Obtaining The Death Certificate of a Deceased Person
A death certificate is both a legal document prepared by a physician which states who died, or an authorized document prepared by a government department that declare the date, cause of death and who died, as entered in a public register of deaths. There are differences between a death certificate and a death record. A certificate is issued for life (or until another specified condition is reached), whereas a death record is usually temporary and applied for purposes of identification, probate and taxation. In Singapore, it has been customary for parents to include a copy of their child’s or parent’s death record with the birth announcements. Parents may also include copies of death certificates in the school records so that those who are not related to the deceased can have access to important information about their family.
Why A Death Certificate Is Needed
A death certificate does not carry much legal weight. It is essentially a confirmation that the death took place. However, if you need a copy of this document for any reason, it is advisable that you order a legal document rather than obtaining one from the hospital where your loved one may have died. The Internet is home to many websites that offer free death certificate services, but it is always best that you go through a legal service provider for these types of vital records.
When it comes to using a traditional funeral service for the purpose of producing a death certificate, it is important to note that the only authorized copy of this document that will be produced is the final copy. Copies of the original document that was produced prior to the death of the deceased person are no longer allowed. If you want to have additional copies of this document following the cremation of the deceased person, then you will need to arrange with the funeral home where you ordered the service to order the additional copies. A certified copy of the death certificate following the cremation can then be given to the next of kin following the service.
It is important to note that there are some instances where a death record containing a maiden name is requested by one or more surviving family members. In this instance, the surviving members of the family are allowed to obtain the original document from the local vital statistics office free of charge. Once they obtain the necessary documentation, they will be able to obtain the maiden name free of charge as long as they make the proper payment with the government.
Death Registration Documents Required
- Certificate of Cause of Death issued by doctors or Authorised Officers (i.e. Forensic Death Investigators) from the Ministry of Health
- Deceased’s identification documents (e.g. IC & Passport) for cancellation
- Informant’s identification documents (e.g. IC or Passport)
Free of charge.
- 45 minutes at Neighbourhood Police Centres/Posts.
- 30 minutes at Citizen Services Centre, ICA Building.
To register a death:
- The informant must produce the Certificate of Cause of Death and other supporting documents (e.g. the deceased’s NRIC, passport or citizenship certificate)
- After documents produced are verified, the Registration Officer will print the Death Certificate
- The informant must verify the particulars on the Death Certificate and sign the Death Certificate
- The Death Certificate is issued.
The Registry of Births & Deaths
3rd floor, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road S(208718)
Tel: 6391 6100
Working hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri) 8am – 1pm (Sat)
Mortuary@HSA operating hours:
Monday to Friday – 8:00am to 4:30pm
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays – 8:00am to 12:30pm
Coffin / Casket permit:
Port Health Office
4545 Jalan Bukit Merah
Tel: 6222 2585
Fax: 6222 8543
Airport Health Office
Singapore Changi Airport
Tel: 6543 2515
Fax: 6543 1973