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Now dying is easier in UT

Online death registry removes major bureaucratic headaches for doctors and funeral parlors.

You've heard of online sexual predator registries, online deadbeat dad registries, and the like. But Utah may have the first online death registry, AP reports.

The registry makes life easier for doctors, funeral directors and government officials because official death certificates must be signed by a doctor and a funeral home and turned over to a state or county agency. The online registry means that the process isn't delayed for scheduling problems.

The new process is far easier for everyone involved, said Lane Smith, owner of Serenicare, a Utah County funeral home. Smith said he'll be able to get doctors to sign off on an off-hours death from their homes or wherever they can get Internet service.

Utah introduced online death registration in August and about 30 percent of the deaths are now being recorded that way, said Jeff Duncan, director of the Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

The death registry is linked to Social Security Administration computers that can verify a person's name, birth date, gender and Social Security number.