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What is a Coroner’s Certificate? 4 Situations Where it’s Required

coroner certificate Ontario

Many clients have asked me what a Coroner’s Certificate is and why they need it. Here are 4 situations where it is required.

1. Cremation application

Under the authority of the Coroners Act R.S.O. 1990 C.C. 37 a Coroner will investigate the death of all people who wish to be cremated. The Coroner’s signature is required on all Cremation applications. This is necessary as the Coroner has the highest authority in the province and must sign a cremation application to authorize the cremation of the deceased. The Coroner is literally signing off that the deceased did not die of a suspicious or unusual circumstance that would require further investigation.

2. Certificate for transportation of a body outside of the province or territory

Under the Coroners Act for the Province of Ontario, a Coroner must investigate the death of all persons who wish to have their body shipped outside of Ontario. This form will record the details of the deceased including the cause of death.

3. Certificate for transportation of a body outside of Canada

Similar to the requirements to ship a body outside of Ontario, the forms to ship a body outside of Canada must be signed by a Coroner. With international shipment of a body the local public health authorities are also involved. Additionally, the receiving country consulate and public health officials or equivalent must also complete the required paperwork. Shipment of the deceased outside of Canada also requires specific preparation and merchandise requirements that are different for each country. As you could imagine it takes a fair amount of time to complete the required documents customs and immigration formalities before a body can be shipped outside of Canada.

4. Coroner’s warrant to bury a body

When a person dies of suspicious or unusual circumstances the Coroner’s Office may order that the body be autopsied. The autopsy is usually done at the Office of the Chief Coroner and is conducted to try to determine the cause of death. The results from the autopsy can take several weeks. Once the autopsy is completed the Coroner’s office will released the body of the deceased and authorize the burial or cremation of the deceased with the Coroner’s Warrant to Bury a Body. This form will not indicate the cause of death, as the autopsy report will be released to the Coroner’s Office at a later date.

The provincial levy for the Coroner’s completion of these documents is $75.00.

In each of these scenarios, the death must still be registered in the municipality where the death occurred. In accordance with the Vital Statistics Act of Ontario, the death is registered by completing a Statement of Death and submitting this document along with the Medical Certificate of death or Coroner’s Warrant to Bury a Body to the appropriate municipal office. Each municipality charges a fee to do this and is ranges from $25.00 to $60.00.

As always if you have questions or would like to know more, you can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

Until next time


Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, radio host, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.

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