Getting a birth, marriage or death certificate in Ireland

Introduction

The General Register Office is the central civil repository for records relating to births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions 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.

If you need to apply for a certificate of birth, marriage, adoption, civil partnership or death, or a copy of these certificates, you can apply online, in person, by post or by email to the General Register Office. The General Register Office has responsibility 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 services.

Rules

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.
Specified Services Certificate (for example, for social welfare purposes) Certain bodies can allow you to buy certificates at a reduced price if you need the certificate for a specified purpose.
Authenticated This is needed in certain circumstances only (in addition to the certified copy).
Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) Under EU regulations, from February 2019 a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) can be requested for birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates issued by the General Register Office. The purpose of an MSF is to provide a translation of the public document. The MSF itself has no legal effect. You must indicate which EU language that you require if you choose this option and it must be requested when applying for the certificate from the General Register Office in Roscommon.

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.

Rates

There is no charge for registering a birth (including re-registering a birth to include a parent's details), registering a marriage or registering a death.

There are fees for birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership and death certificates, or photocopies of these certificates.

Certificates can be issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. You need to give evidence you need the certificate for social welfare purposes, such as a note from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The fees charged for issuing a certificate are:

  • €20 for a full standard certificate
  • €1 for a copy for social welfare purposes, including registration for a Public Services Card (a letter from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is required)
  • €4 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
  • No fee for a Multilingual Standard Form

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 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.

To apply for a certificate or copy of a certificate by post, fill in the application form (pdf). Post the completed form to the General Register Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.

Applying for a certificate or copy by email

To apply for a certificate or copy by email, download the email application form (pdf). Fill in the form electronically and email it to GROonlinepayments@groireland.ie.

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.

There is more information about how to apply for certificates on welfare.ie.

Where to apply

You can find the contact details for civil registration services on the website of the Health Service Executive.

General Register Office

Government Offices
Convent Road
Roscommon
Ireland

Tel: +353 90 663 2900
Locall: 1890 25 20 76
Fax: +353 90 663 2999

Further Information

The General Register Office maintains a family research facility in Dublin, where you can search the indexes to the registers and purchase photocopies of records.

Records of marriages (other than Roman Catholic) held in the General Register Office (Roscommon) date back to 1 April 1845. Records of births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages date back to 1 January 1864.
Page edited: 3 April 2019