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Canadian Death Certificate FAQ

When someone dies in Canada, the death must be registered with the vital statistics office in the province where the death occurred. A death certificate is then issued to the next of kin. For more information you must consult the registrars in the relevant province. A list of registrars in each province can be found at the Service Canada website.

Who issues death certificates in Canada?

Death certificates can only be issued by the provincial government. They are not issued or recorded federally, as they are in many other countries.

How do I obtain a Canadian death certificate?

You must apply to the province or territory where the death occurred.

Where can I find the relevant provincial authority to issue my birth certificate?

You should visit the Service Canada website. Here you will find links to each provincial agency responsible for issuing death certificates in Canada.

Can anyone obtain a death certificate?

Who can apply for a death certificate varies from province to province. Usually the next of kin must apply for a recent death. You need to check with the Vital Statistics registrar in the province where the death occurred.

Do Canadian death certificates list the cause of death?

No. If you need a certificate listing the cause of death you should apply for a Certified Copy of the Death Registration or Medical Certificate of Death from the province or the municipality, depending on the area.

What does a death certificate contain?

A Canadian death certificate contains the deceased person’s full name, gender, date of death, place of death, place of birth, marital status, residence, registration number, and date of registration.

Why do I need to apply for my deceased husband’s death certificate?

Without his death certificate, you cannot legally remarry, arrange to dispose of his remains, file for benefits, or access his financial accounts.

How do you register a death?

Following the death, you must call a doctor or coroner. He / she will fill out a Medical Certificate of Death and give it to the funeral director. The funeral director and a family member must then complete the Statement of Death form. The funeral director will then submit both the Medical Certificate of Death and the Statement of Death form to the local municipality’s clerk’s office so that the death can be registered.

How long does it take for a death to be legally registered?

It takes about 3 months for a death to be registered according to the Office of the Registrar General. You can apply for the death certificate once you receive notice that the death has been registered.

Is there any way to get a death certificate urgently?

If you need a death certificate earlier than the standard three months wait, you must apply for an Early Registration of Death. You can only apply for this process if you have a valid, urgent reason. You must submit proof of urgency.

What counts as a valid reason for an early registration of death?

The validity of your reason for an early death registration is left up to each Registrar General. If you can prove that because of the person’s death there is an urgent reason to settle an estate claim, this has been seen as a valid reason to qualify for an early registration of death. Also if someone needs to claim a will from a deceased relative, as long as there is sufficient proof of this need, then this has been valid before for an early registration of death.


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