Certificate of Absence

A Certificate of Absence (CoA) is a legally valid document used as a proof of absence, or to establish the status of a missing or disappeared person. It enables a relative of the missing or disappeared person to exercise certain legal rights on behalf of him/her, including access to welfare services and other administrative functions. It is issued by the Registrar General as per the Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Act, No. 16 of 2016. A CoA can be issued by the Registrar General’s Department based on an Interim Report issued by the OMP. As per the law, a CoA is valid for a period of 2 years and is renewable. Obtaining a CoA does not hinder or terminate any ongoing investigations into the whereabouts of a missing or disappeared person. The OMP began processing applications for Interim Reports in early 2020. Inquiries were conducted between August and September 2020, issuing 54 Interim Reports during this period. The process of conducting Inquiries was severely hampered by the COIVD-19 pandemic. However, the OMP is continuing to process Interim Report applications.