The registration of a death is compulsory. The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act requires a person, usually a funeral director, following the funeral, to notify the details of a death to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days from the date of death.
The doctor who was responsible for the medical care of a person before their death or who examines the body after death, must complete and sign a medical certificate of cause of death. This certificate must be issued within 48 hours after the person's death and given to the funeral director. The doctor is not required to give notice of the cause of death of a person in circumstances in which the death is reportable to the Coroner.
In general the funeral director orders a death certificate on behalf of the family at the time of registering the death. Once registered, the Registry sends the death certificate to the funeral director for forwarding to the family. Alternatively, once the death is registered, an eligible applicant can apply directly to the Registry or regional Court for a death certificate.
If the death is subject to a coronial inquiry, the death will be registered without a cause of death. This is called an "incomplete" death registration. If required, a death certificate can be issued at this stage.
At a later date the Coroner will advise the Registry of the cause of death details to be added to the death registration. A "complete" death certificate will then be issued by the Registry to the funeral director if previously ordered or an eligible applicant can apply directly to the Registry or a Court for a death certificate.
Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
Department of the Attorney General
Level 10, 141 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000
Phone: 1300 305 021
Fax: (08) 9264 1599
PO Box 7720
Perth WA 6850
Hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
Last updated: 13-Feb-2017
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