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Copyright 2000: Queen’s Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER V-6

AN ACT RESPECTING THE REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Registration

3. Registrar General

4. Clergy to keep registers

5. Notice to registering officers

6. Registering officers

7. Returns to be sent to Registrar General

8. Substitution for registering officers

9. Registrar General to keep register

10. Information of births

11. Certificate of registry of birth

12. Mother unmarried

13. Information of deaths

14. Certificate of death by medical attendant, etc.

15. Sextons, etc., not to bury without certificate of death

16. Officials to report

17. Duties of Registrar General

18. Registration in certain cases

19. Proof

20. Certificate

21. Prior registrations

22. Fees for extracts from registers

23. Penalty for false statement

24. Penalty for publication in newspapers of false statement

25. Penalty on proprietor, etc., of newspaper

26. Extract from registry

27. Certificates from registry

Schedule A

Schedule B


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Vital Statistics Act.

RSN1970 c329 s1

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Registration

2. (1) All births, marriages and deaths that take place within this province shall be registered in a public register to be kept in the city of St. John's.

(2) The register shall be kept in a place of safety, to be approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

RSN1970 c329 s2

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Registrar General

3. There shall be a chief officer appointed to carry out this Act, to be called the Registrar General, who shall have charge of the public registry.

RSN1970 c329 s3

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Clergy to keep registers

4. (1) Members of the clergy and other persons baptizing, celebrating marriage or performing funeral services in this province shall keep an accurate register of all persons whom he or she has baptized, married or buried.

(2) The register of baptism referred to in subsection (1) shall state the day of the birth of the person baptized.

(3) The member of the clergy or other person shall transmit, quarterly, a correct copy of the registers of baptisms and burials to the Registrar General.

RSN1970 c329 s4; 1977 c46 s12

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Notice to registering officers

5. Notices of all births, marriages and deaths that take place in this province shall be given within the times provided in section 7 to a registering officer appointed under this Act.

RSN1970 c329 s5

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Registering officers

6. (1) All clergy and other persons legally licensed to baptize, celebrate marriage, or perform funeral services in this province shall be "registering officers", and the limits of their duties under this Act shall be the same as those assigned them by ecclesiastical authority.

(2) Registering officers living in the City of St. John's shall forward, monthly, to the Registrar General a copy of the registers of baptisms and burials kept by them.

RSN1970 c329 s6; 1977 c46 s12

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Returns to be sent to Registrar General

7. (1) The registering officers shall forward, quarterly, to the Registrar General a copy of the registers kept by them of all births and deaths of which they have received notice from the date of their last report to the Registrar General.

(2) The report sent to the Registrar General shall

(a) be accompanied with a remittance of 1/2 of all fines imposed under this Act collected by the registering officers; and

(b) specify other information respecting the births and deaths that is required by this Act.

RSN1970 c329 s7; 1977 c46 s12

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Substitution for registering officers

8. When

(a) there has not been a registering officer empowered by section 6, for a period of 4 months; or

(b) the registering officer has failed to comply with section 7 for a period of 4 months,

the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint an appropriate person to perform the duties of registering officer, and that person shall have, for the purpose of the registers required to be kept by this Act, the same rights of access, inspection and custody as might have been exercised by the registering officer by whom the registers may have been kept.

RSN1970 c329 s8; 1977 c46 s12

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Registrar General to keep register

9. The Registrar General shall

(a) collect and keep a full and correct alphabetical registry of all births, marriages and deaths that take place within the province;

(b) file and keep copies of the registers received by him or her; and

(c) provide to the Legislature an annual report of all matters and things relating to the affairs of his or her office, together with an account of the fees and fines collected under this Act.

RSN1970 c329 s9

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Information of births

10. (1) Information concerning a birth in the province shall be provided within 48 hours to the proper officer appointed under this Act to receive the information.

(2) The obligation to provide the information required by subsection (1) rests upon either parent of the child, or, in case of the inability of both parents, then upon a person standing in their place.

(3) A person who fails to comply with this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10.

RSN1970 c329 s10

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Certificate of registry of birth

11. Either of the parents, or the guardian, or other person, who may have procured the registry of the birth of a child, shall be entitled to receive from the registering officer a certificate of that registry upon payment of a fee of $0.50.

RSN1970 c329 s11

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Mother unmarried

12. (1) Where a woman gives birth to a child and the father is a person to whom she is not married, a person shall not be registered as the father of the child unless the mother and the person acknowledging himself to be the father jointly request it.

(2) Where a man and woman do not request registration under subsection (1), the birth of the child shall be registered under section 10.

1989 c12 s24

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Information of deaths

13. (1) When a death takes place in this province, information of the death shall be provided within 48 hours to the proper officer appointed under this Act to receive the information, in the form in Schedule A.

(2) The obligation to provide the information referred to in subsection (1) shall rest, in the first instance, on the medical attendant, secondly, on the undertaker, and, failing these, on the next of kin to the deceased person.

(3) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not exceeding $10.

(4) Where a death occurs from accident, or under circumstances which render inquiry into the cause of death desirable or necessary, the court or person before or by whom the inquiry has been held, shall provide to the registering officer of the place in which the deceased person is to be interred, a certificate stating the cause of death, that was determined at the inquiry.

(5) Where a person dies in hospital under circumstances which do not render an inquiry necessary, the resident physician or chief officer in charge of the hospital shall provide a certificate stating the cause of death to the registering officer of the place in which the deceased person is to be interred.

RSN1970 c329 s13

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Certificate of death by medical attendant, etc.

14. (1) On receiving information of a death, the registering officer may provide a written statement setting out the date and place of death, the name, age and sex of the deceased, and the cause of death, as nearly as can be ascertained and cause it to be signed by the medical attendant or undertaker, or, failing these, by some other credible person who witnessed the death, or identified the body after death.

(2) The registering officer shall, where requested, issue to the person entitled to receive it a certificate setting out the facts referred to in subsection (2) for which a certificate a fee of $0.50 shall be charged.

RSN1970 c329 s14

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Sextons, etc., not to bury without certificate of death

15. A sexton or other person having charge of a cemetery or burial place, shall not permit the burial of a person in the cemetery, or burial place without first having received a certificate signed by a medical attendant, a member of the clergy, or 2 reliable persons cognizant of the facts, certifying to the death of the person for whom burial is required, and setting out, so far as is known the cause of death and the certificates shall be forwarded monthly to the registering officers concerned.

RSN1970 c329 s15

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Officials to report

16. (1) Officials in charge of hospitals, orphanages, jails, and other public institutions, shall send notice of a birth, marriage or death that occurs within the institutions under their charge within 10 days.

(2) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50.

RSN1970 c329 s16

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Duties of Registrar General

17. The Registrar General, or other registering officer, shall use every available means to obtain a full and accurate account of all births, marriages and deaths that take place in the province, and shall provide a notice in the form of Schedule B in all cases where he or she has reason to believe that the necessary information has not been supplied to him or her.

RSN1970 c329 s17

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Registration in certain cases

18. The Minister of Health may register, in a registry to be kept for that purpose, the birth of a person who was born in or outside of the province where the minister is satisfied that it is desirable to do so and that the person is unable otherwise to obtain a birth certificate.

RSN1970 c329 s18; 1973 No39 Sch C; 1975 No31 s7

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Proof

19. A person wishing to register his or her birth shall submit the proof of the date of birth that may be required by the Minister of Health.

RSN1970 c329 s19; 1973 No39 Sch C; 1975 No31 s7

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Certificate

20. A person who has procured the registry of his or her birth under section 18 shall be entitled to receive from the Minister of Health or the person that may be appointed by him or her for that purpose a certificate of that registry as if the person were born in the province and his or her birth was registered in accordance with another section of this Act and that registration and certificate shall have the same effect.

RSN1970 c329 s20; 1973 No39 Sch C; 1975 No31 s7

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Prior registrations

21. The registrations made before the passing of this Act are hereby declared as valid and binding as if they had been made thereunder.

RSN1970 c329 s21

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Fees for extracts from registers

22. (1) All registering officers who shall forward to the Registrar General extracts from the registers kept by them of births and deaths occurring in their locality, shall be entitled to be paid for the notice at the rate of $20 for each 100 events registered.

(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by order and to the extent that he or she may determine, increase the fee prescribed in subsection (1) for payment to the registering officers referred to in that subsection.

RSN1970 c329 s22; 1977 c46 s12

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Penalty for false statement

23. A person who makes, for the purpose of being inserted in a register of births, marriages or deaths a false statement concerning the particulars required to be registered, or who alters or defaces a return or register, shall be subject to the same penalties as if that person were guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury.

RSN1970 c329 s23

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Penalty for publication in newspapers of false statement

24. A person who sends to a newspaper publisher or other person, for publication in a newspaper in this province, a fictitious or false statement of the marriage or death of a person, or the birth of a child, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine or imprisonment at the discretion of the Trial Division.

RSN1970 c329 s24; 1986 c42 Sch A

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Penalty on proprietor, etc., of newspaper

25. Every proprietor, editor or publisher of a newspaper published in this province, who knowingly and wilfully publishes a fictitious or false statement of the marriage or death of a person, or of the birth of a child, is guilty of an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine or imprisonment at the discretion of the Trial Division.

RSN1970 c329 s25; 1986 c42 Sch A

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Extract from registry

26. (1) A person during office hours, upon payment of fees prescribed under subsection (2),

(a) may have reference to the registers; and

(b) may obtain a certified extract or a confirmation of records from a registry

but clergy, doctors, solicitors, members of the Legislature and public officers may have reference to the registers at no charge.

(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing the conditions under which a person may have reference to the registers or may obtain from the registers a certified extract or confirmation of records; and

(b) prescribing the fees for the reference, extract or confirmation referred to in paragraph (a).

1977 c101 s1

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Certificates from registry

27. Certificates of births, marriages and deaths shall be exact copies of the registers, and shall be signed and certified by the registering officers.

RSN1970 c329 s28

 

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Schedule A

PROVINCE OF NEWFOUNDLAND

No. ..........

Electoral District of ..........................,

(a) .................. 19 ....

Notice is given that the death took place at (b), on the (c) day
of ................. 19 ...., of (d), aged .............. years, (married or single) as far as could be ascertained.

(e) .........................

(f) .........................

Witness ........................

(a) Name of place, day of month and year.

(b) Name of place where death occurred.

(c) Day of month and year when death occurred.

(d) Name in full of deceased person.

(e) Name of person giving this notice.

(f) Address of person giving this notice.

RSN1970 c329 Sch A

 

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Schedule B

PROVINCE OF NEWFOUNDLAND

No. ..........

Electoral District of ...........................,

(a) ......................... 19 ....

Hearing that a birth (marriage or death) has recently occurred in your house (or family), it is my duty to call your attention to the provisions of the Vital Statistics Act. An extract is attached, in order that you may be prepared to conform to the requirements of the and avoid the penalties for a breach of the Act.

To (b) ........................

.....................................

Registrar

(a) Name of place, day of month and year.

(b) Name and address of person to whom notice is sent.

RSN1970 c329 Sch B

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