Registering a death
It is a legal requirement that every death that takes place in Ireland must be recorded and registered. Records of deaths in Ireland are held in the General Register Office, which holds 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.
Deaths caused by COVID-19
Where a death is due to COVID-19, the death should be reported to the local coroner's office. The coroner will send a certificate to the registration office. You do not have to do anything else.
What you need to register the death
To register a death, you must bring a Death Notification Form stating the cause of death to any Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
You get the Death Notification Form from the doctor who attended the person who died. You must complete Part 2 of the Death Notification Form and take it to the registry office. You will need to bring photo ID with you. The registration is free.
You must register the death within 3 months of the date the person died.
If the cause of death is not known
A doctor cannot give you the Death Notification Form if they do not know the cause of death, or if they didn't see the deceased person in the 28 days before the death occurred. In this case, they must inform a Coroner who may decide a postmortem is necessary.
If the person 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.
While you are waiting for an inquest or post-mortem to be carried out, you can get an Interim Certificate of the Fact of Death from the Coroner’s office. You can use this to inform institutions like banks, insurance companies and the Department of Social Protection that the death has occurred.
You can read information on how to register a stillborn child.
If the person who died had no relatives
The death must be registered by a ‘qualified informant’. This is usually a close family member of the person who has died, but can also be:
- A relative of the deceased person
- Someone who lived with the deceased person
- The deceased person’s personal representative
- A person who was present at the death
- An official of the hospital or institution where the person died
- A person who found the body or took charge of that body
- The person who arranged the funeral
- Any other person who has knowledge of the death and knows the details needed to register the death
Getting the death certificate
You can get copies of the death certificate from the registration office when you are registering the death. To get a copy of a death certificate at a later stage, you can go directly to any civil registration office. You can also apply for a death certificate:
Death certificate fees
There is no charge for registering a death. But you may have to pay for a copy of the death certificate
The fees charged for a certificate are as follows:
- €20 for a full standard certificate
- Free for a copy for social welfare purposes (letter from Department of Social Protection required)
- Free if the deceased was less than 1 year old and you are getting the death certificate at the time of registering the death
- €5 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register
- €10 to have a certificate authenticated (only available from the General Register Office)