Obtaining a Death Certificate

What is a Death Certificate?

A Death Certificate is a legal document which declares that a person is officially deceased. It is useful in settling the deceased person’s affairs, such as transfer of property through inheritance and/or insurance matters.

 

Who Can Register a Death?

The occupier of the house in which the person died;

Adult(s) causing the body of the deceased to be buried or cremated;

Any adult, including the nearest relative, who was present at death;

 

When Should Deaths Be Registered?

Deaths deemed to have occurred from natural causes are to be registered within five days, however  the registration of sudden/violent deaths is dependent on the completion of several government processes and therefore has no time requirement.

 

What You Should Know?

Deaths are classified under two categories: sudden/violent and natural causes. Natural deaths are those where the deceased was being regularly attended to by a medical doctor (at least three months before death) and where the cause of death is not under reasonable doubt by the medical doctor.Sudden deaths are those for which the deceased was not under the care of a medical doctor and whose cause of death may be under suspicion of foul play. Violent deaths, as the name suggests are those that occurred under violent circumstances.

 

If a person dies of natural causes at home:

·         Report the death to the police

·         Visit the last doctor to examine the deceased (at least three months before the death.) The physician will complete and sign a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death

·         The Medical Certificate of the Cause of Deatshould then be taken to the Local District Registrar (LDR) where the death will be registered.

·         At the LDR the person responsible for the burial may then complete the application form for the death certificate, and pay a fee of $850.

·         The death certificate will be sent to the family member’s address within six weeks.

 

If a person dies of natural causes in a hospital:

·         After a death occurs in the hospital, the attending physician completes and signs a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death.

·         The Medical Certificate will be issued to a relative or the person responsible for the burial, and that person must take it to the LDR, where the death will be registered.

·         At the LDR the person responsible for the burial may then complete the application form for the death certificate, and pay a fee of $850.

·         The death certificate will be sent to the family members address within six weeks.

 

In the Case of Sudden or Violent Deaths:

·         An autopsy or post mortem will be required and will be ordered by a police officer.

·         After the post mortem is completed the police officer will issue the Burial Order to the person responsible for burial.

·         The police will then deliver the Post Mortem signed by the Pathologist or Medical Doctor to the Coroner’s Court.

·         The person responsible for burial may then request a Certificate of Coroner (Form D) from the Coroners Court, which is to be taken to the LDR and used to register the death.

·         At the LDR the person responsible for the burial may then complete the application form for the death certificate, and pay a fee of $850.

·         The death certificate will be sent to the family member’s address within six weeks

 

For further information please contact:

 

The Registrar General’s Department

Twickenham Park

St. Catherine

Tel: (876) 749-0550

Website: www.rgd.gov.jm

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