Registering a death in Singapore

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When to register death

The law requires all deaths (regardless of citizenship) occurring in Singapore to be registered within 24 hours of occurrence.

Documents Required

  • Certificate of Cause of Death issued by doctors or Authorised Officers (i.e. Forensic Death Investigators) from the Ministry of Health
  • Deceased’s identification documents (e.g. IC and Passport) for cancellation
  • Informant’s identification documents (e.g. IC or Passport)

Fees

Free of charge.

Processing Time

  • 45 minutes at Neighbourhood Police Centres/Posts.
  • 30 minutes at Citizen Services Centre, ICA Building.

Procedure

To register a death:

  • The informant must produce the Certificate of Cause of Death and other supporting documents (e.g. the deceased’s NRIC, passport or citizenship certificate)
  • After documents produced are verified, the Registration Officer will print the Death Certificate
  • The informant must verify the particulars on the Death Certificate and sign the Death Certificate
  • The Death Certificate is issued.

After the Certificate of Cause of Death has been obtained, the family may engage a funeral director who will: (i) collect the body from the home/hospital mortuary, (ii) send the body for embalming (if required), and (iii) deliver the body to the location of the wake.

Depending on where the death occurred, the following section lists the steps to take to register a death.

Scenario A: If the death occurs in a hospital

When a death occurs, a doctor at the hospital can certify the cause of death if the cause of death is known AND the cause is natural. He will then fill up the CCOD and hand it to the ward nurse. The family can obtain the CCOD from the ward nurse by producing the identity card of the deceased.

If you are unable to contact a doctor, call the Police. The body will be sent to the Mortuary@HSA in a Police Hearse. The family will be told by the Police when to go down to the Mortuary@HSA (usually on the next day).

Scenario B: If the death occurs at home

Contact your family doctor who has been attending to the deceased. If you do not have a family doctor or if the family doctor is not available, contact any of the neighbourhood doctor who is willing to make a house call.

If you are unable to contact a doctor, call the Police. The body will be sent to the Mortuary@HSA in a Police Hearse. The family will be told by the Police when to go down to the Mortuary@HSA (usually on the next day).

Scenario C: If the death occurs overseas

If death had occurred overseas, it should be registered with the relevant foreign authorities where the death occurred.

Source: National Environment Agency (NEA).