Every death in the Northwest Territories must be registered with the Registrar General of Vital Statistics. Registration is necessary to establish the legality of the death. Without registration you cannot obtain a death certificate. When a death occurs:
The physician or coroner:
- completes the Medical Certificate of Death with respect to the deceased;
- forwards the Medical Certificate of Death to the funeral director who has taken charge of the body of the deceased for disposition.
The funeral director:
- completes the Registration of Death with the assistance of:
- the nearest relative of the deceased present at the death or in attendance at the last illness of the deceased;
- if there is no relative available as mentioned above, a relative of the deceased residing or being within the registration area;
- if no relative is available, a person 18 years of age or more, present at the death;
- by any other person having knowledge of the facts;
- the occupier of the house in which the death occurred;
- the coroner who has been notified of the death and has made an inquiry or held an inquest regarding the death;
- delivers the Registration of Death and Medical Certificate of Death to a district or sub-registrar (municipal clerk) for registration or sends directly to Vital Statistics.
The district or sub-registrar:
- registers the death by signing and dating the record;
- issues a burial permit to the funeral director;
- forwards the Registration of Death and Medical Certificate of Death to the Registrar General of Vital Statistics.
The Registrar General of Vital Statistics:
- checks and verifies the information - any missing or incorrect information is followed up with the appropriate parties (ie. funeral director, informant, physician, coroner);
- permanently files the Registration of Death and Medical Certificate of Death.