Office of the Chief Coroner
Cremation certificate process for families
In Ontario, a certificate must be provided by a coroner to authorize cremation or alkaline hydrolysis of a deceased person or for shipment of a deceased person outside of the province. A Cremation Certificate is required before a licensed crematorium operator can proceed with cremation or alkaline hydrolysis of any human remains. The law in Ontario requires that a coroner review the circumstances surrounding the death before cremation or alkaline hydrolysis takes place. The review and authorization is documented on the certificate and kept on file at the crematorium.
An Out–of-Province Body Shipment Certificate is required for a deceased person to be transferred out of Ontario. For example, if a Quebec resident has died in Ontario and there is desire to return the body to Quebec, an Out-of-Province Body Shipment Certificate is required prior to transfer.
Note: You can only apply for a Cremation Certificate or an Out-of-Province Body Shipment Certificate, but not both.
Who can apply
A decedent’s next of kin, or personal representative can apply for a certificate for cremation or alkaline hydrolysis or for a shipment certificate for a fee. A death-care support person or educator can provide advice and direction on how to contact the Office of the Coroner to request a certificate, but the request for these certificates must be made directly by the family.
Next of kin of the deceased relationships are:
- spouse or common-law partner
- children, and
How to apply
To request a Cremation Certificate or Out of Province Body Shipment Certificate, you will need to provide scanned copies of a completed Form 15 (Statement of Death) and one of the following applicable documents:
- Medical Certificate of Death (Form 16);
- Medical Certificate of Stillbirth (Form 8);
- Warrant to Bury the Body of a Deceased Person;
- Non-Ontario Death Certificate
Once you have all the required supporting documents, send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order for the request to be processed, the following are also required:
- Name and date of birth of the deceased person (as printed on the supporting documents)
- Scanned electronic copies (as attachments to the email) of all the relevant supporting documents (see required documents above)
- Clearly state if you are applying for a Cremation Certificate or an Out of Province Body Shipment Certificate
- The requester’s phone number that will allow immediate contact by the coroner should there be any questions/concerns
- The requester’s full mailing address to support payment to the coroner
Once approved, the certificate will be sent electronically as an attachment via email.
The Approval Process
If the request is approved by the coroner, you will receive an email with the approved certificate attached. Please download and print a copy of it as you will be required to submit the certificate to the licensed crematorium in order for the cremation or alkaline hydrolysis to take place. You will require the Out of Province Body Shipment Certificate if the deceased person is being transferred out of the province.
There is a fee of $75 for the certificate payable directly to the coroner. Please ensure you have provided your contact information so the coroner can work with you to arrange for payment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the turnaround time for receiving certificates?
Certificate turnaround time is subject to completeness of your request and submission of all required documents. Requests will be responded to within 24 hours of emails received during regular business hours. The exact response will depend on the time of day the request is made, i.e. if early in the day, the response will typically be the same business day or if the request is made later in the day, the response will occur on the next business day prior to the time of the request.
Requests received over the weekend and on statutory holidays will be responded to on the next business day. The regular office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What should I do if I have not received the certificate?
If you have not received a response from the Office of the Chief Coroner after 24 hours, please send an email to email@example.com advising of the delay.