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 proceed, but no later than five days from the date of death, except where the matter has been referred to the Coroner.
Who can register a death?
• 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.
What do you need to register the death?
The person registering the death must collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and take it to any Registration Office in Northern Ireland. This is normally issued to the relatives by a Doctor who has 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.
Where can a death be registered?
In any Registration Office in Northern Ireland, providing the death occurred in Northern Ireland.
Castlereagh Registration Office operates an appointment system. To make an appointment please contact the Castlereagh Registration Office on 028 9244 7822.
You do not need an appointment to visit Lisburn Registration Office, though please note that a queuing system is in operation. Customers should arrive at least 45 minutes before the stipulated closing times. However Registration Staff deal with very sensitive issues and waiting times will vary. Please note Mondays and Fridays are extremely busy days and longer waiting times may apply. On occasions you may be asked to return. If your visit to the Lisburn Office is not urgent you may prefer to call on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Details Required to Register a Death
• 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, the parents names and occupations
• Occupation of deceased
• Maiden Surname (if applicable)
• The deceased’s medical card or national health service number are helpful, but not essential
• 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)
Please note that a registration cannot easily be changed once completed.
The NI direct website has comprehensive information about what to do if a death is referred to the Coroner or if someone dies abroad http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/
What will I receive?
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, which may be required when sorting out the deceased’s affairs, may be purchased at the time of registration for £8 per copy. You can pay by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.
Advice and Support
The NI Direct Website has details of organisations which can provide support after a bereavement http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/
To order a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate after the time of Registration
Certified copies of all deaths registered in Northern Ireland may only be obtained from: General Register Office, NISRA, Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR
Telephone the General Register Office – 0300 200 7890 (ringing from within N Ireland/UK) or + 44300 200 7890 (ringing from outside N Ireland/UK) and paying by debit/credit card.
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro (Certificates can be ordered on line).