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Vital Statistics Agency. “FACTS AND FICTION OF ONLINE DEATH REGISTRATION”. Vital Statistic: The death rate in British Columbia is one per person!!!. Vital Statistics Registers approximately 31,808 deaths a year

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vital statistics agency

Vital Statistics Agency


vital statistic the death rate in british columbia is one per person
Vital Statistic: The death rate in British Columbia is one per person!!!
  • Vital Statistics Registers approximately 31,808 deaths a year
  • Registration service is provided by 122 Funeral Homes and 675 Vital Statistics Registrars
  • All Funeral Homes are currently using the Electric Death Registration Program
  • Vital Statistics Act Sections 17 to 24, 29, 30, and 40.1 govern death registration and issuing death certificates
deceased s identity



deceased s identity1
Deceased’s Identity
  • Why is it a requirement to view the deceased’s identification?
      • Obtain correct spelling of deceased’s name
      • Date of birth
      • Place of birth
  • What is acceptable?
    • Primary Identification:
      • Birth Certificate if born in Canada
      • Canadian Citizenship card
      • Permanent Resident card
      • Landed Immigrant documents
deceased s identity2
Deceased’s Identity
  • What is acceptable?
    • Other Acceptable Identification:
      • Canadian driver’s licence
      • Canadian Passport
      • Provincial identification card, BC ID, Medical Card
      • Combination of other identification if not born in Canada, Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant
death registration data quality1
Death Registration Data Quality
  • Data on the Death Registration must always be checked against the Medical Certificate of Death previous to registering the event
  • Refer any ‘unnatural’ cause of death listed on a Physician’s Medical Certificate of Death to the Coroner
  • Vital Statistics review of data quality indicates there are many small errors, that cause us all extra work
  • Common errors
  • Formal amendment verses administrative amendment process
death registration data quality2
Death Registration Data Quality
  • Common Errors:
    • Place of death on death registration does not match Medical Certificate of Death
    • Date of death on registration does not match Medical Certificate of Death.
    • Certification by Physicians missing or incomplete
death registration data quality3
Death Registration Data Quality
  • Amendments to Death Registrations:
    • Formal Amendment
      • Funeral Home determines an error has been made after the registration has been submitted electronically or manually to Vital Statistics
      • Within 10 days no amendment fee after 10 days $27 fee
      • Amendment request faxed to Vital Statistics Regional office for processing
      • Can take up to 5 business day to process
death registration data quality4
Death Registration Data Quality
  • Administrative amendment Vital Statistics
    • Generated based on discrepancies between the Medical Certificate of Death and death registration
    • Funeral Homes will receive letters asking for clarification of information
    • No fee to process these amendments
postal codes



postal codes1
Postal Codes
  • Yes!! The postal code must be entered even if the death occurred in a location that doesn’t have a postal code.
    • Postal code is based on place of death
    • Postal code used to capture statistical information by BC Health Region
death on aircraft or ship1
Death on Aircraft or Ship
  • Vital Statistics Act: Section 24
    • If the birth or death of a person occurs on an aircraft or ship whose first stop after the birth or death is in British Columbia, the chief executive officer may register the birth or death.
  • What does that really mean?
    • “Address” will always be the best estimate of location.

e.g.: Longitude and Latitude

    • “City” will always be the city of landing/docking
    • There must be a medical certificate of death completed by a BC physician or coroner(usually a coroner in these circumstances)
  • REMINDER: If you have a question or concern, please contact your Regional Office.
duplicate mcod s1
Duplicate MCOD’s
  • Have you ever wondered why Electronic Death Registration Program gives you a duplicate Medical Certificate of Death message?
    • Two common causes of this error message:
      • The death registration has already been entered into Electric Death Registration Program but is not completed
      • The hospital, doctor’s office or medical clinic have photocopied the Medical Certificate of Death not realizing the document control number is unique
  • Vital Statistics Act: Definitions
    • “Stillbirth” means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother after at least 20 weeks’ pregnancy, or after attaining a weight of at least 500 grams, of a product of conception in which, after the expulsion or extraction, there is no breathing, beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or unmistakable movement of voluntary muscle.


  • If the pregnancy was of at least 20 weeks duration it is a Stillbirth,


  • If the product of conception was at least 500 grams in weight it is a Stillbirth.
  • A stillbirth is simultaneously both a birth and a death event.
  • Medical particulars of the death are provided by the physician or coroner on the “Medical Certificate of Stillbirth” which is on the back of the parent registration form.
  • REMINDER: Funeral Service Providers cannot register stillbirths.
  • Every stillbirth must be registered and a burial permit issued before disposition of the remains may take place.
  • If a funeral service provider has been contracted by the parent(s) they must obtain the Registration of Stillbirth (with Medical Certificate of Stillbirth completed on reverse) and fax to their Agency regional office for registration.
  • Stillbirth events are registered by Agency regional offices and a Burial Permit issued and faxed to the funeral service provider.
  • REMINDER: Death certificates cannot be issued for Stillbirths.
unregisterable events
Unregisterable Events
  • A funeral service provider may be contracted by parents to handle the disposition of fetal remains(product of conception) resulting from extraction or expulsion that did not qualify as a stillbirth event.
  • Such an event is not registerable under the provisions of the Vital Statistics Act and no burial permit may be issued.
unregisterable events1
Unregisterable Events
  • Cemeteries and crematorium may require some documentation or assurance to allow disposition in the absence of a burial permit.
  • It will be necessary for the attending or family physician to document the medical criteria excluding the event from registration.
private dispositions1
Private Dispositions
  • Funeral Service Providers may be approached by families seeking information on how to proceed with private disposition.
  • Private disposition allows a person who is not acting in a business capacity to transfer the remains of a deceased to a cemetery or crematorium.
private dispositions2
Private Dispositions
  • All individuals should be referred to the Consumer Protection BC or local Service BC office who will advise them on how to obtain the required private transport permit and authorities.
  • In addition, they should be referred to your Vital Statistics Regional Office for direction on registering the death and obtaining a burial permit.
timeliness integrity1
Timeliness & Integrity
  • Death Registrations & Medical Certificates of Death to be forwarded daily
  • Registration number transposed onto Medical Certificate of Death
  • Registration & Medical Certificate of Death are “NOT” to be stapled together
  • Sorted by Registration Number in ascending order
  • Agency provides postage-paid envelopes
death certificates proof of death1
Death Certificates/Proof of Death
  • Can issue Death Certificates for death event previously registered by the funeral home
  • Death Certificates are the only legal proof of death
  • Funeral Directors are now allowed to “confirm” photocopies of original provincial death certificates for the sole purpose of CPP Death Benefits. Using the wording: “This photocopy is a true copy of the original document which has not been altered in any way.”
edrp help desk and vital statistics office regional support1
EDRP Help Desk and Vital Statistics Office Regional Support
  • Help Desk phone contact (250) 952-9090 or Toll Free: 1-888-212-1188 press 4
  • Regional Office Contacts