NTIS Products

Social Security Administration's Death Master File


The products advertised on this website contain the complete and official Social Security Administration (SSA) database extract, as well as updates to the full file of persons reported to SSA as being deceased. SSA authorizes the use of this database as an identity verification tool, but notes that the Death Master File (DMF) may contain inaccuracies. Thus, SSA cannot guarantee the accuracy of the DMF. Therefore, the absence of a particular person on this file is not proof that the individual is alive. Further, in rare instances it is possible for the records of a person who is not deceased to be included erroneously in the DMF.

Death Master File, Full File -- Now Available on DVD

The Death Master File is available through the official distributor of the Social Security Administration, NTIS. The file is used by leading government, financial, investigative, credit reporting organization, medical research and other industries to verify identity as well as to prevent fraud and comply with the USA Patriot Act. To assist in this effort, NTIS and SSA are working together to offer the SSA Death Master File more frequently, with fewer delays, and in different formats.

Now this essential data can be searched online, negating the need for small to medium sized organizations to maintain and update a large data file.

Prevent Identity Fraud

By methodically running financial, credit, payment and other applications against the Death Master File, the financial community, insurance companies, security firms and state and local governments are better able to identify and prevent identity fraud. The USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001), requires an effort to verify the identity of customers, including procedures to verify customer identity and maintaining records of information used to verify identity. A user may now access an online search application or maintain a raw data version of the file. The online service is updated weekly and the weekly and monthly updates are offered electronically via https, reducing handling and production time.

Verify Identity

The Death Master File in an online search application or as raw data on CD is also important for identification verification other than for preventing fraud. Medical researchers, hospitals, oncology programs all need to track former patients and study subjects. Investigative firms use the data to identify persons, or the death of persons, in the course of their investigations. Pension funds, insurance organizations, Federal, State and Local governments and others responsible for payments to recipients/retirees all need to know if they might be sending checks to deceased persons. Individuals may search for loved ones, or work toward growing their family trees. Professional and amateur genealogists can search for missing links.

Data File

The Death Master File (DMF) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) contains over 65 million records of deaths that have been reported to SSA. This file includes the following information on each decedent, if the data are available to the SSA: social security number, name, date of birth, date of death, state or country of residence (2/88 and prior), ZIP code of last residence, and ZIP code of lump sum payment. The SSA does not have a death record for all persons; therefore, SSA does not guarantee the veracity of the file. Thus, the absence of a particular person is not proof this person is alive.


Keeping Social Security Death Master Data Up-to-date
The Social Security Administration has mandated that subscribers to the Death Master File raw data keep the DMF information complete and up-to-date. If this is not done, inaccuracies are created in the DMF database that contribute to erroneous information about individual citizens.

File Specifications
View or download the DMF file specifications (in PDF format).[To download this file directly to your computer, press the link above while holding the SHIFT key for PC's, the Option key for Macs.]


Product Description NTIS Order Number Availability

6 versions

Click on the links to the left for ordering information.




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