Physical birth, death certificates will no longer be issued as processes are digitalised

Babies lie in cots at a maternity ward in Singapore.
Babies lie in cots at a maternity ward in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

SINGAPORE — Physical birth and death registration certificates will no longer be issued in Singapore from 29 May.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a media release on Sunday (8 May) that the move is part of efforts to streamline and digitalise services for Singapore citizens.

Parents of newborns and next-of-kins of the deceased will be able to download and store the digital certificates.

Registering births via LifeSG app

With the introduction of digital birth certificates from 29 May, parents will no longer need to make a trip to the hospital or the ICA Building to collect a physical birth certificate.

They will have to register the birth of their newborns via the LifeSG app, an integrated platform launched in 2018 for parents to register their child's birth and apply for relevant government programmes and schemes.

Following the registration on LifeSG, parents will be notified to download the digital birth certificate of their child via the ICA website or MyICA Mobile. They will be given up to 90 days to download the document, which can be stored and saved on their devices.

The issuance of a digital birth certificate will cost S$18, and it is mandatory for parents or any legally appointed persons to provide the child's birth details to the Registrar-General within 42 days of the child's birth.

Currently, the LifeSG app allows parents to register their child’s birth online, but they would have to collect the physical birth certificate at either the hospitals or the ICA Building. Since 2018, more than 80% of newborn registrations have been done via the app, which as been downloaded more than 400,000 times.

INFOGRAPHIC: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority
INFOGRAPHIC: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

Collecting death certificates via My Legacy portal

The death registration process will be streamlined such that the next-of-kin will not need to register a death at a physical counter. This will ease the administrative burden of post-death matters on bereaved family members.

From 29 May, after a medical practitioner has issued a Certificate of the Cause of Death (CCOD) bearing the death particulars of the deceased, the death will automatically be registered in ICA’s system, and the next-of-kin will be able to receive a digital death certificate from the My Legacy portal.

Next-of-kins will be given up to 30 days to download the digital death certificate. They may then apply for a permit to bury/cremate at the National Environment Agency’s e-Services website, or authorise a person (such as a funeral director) to do so.

INFOGRAPHIC: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority
INFOGRAPHIC: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

24-hour hotline for those unsure of the new processes

The digital certificates are official and legal documents issued by ICA. Data protection and privacy measures are also in place to prevent data loss or theft, unauthorised access, as well as undue disclosure.

Government agencies and private entities, such as industry associations and financial institutions, can use QR codes included on all digital certificates to verify their authenticity. The QR code will be linked to an ICA system, where details on the digital certificate can be verified against ICA’s database.

Those who are unable to go online, or are unsure of how to register their birth certificates or retrieve the death certificates, can call the 24-hour hotline at 6589-8707. They can also visit the ICA Building and the network of ServiceSG Centres located across Singapore for assistance.

If further assistance is required, they may contact ICA. Next-of-kins of the deceased may also approach staff at hospitals, general practitioners, nursing homes and hospices for assistance on how to download the digital death certificate.

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