Everything About the Digitalisation of Birth & Death Certs in S’pore Whereby No Physical Ones Will be Issued from 29 May

Remember the jokes you’d tell your siblings that if you ripped up their birth certificates, they wouldn’t exist?

Well, the next generation won’t be able to do that anymore, as all birth and death certificates are going to be digitised.

New Procedure for Birth Certificates

It is compulsory for all births, deaths and stillbirths in Singapore to be reported to the authorities.

Parents usually register their child’s birth at the hospital where the baby is born, or at the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA)’s Registry of Births and Deaths.

They can also choose to register their baby’s birth online, but will still need to collect a physical certificate at the hospital or ICA building.

However, from 29 May, there will be no more issuing of physical certificates. Parents also do not need to go register for a birth certificate in person.

Instead, they can register the birth of their child via the LifeSG app or website within 42 days, and download the digital certificate. They will have 90 days to download the certificate and save it on their device.

If you were thinking that it’ll be free since it’s a digital certificate: unfortunately, you’ll still need to pay $18.

Streamlining of Death Registration Process

When a person dies, a medical practitioner will issue a certificate of the cause of death (CCOD) to the next of kin.

They will have to register the death at a public hospital, neighbourhood police post, or the ICA Building by producing the CCOD and identity documents of the deceased. They will then receive a physical death certificate.

However, ICA is going to simplify this process from 29 May, so that the next of kin can focus more on other post-death matters.

Instead of going through multiple channels, a medical practitioner will simply certify the death online. It’ll be automatically registered in ICA’s system.

The medical practitioner will then give the death certificate number to the next of kin, who can download the digital certificate from the My Legacy website. There is no registration fee for the digital certificate.

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QR Codes to Verify Authenticity 

How do we know whether a birth or death certificate is real? After all, now that everything is digitised, surely people can use Photoshop to create fake certificates.

The ICA said that government agencies and private entities can use QR codes on the digital certificate to verify if it is authentic. The QR codes are linked to ICA’s system, so that you can check the details against ICA’s database.

Measures to Prevent Data Loss and Theft

According to The Straits Times, all information in LifeSG, My Legacy, and ICA’s systems are stored and secured in government databases.

There will be data protection and privacy measures to prevent data loss, theft, unauthorised access, or undue disclosure.

Additionally, a one-stop digital document repository may be in the works to allow us to access our official documents easily. This may also mean that there will be more documents that’ll be digitised in the future.

Those unable to register online or need help can call 6589-8707, which is a temporary hotline to assist citizens with the new birth and death registration processes.

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Featured Image: shutterstock.com / EpilepsyU