Every life event –such as birth and death- is usually reflected in public documents. Either the government of any country, the church of any religious affiliation –or even both- are in charge of registering those events through the issuance of birth records and death certificates.

There are many circumstances throughout life that may require submitting said records. For example, applying for a passport or a visa, claiming an inheritance, adopting a child, or even for tax purposes. This implies a procedure that may vary from country to country.

In addition, it is very important to have in-depth knowledge about the country in order to submit these documents in a proper manner. Being familiar with the applicable procedures from both places can save time and money. It may also prevent the risk of hindering the process due to a document rejected for several reasons.


Birth Certificates


To begin with, a birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term “birth certificate” can refer to either the original document certifying the circumstances of the birth, a certified copy, or the representation of the ensuing registration of that birth.

As a matter of fact, there are three forms of birth certificates. First, a copy of an act. It contains all information available on the birth of a person. Then, a long form includes details of the person, the parent(s), place of birth, certification by the parent(s), signature, and stamp of the issuing agency or department. Last, a short form or card. It provides the name, birth date, place of birth, date of registration, date of issue, registration number, certificate number, and signature of registrar general.


Death Certificates


On the other hand, a death certificate may refer to the document issued by a medical practitioner in order to certify the death of a person. In addition, it refers to a document issued by a person -such as a registrar of vital statistics- that includes the date, location, and cause of a person’s death. This will be later entered in an official register of deaths.

Each governmental jurisdiction prescribes the form for these certificates. For instance, one of the purposes of the certificate is to review the cause of death to rule out an accidental death or a murder. It is also necessary to arrange a burial or cremation. Moreover, it can be used to prove a person’s will or to claim on a person’s life insurance. Also, public health compiles data on leading causes of death, among other statistics.

In general, a certificate from a physician or coroner validates the cause of death and the identity of the deceased. For example, in some jurisdictions, a police officer or a paramedic may sign a death certificate under specific circumstances. However, in the case of accident deaths, autopsies are usually performed if there is any chance that alcohol or other drugs may have led to the accident.

A death certificate will usually contain a thorough explanation of the cause of death. For instance, the immediate cause of death, the intermediate causes, and the underlying causes. Also, any other diseases and disorders the person had at the time of death.

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