The death certificate must be original; you cannot copy the document using a printer or photocopier, which is illegal. If you deal with the estate yourself, you may need more death certificates. In the event that the deceased had assets with several different financial institutions, you may need between five and ten death certificates. To determine how many certificates you will need, make a list of all bank and building society accounts, investments, and shares.


As soon as the Department of Home Affairs receives a death notification (Form BI-1663) and the death report (Form BI-1680), it will issue a death certificate. Home Affairs offices can provide you with replacement copies of your death certificate or a complete death certificate by completing form BI-132.


What to Do When a South African Dies Abroad

If a citizen of South Africa dies abroad, the closest SA embassy or consulate must be notified. The country where the death took place must then issue a death certificate. The South African embassy or consulate must receive a copy of the international death certificate for reporting. It can take two to six weeks to obtain a death certificate, depending on how easy it is to locate the records.

What Are the Steps for Obtaining a Death Certificate Copy?

In order to obtain a copy of a South African death certificate, whether it is an unabridged or abridged version, it is recommended that you use a legal document agent, such as Doc Assist. 


Whether you are a South African living abroad or in South Africa, we can assist you with your legal document needs. A copy of the death certificate can be provided to you within a short period of time once we receive your request. Give us a call today to find out more about our services!


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