of death at no fee.
- Additional copies can be obtained by contacting:
Department of State
Passport Vital Records Section
44132 Mercure Cir.
PO Box 1213
Sterling, VA 20166-1213
Tel. (202) 485-8300
- You must submit a notarized written request to the above address, with the following information:
- Full name of the deceased;
- Date and place of death;
- A copy of requester's valid identification;
- Your return address and telephone number;
- Signature of requester; and
- Appropriate fees, payable to the "Department of State" by check or money order
- There is a $50 fee for each additional certified copy of a Report of Death.
- Overnight Delivery: Send your request to the above address using
overnight delivery for quicker service. To have your records returned to
you using overnight delivery, include the additional dollar amount to
cover overnight delivery with your request or a pre-paid envelope for
the delivery service provider of your choice.
To check the status of your Report of Death request, call (202) 485-8300.
Travel Alerts & Warnings
Learn About Your Destination
Sign your passport, and fill in the emergency information. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.