Registering the Death

Registering the Death

By law all deaths occurring in Northern Ireland must be registered in Northern Ireland. This should be done as soon as possible to allow further arrangements to be made but no later than 5 days after the death occurs except when the matter has been referred to the Coroner. An appointment can be made at any District Registrar’s Office.

Who may 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 and responsible for a house, lodgings or apartments where the death occurred
  • A person finding the body, or a person taking charge of the body

You will need to provide the Registrar with the following information in order to register the death:

  • Full name of the deceased
  • Date and place of death and address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Marital Status
  • The name and occupation of spouse or civil partner (If applicable)
  • The details of parents, if known
  • Maiden name (if the deceased was a woman who had been married or in a civil partnership)
  • The name and address of the deceased’s GP
  • Details of any pension that the deceased may have held (apart from a state pension)

You must also take with you the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. It may also be useful, but not essential to take the deceased’s:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage/civil partnership certificates
  • NHS Medical Card

Once you have registered the death, the Registrar will give you:

  • GRO 21 which gives permission for the burial or cremation to be carried out
  • 36/BD8 for social security purposes if the deceased received a State Pension or other benefits

You will be able to purchase additional copies of the Death Certificate at this time. These will be needed by the executor or administrator who is taking care of the deceased’s affairs and will be needed for any pension claims, insurance policies or financial matters. We would normally advise purchasing at least three copies at the time of registration.

If the death is referred to the Coroner, preliminary funeral arrangements may be made but not finalised until consent has been obtained from the Coroner to proceed with the funeral.

When the Registrar’s office receives the necessary documentation from the Coroner, they will contact a relative of the deceased and ask them to call and register the death.