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Northern Ireland - Register a Death

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  1. A death may be registered in any District Registration Office in Northern Ireland. In order to register a death, you will need to complete a registration form and provide the medical certificate of the cause of death, signed by a doctor to your local District Registration Office. Registration of a death form - GRO 73
  2. Once the registration is completed, the registrar will issue the following forms:
    1. a form GR021 giving permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made (if the body is to be cremated, the GP or hospital will arrange for a second doctor to sign the cremation certificate)
    2. a certificate of Registration of Death (form 36/BD8), issued for social security purposes.

After having the death registered youll be able to buy one or more Death Certificates at this time. This document is will be needed by the executor or administrator when sorting out the deceased person's affairs.

Death certificates

For deaths registered after 17 December 2012, a short form of death certificate is available. The short death certificate will not show the cause of death.

Death certificates, either short or full, may be purchased from the Registrar at the time of registration for 8 per copy.

After the registration, copies of death certificates can be purchased from the General Register Office at a fee of 15 for the first copy and 8 for each additional copy purchased at the same time.

If the death is referred to a coroner

Some deaths are referred to the coroner if the deceased had not been seen within 28 days before death by a doctor, where the death was not caused by natural illness or where the cause of death was unclear, sudden or suspicious.

If a death is referred to the coroner, funeral arrangements should not be made before the consent of the coroner has been obtained. The coroner can give consent for burial or cremation to take place before the death is registered.

The death can only be registered and a death certificate obtained after the registrar has received the necessary certificate from the coroner.

When the registrar receives the appropriate form they will contact a relative of the deceased and ask them to call in at the office to register the death.


Required Documents[edit]

  • A certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner (or registered midwife) who was present at the still-birth or has examined the body of the still-born child.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Castle Buildings

Phone number 028 9052 0500
Email address [email protected]

General Register Office for Northern Ireland
Oxford House
49 - 55 Chichester Street

Phone number: 0300 200 7890
If calling from outside Northern Ireland: 028 9151 3101
Fax 028 9047 5746
Email address [email protected]

Contact details for councils in Northern Ireland



A death which occurs in Northern Ireland, can be registered by:

  • any relative of the deceased who has knowledge of the details required to be registered (this includes a relative by marriage)
  • a person present at the death
  • a person taking care of the funeral arrangements
  • the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate
  • the governor, matron or chief officer of a public building where the death occurred
  • a person living in and responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred
  • a person finding, or a person taking charge, of the body

Most deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registrar would normally only allow one of the other people listed above to do so if there are no relatives available or they cannot be traced.


Registering a Death: No cost

The only cost will be for copies of the death certificates if required.


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use[edit]

Registration of a death form - GRO 73


Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



A person's death is normally registered within 5 days, this will allow funeral arrangements to be made.

Exception: Deaths which have been referred to the coroner.

A death may be registered in any District Registration Office in Northern Ireland.

Required Information[edit]

Information you will need to supply the registrar when you register a death:

  • Full name and surname of the deceased
  • Date and place of death and usual address
  • Marital status (single, married, widowed or divorced)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation of the deceased (if the deceased was a wife or widow, the full name and occupation of her husband or deceased husband) will be required
  • If the deceased was a child, the full names and occupation of the father will be required, or where the parents are not married, the full name and occupation of the mother will be required
  • Maiden surname (if the deceased was a woman who had married)
  • The name and address of the deceased's GP
  • Details of any pension apart from a state pension that the deceased may have held


Need for the Document[edit]

Following are procedures on how you register a death in Northern Ireland.

Information which might help[edit]

Enter other informations which might help

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

  • NIDirect:



More information which might help people.