RGD: Don't forget to register deaths
The Registrar General's Department (RGD), recognising the challenges family members often face in obtaining a certified copy of the death certificate after the burial for estate and insurance purposes, is encouraging persons to ensure the deaths of their loved ones are fully registered.
"It is important to register all deaths, including those which occur suddenly or by violent means, as only through registration can family members obtain a death certificate," the RGD said. "Deaths are required to be registered within five days after the death of the person. However, because of the lengthy process involved, violent and sudden deaths usually take a while longer."
When someone dies suddenly or by violent circumstances, the police must be notified. The police will then organise a date for the autopsy or post mortem to be conducted. An Order for Burial, along with the Form D (Certificate of Coroner), will then be issued by the police after the autopsy or post mortem is completed.
The Order for Burial, which is a three-part document labelled A to C, allows the family members to proceed with funeral arrangements.
"It is important to note that only an immediate family member or the person causing the body to be buried or cremated may register the death," said the RGD. "The individual registering the death will need to take to (any office of) the RGD the post-mortem examination report, Coroner's Certificate of Finding of Jury (Form E) or a Certificate of Coroner (Form D)."
The family member registering the death will be required to pay for a search, to determine whether or not the death has been previously registered (possibly by another family member). This is done to prevent double registration. If no record of the death is found, the RGD will then prepare an authority for registration, to be taken to the local district registrar in the district where the death occurred.
In completing the registration, the family member conducting the registration will supply information such as the residence, marital status and age of the deceased. Once this has been completed and the death registered, the death-entry number will be given and the family members may then go ahead and apply for the death certificate.
The RGD stressed that it should be noted that the Order for Burial is not proof of registration of death, nor a death certificate.
"Please obtain the relevant documents to register the death before applying for a death certificate."
RGD passes on knowledge
The Registrar General's Department (RGD) has embarked on a death registration promotional campaign themed 'Pass-On the Knowledge', geared towards sensitising the public on the death registration processes and the need for timely registration.
"With our Pass-On the Knowledge campaign, we hope to address all the misconceptions held by the public in respect of death registration and, ultimately, encourage customers to register the death of their loved ones in a timely manner," the RGD said.
"This campaign is unlike any other that we have launched in the past, particularly because of the scale of the campaign which also includes an online initiative. We are encouraging full participation and involvement by the public and will host a series of stakeholders' meetings in weeks to come."
Schedule for stakeholders' meetings
1. October 8, 2014 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.): National Housing Trust, New Kingston Branch, 4 Park Blvd, Kingston 5.
2. October 17, 2014 (12 p.m.-3 p.m.): Holy Trinity Church, West Gate, Montego Bay, St James.
In order to register a death, you need either:
A Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD),
Post-Mortem Examination Report
Coroner's Certificate of Finding of Jury (Form E) or
A Certificate of Coroner (Form D), depending on the circumstances surrounding the event.