This page is intended to help the family navigate the necessary paperwork required to lead the deathcare activities independently. Of note, to do all activities independently could be considered difficult but it is possible. Perhaps the most difficult aspect is to obtain a transit permit to bring the loved one home after death if the loved one has died outside of the home. This is due to the time required to obtain the proper documentation. A transport service may be a more desirable option if the deceased or the family of the deceased has spiritual beliefs or ritual that requires activities in the home to commence within the first day or hours after death.

Legalities Image

After death a Medical Certificate of Death will be provided by the appropriate authority to the deceased’s next of kin (see diagram above). By providing the MCD to Vital Statistics they will allow the family to fill out a Registration of Death Form (RDF). Upon submission of the completed RDF and the MCD to Vital Statistics, a Disposition Permit will be issued to the family (allows for cremation or burial) as well as a Death Certificate. The Death Certificate is the official document required to file matters of the estate with the proper authorities (i.e. CRA for taxes and insurance companies for insurance purposes). There is a Vital Statistics office located in Vancouver but for more remote areas such as Nanaimo and Duncan a Services BC office is the Vital Statistics representative. It may well be easiest to visit Services BC directly with the MCD in hand in order to obtain all documentation required in a timely manner.

For the family to transport their loved one a Private Transport Permit is required in conjunction with the Disposition Permit already received from Vital Statistics. To obtain a Private Transport Permit, the Disposition Permit is submitted to Consumer Protection BC. The family must provide a vehicle for transport that keeps the deceased from public view and the vehicle must be secured at all times. The deceased must also be in an appropriate container as described above.

Please see the links below for more information:

Service BC Nanaimo

Consumer Protection BC: information

Consumer Protection BC: private transport permit application


*diagram adapted from the Home Funeral Practicum