Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships


Photograph of a statue displaying grief

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.

Download the GRO73 Death Registration Form

What do you need in order to register?

The person registering the death must go to the Registration office 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 Registration staff will provide you with.

Who can register a death?

  • Any relative of the deceased who has knowledge of the details required to register
  • 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 occupation 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?

  • At any Registration Office in Northern Ireland

What will the Registration staff give you?

  • Once the registration is completed, the Registration staff 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/ national insurance records.
  • Certified copies - may be needed to claim Insurance, deal with business matters etc. may be purchased from the Registration office 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 Registration staff have received the necessary certificate from the Coroner.

When the Registration 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.

Death Registration Form and Guidance Notes - GRO73 - on the NIDirect government services website