How to obtain a Canadian Death Certificate

Facing the death of a loved one is difficult. We know that this is a very difficult time for you. However, we hope to help you by answering some of the questions you may have at this time.

A death certificate is a vital record issued by the provinces and territories. It contains the details of a death that took place in Canada.

There are 2 types of Death certificates:

1. Statement of Death

A statement of death  is an official record of a person’s death. It is the responsibility of a physician to draw up a death certificate. If it is not possible to have a doctor make a death certificate in a timely manner, but the death of the person is evident, the death certificate may be made by two police officers.

What other information can be found in a Statement of Death?

  • The name and sex of the deceased person;
  • The place, date and time of death
  • A code entered by the physician making the finding of the death
  • The date on which the death certificate was made, and the name, title, address and signature of the person making the certificate
  • The licence number of the physician making the report of death.

2. Declaration of Death

A declaration of death is a document written by the spouse of the deceased, a close relative or ally or, failing that, by any person able to identify the deceased.

What other data is contained in a Declaration of Death?

  • The name and sex of the deceased
  • The place and date of birth, marriage or civil union, if any
  • The place of registration of his or her birth
  • The place of his or her last residence;
  • The place, date and time of death as determined by the physician and recorded on the report
  • The date on which the declaration of death is made, and the name, capacity, address and signature of the person making the declaration
  • The time, place and manner of disposition of the body
  • The names of the deceased’s parents and spouse, if any

The declarant must complete and sign the declaration of death. The declaration of death is made with the cooperation of the funeral home, which then forwards it to the Registrar of Vital Statistics.

What is the first step after a death takes place?

First, you need to notify the CRA of the date of death as soon as possible. After that, you need to end various programs such as health insurance, auto insurance, retirement pensions, and social assistance.

What happens if a Canadian citizen dies abroad?

If a Canadian citizen dies abroad, contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate or the Emergency Operations Centre of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Consulate officials and funeral directors in Canada can assist with advice and repatriation of the body to Canada.

For more information, visit this link.

Applying for a Death Certificate

Who needs a Death Certificate?

A person may need someone else’s death certificate as proof for legal purposes, such as obtaining access to pension or social security benefits, claiming a life insurance, applying to Medicare benefits, settling estates, changing joint bank and credit card accounts, utilities, mortgages, vehicle titles and leases, getting married after the passing away of a previous partner, or even to arrange for a funeral.

The death certificate is also required by crematories and cemeteries before performing their services, which in some cases may be accompanied by a transportation permit allowing the movement or shipping of the body.

How can I get a Death Certificate

To obtain a copy of a death certificate, you must contact the Registrar of Vital Statistics and apply by mail, online or in person at their offices. You can obtain the “Request for Certificate” form at the locations listed on the Vital Statistics website.

Death certificates are normally processed within 15 days if you apply online, or it can take between 6 to 8 weeks if you apply in person or by mail.

Who can get a Death Certificate

Anyone can receive a death certificate; you do not need to be a family member.

What is the application procedure

The director handling the funeral arrangements can order death certificates for you from the provincial office of vital statistics.

If you wish to order directly, you will need to provide the government office with the following information:

  • First and last name of the person who died
  • Sex of the deceased
  • Date of death
  • Name of city or town where the death occurred
  • Names of the deceased’s parents
  • Name of the spouse or partner of the deceased (if applicable)

You can call the provincial office responsible for Vital Statistics to order the death certificate, or you can order them on-line through the provincial office’s website as mentionned above.

How much does a Death Certificate cost

The cost of a death certificate varies depending of the province or territory where it is ordered, but it has an average cost of $20.


Administrative Procedures in other countries:

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