Tip Sheet - The Death Certificate

In Australia, a Death Certificate is the official document produced by the state based Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to record all deaths that occur.

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

You will need the Death Certificate for legal and financial reasons. Once you receive the official certificate, it’s a good idea to make several photocopies and have them signed by a JP so that you have enough on hand for the different times you will need to supply one.

The time it takes to receive the certificate from the Registry varies and may take several weeks. 

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

Here are the questions you will be asked to answer 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.

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of death (full address of hospital or residence)
  • Residential address
  • Occupation during working life
  • Place of birth (city and country)
  • Marital status at time of death
  • All marriages (place of marriage – city, state & country, full name of spouse, age at the time of marriage)
  • Parents’ names and occupations, including mother’s maiden name
  • Children’s names, dates of birth and current age
  • Place of burial or cremation 
  • Religion (if applicable)
  • Your relationship to the deceased.