The Death Certificate

The Death Certificate is the official document registering the death, and is issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state as they record all deaths that occur in Australia. Usually it is the funeral director who is responsible for registering the death with the Registry within 7 days of the burial or cremation.

The Death Certificate is different to the Cause of Death Certificate that is given by a doctor at the time of death.

The Death Certificate is needed for legal and financial reasons. The time it takes to receive the certificate from the Registry varies and may take several weeks.

Once the death is registered, Births, Deaths and Marriages will provide a formal Death Certificate, which is often a necessary document for any legal and estate issues that need to be attended to.

The registration application

Your funeral director will ask you for the information required and will register the death after the funeral has taken place.

You will be asked to answer the following questions about the person who has died to complete the registration application. It may help to have their birth and marriage certificates available to give you this information.

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Place of death (full address of hospital or residence)
  4. Residential address
  5. Occupation during working life
  6. Place of birth (city and country)
  7. Marital status at time of death
  8. All marriages (place of marriage; city, state & country, full name of spouse, age at the time of marriage)
  9. Parents’ names and occupations, including mother’s maiden name
  10. Children’s names, dates of birth and ages
  11. Place of burial or cremation 
  12. Religion (if applicable)
  13. Your relationship to the deceased