Apply for a Death Certificate
A Death Certificate is a legal record of a death that took place in Nova Scotia. The certificate may be used as proof of death. Vital Statistics needs to register a death before a Death Certificate can be issued.
Apply for a Death Certificate. A Death Certificate is a legal record of a death that took place in Nova Scotia.
Proof of death
A Death Certificate may be used as proof of death.
Some organizations need to see a Death Certificate issued by Vital Statistics before they can update their records. Many organizations may accept a Statement of Death issued by the funeral director.
Agencies and organizations sometimes require proof of death. You can get a Short Form Death Certificate or a Long Form Death Certificate. A short form includes decedent information. A long form includes decedent information and additional details about the decedent. It’s your responsibility to check with the agency or organization to confirm the certificate format you need.
Certificates that show X as a sex indicator may not be accepted by all agencies and organizations. It’s your responsibility to check with the agency or organization to confirm what information they accept.
Vital Statistics needs to register a death before a Death Certificate can be issued.
Anyone who has a valid reason for needing the Death Certificate can apply for a Short Form Death Certificate. You need to know sufficient details about the deceased person and the death to complete the application.
Only the deceased person’s next of kin, trustee, executor of an estate or authorized representative can apply for a Long Form Death Certificate. Applicants need to provide proof that they are the next of kin, trustee, executor of the estate or authorized representative.
Next of kin may include:
How to apply
- Apply online for the certificate.
- Include payment with your application.
- Submit your completed application and payment.
How long it takes
It should take 2 to 3 weeks to get the Death Certificate. It can take longer if more information is needed, your form hasn’t been filled in correctly or the death hasn’t yet been registered.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac? Online, debit card, cheque, money order, cash. A cheque or money order should be made payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.
Before you start
Make sure you:
- confirm that the death happened in Nova Scotia
- gather personal information like full name, date of death and place of death
When you apply online you need to pay the fee by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or Interac? Online.
You can use the Death Certificate Application Form (PDF 63 kB) if you’re unable to apply online. Send your completed application and payment by mail or fax. Or contact Vital Statistics to book an appointment.