Reporting a Death

Here we will look at what to do when reporting a death. The Births and Deaths Registration Act requires that you report a death to any one of the following people:

  • South African Police Service members, especially in areas where the Department of Home Affairs has no offices
  • Specific officers at the Department of Home Affairs
  • Legal funeral undertakers
  • South African mission, embassy or consulate, if the death occurred abroad

You must complete the Form BI-1663 (Notification of death/stillbirth) when reporting a death. The following people have tReporting a Deatho complete different sections of this form:

A medical practitioner

A Home Affairs official (where an official from the Department of Home Affairs is not available then a member of the SA Police Services to complete the form)

Erroneously/ Fraudulently registered deaths

If a person has been erroneously or fraudulently recorded as dead in the National Population Register (i.e. they are still alive), this must be reported as soon as possible to the nearest Department of Home Affairs office for urgent investigation and corrective action.

Reporting a death that occurred outside South Africa – Reporting A Death

If you bury the dead person in South Africa, the embassy or mission will assist with the paperwork and arrangements with regards to transportation of the body to South Africa.

Report deaths of South African citizens and South African permanent residence permit holders that occur outside South Africa to the nearest South African embassy or mission abroad. The country in which the death occurs must issue a death certificate, and a copy of the death certificate must go to the South African embassy or mission when reporting a death.

Issuing of death certificates – Reporting A Death

The Department of Home Affairs will issue a Death Certificate on receipt of the notification of death (Form BI-1663)and the Death Report (Form BI-1680).

The person reporting a death

These designated people may also issue burial orders. No burial may take place unless authorised by way of a burial order (Form BI-14).

You receive a Death Report (Form BI-1680) after registering a death. This report is issuable only by someone whom the Department of Home Affairs has authorised to do so.

You get an abridged death certificate free of charge on the same day you register the death. You get an unabridged death certificate by completing Form BI-132 and paying the required fee.


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All info was correct at time of publishing