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Registering a Death

Why register a death?

By law all deaths occurring in Northern Ireland must be registered.
A death should be registered as soon as possible to allow funeral arrangements to go ahead but no later than five days from the date of occurrence except where the matter has been referred to the Coroner.

What do you need in order to register?

The person registering the death must go to the Registrar as soon as possible with a medical certificate of cause of death. This is usually issued to the relatives by a doctor who had treated the deceased, within twenty-eight days before the date of death. 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 be asked to fill in a death registration form, which the Registrar will provide you with.

Who can register a death?

What details are required?

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, and name and occupation of spouse (if applicable) 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 names and occupations of the mother will be required)


Maiden surname (if the deceased was a woman who had married)


The deceased's Medical Card Number or Health Care Number are helpful but not essential.


Please note that a registration cannot easily be changed once completed.

Where can the death be registered?

With the Registrar:

What will the Registrar give you?

Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will issue the following forms:-

Death Referred to a Coroner

If a death has been referred to the Coroner, the Funeral Director will obtain the necessary Burial/Cremation Orders from the Coroner's Office so that the funeral arrangements can proceed. 

The death can be registered and a Death Certificate issued only after the Registrar has received the necessary certificate from the Coroner. When the Registrar's office receives the appropriate form they will contact a relative of the deceased and ask them to call and register the death.  There is no time limit on registering in this case.

Deaths registered before 1997

Certified copies of all deaths registered in Northern Ireland prior to 1997 may be obtained from:
General register office
OXFORD HOUSE
49-55 CHICHESTER STREET
BELFAST
BT1 4HL

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