Getting a birth, marriage or death certificate in Ireland
It is a legal requirement in Ireland that a record be kept of each birth, marriage and death that occurs in the State. When a birth, death, marriage or adoption is recorded in Ireland, a certificate is issued to the individual(s) concerned (for example, the parents in the event of a birth, the couple in the event of a marriage and the next-of-kin in the event of a death). This record is a very important legal document and should be kept in a safe place. For example, a birth certificate is required if you wish to enrol your child in school or apply for an Irish passport. A death certificate is required if you are dealing with the deceased person's estate.
The General Register Office is the central civil repository for records relating to births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions in Ireland.
The General Register Office is responsible for the overall administration of the civil registration service in Ireland. The HSE is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the service through local Civil Registration Service offices.
Types of certificates
Birth, marriage, adoption, civil partnership and death certificates are public records, meaning anybody can access or apply for them.
There are different types of certificate available from the General Register Office.
|Type of certificate||Purpose|
|Full standard long form certificate||This is a certified copy of an entry in the register. It is the certificate used for legal and administrative purposes.|
|Photocopy||Photocopies contain the same information as the certificate but you can only use them for research purposes.|
|Authenticated||This is needed in certain circumstances only (in addition to the certified copy).|
|Multilingual Standard Form (MSF)||Under EU regulations, a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) can be requested for birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates issued by the General Register Office or any Civil Registration Service. The purpose of an MSF is to provide a translation of the public document when presenting your certificates to authorities in another EU member state. The MSF itself has no legal effect. You must indicate which EU language you need and request it when applying for the certificate.|
From February 2019, public documents such as birth, marriage, adoption, civil partnership or death certificates issued in an EU country must be accepted as authentic by the authorities in another EU member state without the need to carry an ‘Apostille’ or authenticity stamp.
If your certificate is required for use outside the EU, you can apply to the General Register Office in Roscommon to have a new certificate issued with an authentication stamp applied at the same time. Alternatively, if you already have your certificate you can send it to the General Register Office to have an authentication applied.
There are fees for birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership and death certificates, or photocopies of these certificates.
The fees charged for issuing a certificate are:
- €20 for a full standard certificate
- €5 for an uncertified photocopy of an entry in the Register
- €10 to have a certificate authenticated (only available from the General Register Office)
- €20 for a certified copy of an entry in the Adopted Children Register (can be used for legal and administrative purposes). This is only available from the General Register Office.
- €30 for a new certificate with an authentication stamp
- €0 (no fee) for a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF)
How to apply
You can apply for a birth, marriage, adoption, civil partnership and death certificate online. Only full standard certificates are available online. You also can apply for full standard certificates or copies of these certificates by post, email or in person at a Civil Registration Service office or the General Register Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.
Applying for a certificate online
You can apply for a certificate online, including domestic adoptions and stillbirths that have been registered.
Applying for a certificate or copy in person or by post
You can apply for a certificate or copy of a certificate in person in any Civil Registration Service. Some Civil Registration Services have a walk-in service. You need to phone and book an appointment for others.
To apply for a certificate or copy of a certificate by post, fill in the application form (pdf). Post the completed form to your local Civil Registration Service or the General Register Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.
Applying for a certificate or copy by phone
You can order and pay for a certificate by phone in most Civil Registration Offices around Ireland (except Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow). Your phone order should be processed within 5 working days.
Applying for a certificate or copy by email
When the General Register Office receives your email application, you will get an email back with a secure payment link allowing you to pay the fee due using a debit or credit card. If the certificate you want cannot be located, your card will be refunded the full fee.
Find more information about how to apply for certificates on gov.ie.
Where to apply
The General Register Office has a family research facility in the GRO Research Room at Werburgh Street, Dublin 2, where you can search the indexes to the registers and buy photocopies of records.
If you want to order certified copies of entries, you can do so from the General Register Office in Roscommon (see contact details below).
The Research Room currently has a walk in service on Tuesdays only, from 10am - 12.30pm, and from 2pm – 4.30pm. An email service is available 5 days a week at GROResearchRoom@welfare.ie.
You can search the indexes to the registers including:
- Births registered on the island of Ireland between 1 January 1864 and 31 December 1921 inclusive, and in the Republic of Ireland from 1922 onwards
- Deaths registered on the island of Ireland between 1 January 1864 and 31 December 1921 inclusive and in the Republic of Ireland from 1922 onwards
- Marriages registered on the island of Ireland between 1 April 1845 and 31 December 1921 inclusive and in the Republic of Ireland from 1922 onwards
- Domestic adoptions registered in Ireland from 10 July 1953 onwards
You can also find historic church and civil records of Irish births, marriages and deaths on irishgenealogy.ie.
- Births 1864-1922
- Marriages 1845-1947
- Deaths 1878-1972