What you need to know

Death registration

In the event of a death, the attending physician or coroner completes the Medical Certificate of Death and gives it to the funeral director with the body of the deceased.

To register a death, an informant, usually a family member, and the funeral director must complete the Statement of Death with information about the deceased.

Once completed, the Medical Certificate of Death and the Statement of Death are submitted to the local municipal clerk’s office by the funeral director. It may take up to 12 weeks for a death to be registered in Ontario.

Cause of death information gathered from death registrations is used for medical and health research and for statistical purposes.

Death certificate

The funeral director will issue copies of proof of death that you can use in certain situations. There are some organizations, however, that may require an official death certificate from the Province of Ontario that can only be obtained by applying online, by mail or in person.

You may need a death certificate for:

  • settling an estate
  • insurance purposes
  • access to/termination of government services, for example, health card, pension, voters' list
  • genealogy searches

If applying online, the certified copy of death registration does not include medical cause of death.

A certified copy of death registration with cause of death information can only be obtained by applying by mail or in person. Download and complete the Request for Death Certificate application. If you require a certified copy of death registration with cause of death information urgently, please submit an urgent request.

You may need a certified copy of death registration with cause of death information for:

  • settling an estate outside the country
  • pension purposes outside the country
  • some insurance policies

If you are unsure if you need a death certificate or certified copy of death registration with or without cause of death information, please check with the Ministry, government agency, or person requesting the document before you order.

Order a death certificate online

To order a death certificate, or a certified copy of death registration you will need:

  • first and last name or single name of the person who died
  • sex of the person who died
  • date of birth of the person who died
  • date of death
  • name of city or town in which death took place
  • parental information about the person who died
  • spouse or partner information of the person who died, if applicable

Order a death certificate online

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Check the status of your death certificate application

Cost and delivery

Payment

Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard, Debit Mastercard and Interac® Online

Death certificate

Death certificateProcessing and deliveryCost
Regular service (online)

15 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

$15

Premium service (online)

5 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

$45
Emergency service (in person at 47 Sheppard Ave East, Toronto)

5 business days including delivery by courier (proof of urgency is required)

$45

Certified copy of death registration

Certified copy of death registrationProcessing and deliveryCost
Regular service (online)

15 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

$22

Premium service (online)

5 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

$52
Emergency service (in person at 47 Sheppard Ave East, Toronto)

5 business days including delivery by courier (proof of urgency is required)

$52

Certified copy of death registration with cause of death information

Certified copy of death registration with cause of death informationProcessing and deliveryCost
Regular service (online)

Not available

Not applicable

Premium service (online)

Not available

Not applicable
Emergency service (in person at 47 Sheppard Ave East, Toronto)

5 business days including delivery by courier (proof of urgency is required)

$52
Mailed applications6-8 weeks, document is mailed by Canada Post$22

Death search letter

Death search letterProcessing and deliveryCost
Regular service (online)

15 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

$15 for each 5-year period

Premium service (online)

5 business days plus delivery by Canada Post

No service guarantees apply

Not applicable
Mailed applications6-8 weeks, document is mailed by Canada Post$15 for each 5-year period

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged death certificate

To replace a lost, stolen or damaged death certificate you can use the online application to order a replacement death certificate.

Who can apply for a death certificate

There are no restrictions on who can apply for a death certificate and no restriction on the number of death certificates you can apply for and receive.

The deceased’s next of kin or their authorized representative may apply for a certified copy of death registration. Authorized representatives (for example, estate administrator, executor or administrator, or a person with legal guardianship acting on behalf of the deceased or an entitled individual) will be required to provide proof of authorization.

Next of kin are:

  • parents
  • spouse or common-law partner
  • children, and
  • siblings

If all the next of kin are deceased, extended next of kin or their authorized representative may apply.

Extended next of kin are:

  • aunts
  • uncles
  • first cousins
  • grandchildren
  • grandparents
  • nephews, and
  • nieces

Order a death search

You can request a search if you do not know the exact date of death.

A search will verify that the death has taken place and has been registered with the province of Ontario.

You will receive a letter in the mail giving you information that matches the criteria within the years you searched. If no information is found, you will still receive a letter stating that no information was found. Applicants can provide a range of years to be searched or a specific year. If a specific year is provided, a five-year search will be conducted – two years prior and two years after the year specified. Applicants may request searches for longer periods of time at an additional fee of $15 for every five-year interval searched.

To request a search, you can use the same online service as a death certificate application but you will select the search option and indicate how many years to search.

Older Events

Older events, such as deaths prior to 1991, marriages prior to 1991, and births prior to 1930 may not be in electronic format.

When applying for a death certificate prior to 1991, marriage certificate prior to 1991 or a birth certificate prior to 1930, it can take up to an extra 6 to 8 weeks for the registration to be converted into an electronic format before processing can be completed.

Registrations that are not available electronically are not included in the service guarantee.

Check your order status

The status of your online application becomes available 1 business day after you submit it.

To check the status online you need:

  • to indicate the type of certificate you requested (birth, death or marriage)
  • applicant’s name and telephone number
  • name of the subject (the person to be listed on the certificate)
  • date of the event, and
  • order / file number, if available

If you are unsure that your online application was successfully submitted, please contact ServiceOntario on the next business day.

Emergency service

The only ServiceOntario centre that accepts emergency services applications is located at:

47 Sheppard Avenue East, unit 417, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N1

For this, you will also need to bring:

Delivery

Certificates are delivered to you within 5 business days, if the event is registered.

Payment

Cash, money order, Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard, Debit Mastercard or Interac®

Note: personal cheque payments are no longer accepted at our retail locations for any vital events transactions, including regular, emergency and expedited services.

Apply in-person or by mail

Download and complete the Request for Death Certificate application.

In-person

In person at the following ServiceOntario centres:

Toronto
47 Sheppard Avenue East, unit 417, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N1
Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 1st Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1P 1J1

Mail

Completed applications can be mailed to:

ServiceOntario
189 Red River Road, PO Box 4600
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 6L8

Delivery

6 to 8 weeks

Payment

Cheque, money order, Visa, Mastercard

Note: personal cheque payments are no longer accepted at our retail locations for any vital events transactions, including regular, emergency and expedited services.

Proof of urgency

To qualify for an emergency or expedited death certificate or certified copy of death registration, the death must be registered in Ontario and you must provide proof of urgency along with your complete and correct form, documents and fee.

Proof of urgency may include:

  • Travel reservations including airline tickets, reservations or travel itinerary
  • Other situations, subject to review

To submit an urgent request for a death certificate, you can:

  1. Download and complete a Request for death certificate application 
  2. Complete and submit a Request for certificate services with payment (Download as PDF)
  • attach your completed Request for death certificate application to this request
  • attach your proof of urgency documents
  • attach your supporting documents (for example, court documents) if applicable
  • submit your payment

Note: Do not include credit card information in your application form. Once you have completed your form, you will be directed to a payment page where you can submit your payment information and complete your request. 

This service is only available for urgent requests.

If your request is not urgent, you may order a death certificate through the online certificate application or submit your application by mail.