It is a legal requirement in Ireland that every death that takes place in the State must be recorded and registered. Records of deaths in Ireland are held in the General Register Office, which is the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Marriages and Deaths in Ireland. You can apply for a copy of a death certificate to any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Death or to the General Register Office. Read about applying for a death certificate here.
The Civil Registration Act 2004 changed some of the rules about registering a death. These changes took effect from December 2005.
A death can be registered with any Registrar, irrespective of where it occurs. Deaths must be registered as soon as possible after the death and no later than three months. It is usually registered by the next of kin. Alternatively, it may be registered by a person who was present during the death or final illness of the deceased, or by a near neighbour or, failing that, by the undertaker.
There is no charge to register a death that occurs in Ireland. Fees are charged for a copy of a death certificate.
A certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence it is for social welfare purposes is required, such as a note from the Department of Social Protection.
The fees charged for a certificate are as follows:
To register a death, you must bring a Death Notification Form stating the cause of death to any Registrar. You can get this from the doctor who attended the deceased during his/her last illness. You must complete Part 2 of the Death Notification Form. You must then sign the Register in the presence of the Registrar. This registration is free.
A 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. If the deceased died as the result of an accident, or in violent or unexplained circumstances the coroner must be informed. There may be a delay in registering a death where a postmortem is carried out. The death is automatically registered where an inquest or postmortem is held at the request of the Coroner. The Coroner issues a certificate to the Registrar containing all the details to be registered. Deaths should be registered as soon as possible and no later than 3 months from the date of the death. You will require the written permission of the Registrar General to register any death that was not registered within one year.
You can approach any Registrar 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. 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.
You should approach a maternity hospital or your local Registrar for information on how to register a stillborn child.
An application form for a copy of a Death Certificate is available from the General Register Office.
You can also apply online for a copy of a certificate.
You can apply online for a copy of a certificate.
Application for late registration only should be made to:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.