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Register a death

Register a death

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By law all deaths occurring in Northern Ireland must be registered. This should be done within 5 days from the date the death occurred except where the matter has been referred to the Coroner.

  • Any relative of the deceased who has knowledge of the details needed to register
  • Any person present at the death
  • A person taking care of the funeral arrangements
  • The Executor or Administrator of the deceased’s estate
  • The occupier (governor, matron, superintendent or other Chief Officer) at the time of death of the premises
  • A person finding, or taking charge of, the body

The person registering the death must collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death which is normally issued by a doctor who has treated the deceased within 28 days before the date of death.

This can be taken to any Registration Office in Northern Ireland.

If the deceased had not been seen by a doctor within that period or where the death was not caused by natural illness the case would have to be referred to the Coroner.

You will also need to complete a Death Registration Form. This is available from funeral directors, any registration office or can be downloaded from the NI Direct Website.

Details required to register a death are:
  • Full forename(s) and surname of deceased
  • Date and place of death and usual address
  • Status (single, married/civil partner, widowed/surviving civil partner or divorced/civil partnership dissolved)
  • Date and place of birth
  • The forename(s), surname and occupation of spouse or civil partner (if the deceased was married, in a civil partnership or widowed)
  • If known, the deceased’s parent names and occupations
  • If the deceased is a child under the age of 16,  parents names and occupations
  • Occupation of deceased
  • Maiden Surname (if applicable)
  • The name and address of the deceased’s GP
  • Optional Information which can be recorded:
    • deceased’s Fathers Name and Occupation
    • deceased’s Mothers Name, Maiden name and Occupation

Once the death is registered, you will receive:

  • A GRO 21 form which allows a burial or cremation to take place
  • Form 36 (certificate of registration of death) for social security purposes if the deceased received a state pension or benefits
  • Certificates, may be purchased at the time of registration, £8 per certificate or at a later date from The General Office, Belfast – telephone 0300 200 7890 (ringing from within Northern Ireland) or 028 9151 3101 (ringing from outside Northern Ireland) and paying by debit/credit card.  To order a certified copy online log on to the NI Direct Website