Genealogy Certified Copies of a Death Registration

Last updated on February 6, 2020

A genealogy death certificate provides eligible applicants with a photocopy of the original death registration and medical certification of death (if available). Lettering on the certificate states that it is for genealogical research.

You may be able to view the original death record online if the death occurred more than 20 years ago. Death records for British Columbia date back as far as 1872. The Vital Statistics Agency and BC Archives have made it possible to search for death records through BC Archives’ electronic index. Many death records available through BC Archives also include an image of the registration.

Genealogy Certified Copy of a Death Registration

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Who can Order a Genealogy Certified Copy of a Death Registration?

If more than 20 years have passed since the date of the death, anyone can apply for a certified copy of a death registration.

If fewer than 20 years have passed since the date of the death, only the following people can apply:

  • a relative of the deceased with proof of relationship. Eligible applicants include the mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, spouse, grandparent, or grandchild of the deceased. Acceptable proof of relationship includes a photocopy of a government issued certified birth registration, a parental certificate and/or associated marriage certificates
  • a medical practitioner who requires the copy of extract for use in the treatment of a member of the deceased's immediate family, if the family member's illness, in the opinion of the medical practitioner, may be life threatening
  • a person authorized by a court order to receive a copy or extract
  • an officer of any provincial government or the government of Canada who requires the copy or extract for use in the discharge of official duties; or
  • any other person who satisfies the registrar general concerning the good faith of the person's cause for requiring the copy or extract

How to Order a Certified Copy of a Death Registration for Genealogical Research

After confirming that you are eligible to receive a genealogy certified copy of a death registration, you can apply in one of the following ways:

By Mail

Send a completed Application for Genealogy Certificate (VSA 013) form (PDF, 796KB) with payment and any supporting evidence to:

Vital Statistics Agency
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9P3

In Person

Bring a completed Application for Genealogy Certificate (VSA 013) form (PDF, 796KB) with payment and any supporting evidence to any Service BC counter.

Cost & Processing Times

$50 per genealogy certified death registration delivered by regular mail. Prints within 20 business days, plus mailing time from Victoria to you.
Courier delivery is not available