Are you on a search for pointers on just how to obtain a death certificate South Africa? If so, we have gathered the entire procedure for you here today. Everything from SA death register to how to get death records South Africa. This process has been simplified. Continue reading this article to find out what we have in this instructional guide.
If you need the death certificate copy South Africa but do not know how to get it, we are here to give you the necessary steps. We have broken it down into simple and easy ones. Read on to find out what the process is to obtain a death certificate South Africa 2020.
How to get a death certificate in South Africa
According to South African law under the Births and Deaths Registration Act, it is mandatory that in the event of a person’s passing, the occurrence is reported to any of the persons listed below:
- Specific persons working at the Department of Home Affairs;
- Where there is no easily accessible office or branch of the Department of Home Affairs, officers of the South African Police Service;
- Law-appointed and recognized undertakers of funerals;
- In the event of the deceased's passing occurring outside the country, report to the South African consulate, embassy or government-recognized mission run by South Africans.
Making this report is the first step in the process.
For this process of death notices South Africa, you will be issued with a BI 1663 form. The BI 1663 is also referred to as the notification of death/stillbirth form or the death notice form. From the title, one can deduce that it is also used to record stillborn children as they will also need to be buried. It should be filled in separate sections by the persons listed below:
- The person that is reporting the passing;
- An officer from Home Affairs. If one is completely unavailable, one can approach a member of the South Africa Police Service to fill in the same on their behalf. Luckily, there are many police stations accessible to a lot of people around the country;
- A practitioner of medicine. If one is completely unavailable, one may seek the services of a traditional leader to fill in the same on their behalf. They are recognized under the law in this regard, meaning that the process is simplified in rural areas.
Click here for the BI 1663 form download (PDF).
After the above process is complete, a death report will be provided. This particular form is Form BI 1680. The only ones with the power to issue this form are those who have the authority bestowed upon them by the Department of Home Affairs i.e. the above-listed persons (officers in the South Africa Police Service, traditional leaders, and funeral undertakers). On top of this, they are also endowed with the opportunity to issue burial orders (Form BI 14).
If the death occurred outside the country, there is a process for that as well. If the deceased was a citizen of South Africa or held the status/permit of a South African permanent resident, the report must be filed with the country’s embassy, consulate or mission.
The country in question also has to issue a death certificate. Of course, you will have to look up the jurisdiction's local procedure. A copy of the certificate, that has been certified, must then be produced to the embassy, consulate or mission. If the intention is to bring back the deceased and bury them in South Africa, the embassy, consulate or mission will assist in the travel arrangements e.g. the paperwork needed for transport.
When the death notice form (BI 1663) and death report form (BI 1680) have been obtained, present them to the Department of Home Affairs so that you can be issued a death certificate. At this point, the death will have been recorded in the Department of Home Affairs death records.
READ ALSO: How to write an abstract with examples
The very first copy of death certificate South Africa will be provided to you free of charge and will be abridged, which is to say that it will carry just the basic information on the deceased. For the unabridged (more deeply detailed) version or replacement for a lost original death certificate South Africa, you will need to fill in the BI 132 form and put down a fee that will be required to process it. You can access that form by clicking here (PDF). This unabridged version is used for more detail-heavy functions that require you to produce the certificate. An example of such is estate and succession disputes.
Where to search for death records
If you need to know where to find South African death records online, you can click here to access the death register South Africa. The ones available online are shallow and do not contain recent records, so you should be aware of that before browsing the archives.
You can also make the deceased's status known to the public over dedicated channels such as Cape Times death notices, funeral notices Durban and more. However, you can also make the decision to make your own choice of obituary depending on where you live or where it reaches the most people who would be interested in the news, such as the deceased's home town.
That marks the end of our guide on how to obtain a death certificate. Did you find it to be of help? Drop your thoughts of it in the comments section below!