Getting a birth, marriage or death certificate in Ireland
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.
Registering a birth or death during the COVID-19 pandemic
The requirement to attend a civil registration service to register a birth or death has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out how to register a birth or how to register a death in Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic on gov.ie.
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.|
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
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 Social Protection.
The fees charged for issuing a certificate are:
- €20 for a full standard certificate
- €0 (previously €1) for a copy for social welfare purposes, including registration for a Public Services Card (a letter from Department of Social Protection is required)
- €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
- 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
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.
Where to apply
You can find the contact details for civil registration services on the website of the Health Service Executive.
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.