Registering a Death

When a person dies the death must be registered within 3 months by a relative. A death can be registered in any registration office, but you must first have received the 'Death Notification Form'. This will be given to you by the doctor who attended the person before his/her death or if the person died in hospital this form will be posted by the hospital to the next of kin. Further details on registering a death and on the location of the offices of the registrars are included below.

Civil Registration Service offices

How to register a death

To register a death, you must bring a Death Notification Form stating the cause of death to any Registration office. You will obtain this from the doctor who attended the deceased during his/her last illness. You must then complete Part 2 of the Death Notification Form, this contains important information relating to the deceased person, for example, his or her date of birth and his/her occupation, the PPS number of the deceased person. You must then sign the Register in the presence of the Registrar. You will need to bring photo ID with you when registering the death.

The registration of a death is free of charge, however, standard fees will apply for death certificates. (see list of fees below)

The doctor who attended the deceased during his/her last illness is obliged to give the relative of the deceased person a notification stating the cause of death. The doctor must be satisfied about the cause of death before he/she can certify it. If he/she didn't see the deceased at least 28 days before the death occurred, or if he/she isn't satisfied about the cause of death, he/she must inform a Coroner who will decide if a postmortem is necessary.

There may be a delay where a postmortem is carried out, as you will not be able to get a medical certificate/Death Notification Form until the results are known. A death will be automatically registered where an inquest or postmortem was held by a Coroner and the Coroner's certificate has been received by the Registrar. Click here for further details relating to Coroners and the names of the coroner in each county.

On certain occasions the Civil Registration Service are obliged to notify the Coroner of a death and depending on the Coroner's response they may wish to look at this in greater detail. If this occurs the Civil Registration Service will work in partnership with the relative and the Coroner's office.

Deaths should be registered as soon as possible. You will require the written consent of a Superintendent Registrar to register any death that was not registered within one year of the date of death.

Who must register a death?

The Civil Registration Act 2004 places a duty firstly on a relative of the deceased (whether by blood or by marriage) who has knowledge of the required particulars in relation to the death to register the deceased's details within 3 months of the death . The relative does not have to be the next-of-kin (for example, a widow may ask another family member to register the details).

If no such relative exists or can be found, a qualified informant has a duty to register the death. Where a qualified informant (other than a relative) knows that no relative of the deceased exists who is capable of registering the death, he or she must register the death as soon as possible after the Death Notification Form is in their possession. Where, within 3 months of the death, such a qualified informant knows of the whereabouts of a relative capable of registering the death, the form must be given to that relative, who must then register the death.

Who are the qualified informants?

  • A person present at the death
  • Any other person who has knowledge of the required particulars,
  • If the death occurred in a building used as a dwelling or a part of a building so used, any person who was in the building or part at the time of the death,
  • If the death occurred in a hospital or other institution or in a building or a part of a building occupied by any other organisation or enterprise, the chief officer of the institution, organisation or enterprise (by whatever name called) or a person authorised by the chief officer to perform his or her functions.
  • A person who found the body of the person concerned.
  • A person who took charge of that body.
  • A person who procured the disposal of that body, or
  • Any other person who has knowledge of the death.

The details required for death registration are as follows:

  • Date and place of death.
  • Place of birth of deceased.
  • Sex of deceased.
  • Forename(s), surname, birth surname and address of deceased.
  • Personal public service number of deceased.
  • Civil Status of deceased.
  • Date of birth or age last birthday of deceased.
  • Profession or occupation of deceased.
  • If deceased was married, the profession or occupation of spouse.
  • If deceased was less than 18 years of age on date of death, occupation(s) of his or her parent(s) of guardian(s).
  • Forename(s) and birth surname of father of deceased.
  • Forename(s) and birth surname of mother of deceased.
  • Certificated cause of death, duration of illness and date of certificate.
  • Forename, surname, place of business, daytime telephone number and qualification of registered medical practitioner who signed certificate.
  • Forename(s), surname, qualification, address and signature of informant.
  • If an inquest in relation to the death or a post-mortem examination of the body of deceased was held, the forename, surname and place of business of coroner concerned.
  • Date of registration.
  • Signature of Qualified Informant
  • Signature of registrar.

Fees and Certificates

You may contact any registration office to get a copy of a Death Certificate. If you are registering the death, you can get copies of the Death Certificate at the same time. There is a reduced fee for those who need the Death Certificate for social welfare purposes. (Note. you must have a letter from the Department of Social Protection to qualify for the reduced fee certificate) You do not necessarily have to wait for the Death Certificate before claiming social welfare benefits, as a copy of the Death Notice from the newspapers will be accepted if there is a delay in getting the certificate.

There is no fee charged for the registration of a death, Fees are charged for Death Certificates. A Death certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost of 1 euro. Note. you must have a letter from the Department of Social Protection to qualify for the reduced fee certificate.

The fees for a certificate are:

  • €20 for a full standard certificate
  • €4 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register
  • €1 for a certificate issued for social welfare purposes. (note: you must have a letter from the Department of Social Protection to qualify fo the reduced fee certificate)
  • €10 to have a certificate authenticated. This service is only available from the General Register's Office, Government Buildings,Convent Road, Roscommon.

Who to contact
Contact information for Registrars of Births, Marriages and Deaths throughout Ireland is available here.