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?
- any relative of the deceased who has knowledge of the details required to be registered
- 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 & responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred
- a person finding the body
- a person taking charge of the body
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:
- at any Registrar's Office in Northern Ireland
What will the Registrar give you?
Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will issue the following forms:-
- GRO 21 permits the burial or cremation to take place
- Form 36 for production to the Social Security Offices regarding benefits
- Certified copies - may be needed to claim Insurance, deal with business matters etc. May be purchased from the Registrar at the time, price £8.00 each
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
Deaths registered before 1997
Certified copies of all deaths registered in Northern Ireland prior to 1997 may be obtained from:
General register office
49-55 CHICHESTER STREET