COVID-19 response

We have made temporary changes to several acts and regulations that fall under the oversight of Service Alberta. Timelines or other obligations may have changed as a result of COVID-19.

For more information, read the Fact Sheet and Ministerial Order, which remains in effect until August 14.

Overview

All certificates are certified extracts of the original Registration of Death.

Altering and/or laminating Vital Statistics documents makes them invalid.

Historical records

The following must be applied for through the Provincial Archives of Alberta since they qualify as historical records (anyone may apply):

  • copies of Registrations of Death 50 years old and older (from the date of death)
  • copies of Medical Certificates of Death 50 years old and older (from the date of death)

Types of documents issued

There are 3 kinds of death documents you can order:

  • Death Certificate
  • Photocopy of a Registration of Death
  • Photocopy of a Medical Certificate of Death

Death Certificate

The death certificate includes:

  • full name of the deceased
  • age of the deceased at the time of death
  • date of death
  • place of death
  • sex of the deceased
  • marital status of the deceased at the time of death
  • usual place of residence of the deceased at time of death
  • registration number
  • registration date
  • date issued

Sample: Death Certificate (PDF, 167 KB)

Photocopy of a Registration of Death

This is a photocopy of the Registration of Death completed at the time of death.

A photocopy of a Registration of Death usually includes:

  • full name of the deceased
  • age of the deceased at the time of death
  • date of death
  • place of death
  • sex of the deceased
  • marital status of the deceased at the time of death
  • usual place of residence of the deceased at the time of death
  • registration number
  • registration date
  • disposition information (such as burial, cremation)

A photocopy is generally used for genealogical purposes.

Photocopy of a Medical Certificate of Death

This is a photocopy of the medical form completed at the time of death by either an attending physician or a medical examiner (as is applicable). This document contains the medical information related to the medical cause of death.

A photocopy of a Medical Certificate of Death usually includes:

  • full name of the deceased
  • age of the deceased at the time of death
  • date of death
  • place of death
  • sex of the deceased
  • medical cause of death
  • name of attending physician or medical examiner who completed the Medical Certificate of Death
  • registration number

Eligibility

The following eligibility requirements apply to:

  • copies of Registrations of Death that are not yet 50 years old
  • copies of Medical Certificates of Death that are not yet 50 years old
  • death certificates, regardless of the date of death

Applicants for death certificates and certified copies of Registrations of Death

The following can order a death certificate and certified copy of a Registration of Death:

  1. an executor, personal representative or administrator for the deceased person’s estate
    • the applicant must be named in the will (or similar document)
    • a copy of the will (or similar document) must be attached to the application
  2. next-of-kin to the deceased person
    • proof of relationship must be attached to the application
  3. former spouse or former adult interdependent partner (a term that carries legal meaning similar to common law, but not the same) of the deceased
    • proof of relationship must be attached to the application
  4. a person who was, immediately before the deceased's death, a guardian of, or trustee for the deceased
    • the applicant must be named in the guardianship order or trusteeship document
    • a copy of the guardianship or trusteeship document must be attached to the application
  5. a relative of the deceased person when there are no living next-of-kin (described in (2) above)
    • proof of relationship must be attached to the application
  6. a funeral home representative who is making disposition arrangements for the deceased person (at the time of death)
    • proof of occupation must be attached to the application
  7. a person with an order from the court that states they are eligible
    • the order must be issued by a court in Alberta
    • the applicant must be authorized to make the application in the court order
    • the court order must have been issued within 1 year of the application
    • a copy of the order must be attached to the application
  8. a lawyer for a person in (1) to (5), (7), (9) to (11)
    • a copy of a valid Law Society card must be attached to the application (this is in addition to the legislated ID requirement)
    • a letter from the lawyer advising who their eligible client is must be attached to the application
  9. a person who was a joint tenant (per a Land Title) with the deceased immediately before the deceased’s death
    • a certified copy of the property title showing joint tenancy must be attached to the application
  10. a Public Trustee for the deceased
    • the applicant must be named in the trusteeship document
    • a copy of the trusteeship document must be attached to the application
  11. organization or company that has a particular interest in the deceased
    • a letter from the company explaining their interest is required

Designated Agent

When an eligible applicant does not have acceptable id to make the application for a death certificate and certified copy of a Registration of Death, a designated agent may be used by a person in (1) to (5), (9).

Applicants for certified copies of Medical Certificates of Death

The following can order a certified copy of a Medical Certificate of Death:

  1. next-of-kin to the deceased person
    • proof of relationship must be attached to the application
  2. an executor, personal representative or administrator for the deceased person’s estate
    • the applicant must be named in the will (or similar document)
    • a copy of the will (or similar document) must be attached to the application
  3. a person who was, immediately before the deceased's death, a guardian of, or trustee for the deceased
    • the applicant must be named in the guardianship order or trusteeship document
    • a copy of the guardianship or trusteeship document must be attached to the application
  4. a guardian or trustee for a person in (1)
    • the applicant must be named in the guardianship order or trusteeship document
    • a copy of the guardianship or trusteeship document must be attached to the application
    • proof of the next-of-kin relationship must be attached to the application
  5. a person with an order from the court that states they are eligible
    • the order must be issued by a court in Alberta
    • the applicant must be authorized to make the application in the court order
    • the court order must have been issued within 1 year of the application
    • a copy of the order must be attached to the application
  6. a lawyer for a person in (1) to (5)
    • a copy of a valid Law Society card must be attached to the application (this is in addition to the legislated ID requirement)
    • a letter from the lawyer advising who their eligible client is must be attached to the application

Designated Agent

When an eligible applicant does not have acceptable id to make the application for a certified copy of a Medical Certificate of Death, a designated agent may be used by a person (1) and (2).

Next-of-kin includes:

  • parent
  • sibling
  • children
  • spouse
  • adult interdependent partner

Next-of-kin does not include:

  • in-laws
  • grandparents
  • grandchildren
  • step relatives
  • children of the siblings

Persons who have adopted or who have placed their child for adoption are not “next-of-kin” to biological relations.

Historic records

After 50 years have passed (from a person's date of death), anyone may apply through the Provincial Archives of Alberta for:

  • copy of the person's Registration of Death
  • copy of the person's Medical Certificate of Death

Cost

There is a $20 government fee for each death document ordered.
Registry agents, Registry Connect and AMA have additional service fees that will vary.
For the cost of a historic record through the Provincial Archives, contact the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

How to apply

Ordering a death document from within Alberta

Step 1. Complete the application form

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Application for Death Documents (PDF, 291 KB)

Step 2. Drop off the application form

Take the completed application and your acceptable ID to a registry agent.

Applications sent directly to Vital Statistics will not be processed.

Ordering a death document from outside Alberta

Step 1. Complete the application form

Application for Death Documents (PDF, 283 KB)

Step 2. Complete the statutory declaration form

Take the Statutory Declaration for Proof of Identity form and your acceptable ID to a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths.

Complete the Statutory Declaration for Proof of Identity  (PDF, 40 KB) form in front of a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths.

Step 3. Mail the application and statutory declaration form

Mail the original completed Application for Death Documents Form and the original Statutory Declaration for Proof of Identity form to one of the following:

Photocopies and faxes are not accepted.

Applications sent directly to Vital Statistics will not be processed.

After you apply

Once you have submitted your application to Registry Connect or AMA, it will then be submitted to Vital Statistics. Documents are usually processed within 3 business days of Vital Statistics receiving them. If information is missing or there are any discrepancies in information, your application may be delayed.

Delivery options for death documents

  • By mail to the address provided on the application form – no extra charge.
  • To the registry agent office or AMA (as is applicable) if they offer call box service. Arrangements must be made with them – a service fee may apply.
  • To the Government call box in Edmonton or Calgary for emergencies only – no extra charge.

Documents cannot be picked up without acceptable ID. Documents will only be released to the person who applied for them. If someone is picking up your document on your behalf, you must provide them with a written letter of authorization and they must provide their own acceptable ID. If you have used a Designated Agent, they will also require a letter of authorization to pick up your document. There are no exceptions.

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Government Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

For the deaf or hard-of-hearing: TTY: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)

Email: vs@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
PO Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7