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The long form death certificate contains cause and manner of death information and social security number of the decedent. You might need this certificate to close out bank accounts or claim benefits like life insurance policies.

The short form death certificate is for deaths that were registered starting electronically Jan. 1, 2018 to present. They don’t contain cause and manner of death information or social security number of the decedent. You can use this certificate for titles, real estate transactions, and probate cases.

Check with the agency or business to determine which type of certificate you will need before you purchase it.