I've been working with death records a lot lately but the rules various jurisdictions set up can be really frustrating and nonsensical. They are just not set up to deal with genealogists. I'm telling you, without Joe Beine's always up-to-date death indexes site, I could not even find half the places that issue death certificates.
Some places have rules based on how long its been since the person died. In Texas, if they've been less than 75 years, they're not dead enough. Why does it matter how long the guy's been dead? He's dead.
In New York, to get someone's death certificate you need to provide "an original, notarized letter signed by that person authorizing release of their certificate to you."
Utah, bless them, puts the actual certificates on line. Now that's a state that knows genealogy!
California has always allowed anyone to order a death record. But as part of recent "statewide efforts to reduce identity theft," they now stamp it as Non-certified. Can someone please explain to me how someone would use a death certificate to steal someone's identity???