Government of Nova
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Death Certificate & Registration

The Vital Statistics Act requires that all deaths which occur in the province of Nova Scotia be registered with the office of Vital Statistics. Funeral Directors are responsible to obtain the personal particulars of the deceased, complete the Death Registration form and submit it along with any necessary medical documentation to Vital Statistics for processing.   Any information that is collected on the Death Registration form is collected under the authority of the Vital Statistics Act, and will be used to register the death, update or amend other vital event records, provide extracts or search notices for administrative, statistical, research, medical and law enforcement purposes.

Death Certificate

The death certificate is issued by Vital Statistics and is an excerpt from the official death registry. Some organizations may require an official death certificate to amend their records. However, many organizations will accept a proof of death document issued by the funeral director instead.

Certificate Formats

The Nova Scotia death certificate is available in two formats, short form and long form.

Short Form

The short form death certificate contains the following information:

  • surname and given name(s)
  • sex
  • date of death
  • age
  • place of death
  • date of registration
  • registration number
  • date of issue

Long Form

Long form death certificates can be released to the next of kin of the deceased or the Executor or Trustee of their estate when it is required to settle the estate. The long form death certificate contains all of the information found on the short form death certificate as well as the following, if recorded on the death record.

Older death records may not contain full information.            

  • date of birth
  • age
  • place of birth
  • residence
  • occupation
  • marital status
  • name of spouse
  • name of father / parent
  • name of mother / parent
  • name of attending physician
  • name of funeral director
  • disposition
  • place of disposition
  • name of informant
  • address of informant
  • relationship to deceased

For more information about certificate costs, please visit Vital Statistics Fees.

How to Apply

There are many easy and convenient ways to apply for a death certificate.


We offer an online death certificate request service. Use the following link to apply Online Death Certificate Request

If you apply using our online service, you can pay using:

  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Interac® Online

Other Service Options

You can also apply in person at our office, by fax, by mail, or you can drop off an application at any N.S. Registry of Motor Vehicle office or Access Nova Scotia office to be processed through the mail.

You can download an application form to request a certificate from the following link:

If you apply by mail, the following payment options are available:

  • Cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express


If you apply in person, the following payment options are available:

  • Cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express
  • Debit Card
  • Cash

If you apply by fax, the following payment option is available:

  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express

French Names

If the name of the deceased contains any French characters or symbols, please ensure they are clearly displayed on the certificate application form.


All certificate prices include a three-year search. A three-year search may be requested without purchasing a certificate (confirmation of event only) for the applicable fee please go to Vital Statistics Fees. Certificates are issued in accordance with information on file and cannot be returned for refund.