Overview

The Death Certificate is a key document for all official dealings with government departments, companies and organisations as it proves the death. You will need to:
  • ensure the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death was provided to your State/Territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages by the medical practitioner or the Funeral Director (see Step 1.3 for more details);
  • check if the Funeral Director applied for the Death Certificate; and
  • if you need to apply, request the Next of Kin to complete the relevant application.

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8.1 General Considerations

The Death Certificate can only be applied for by the Funeral Director or the deceased person’s Next of Kin unless you receive a letter of authority by the Next of Kin.

If you have engaged a Funeral Director already based on Step 6 and Step 7 the Death Certificate may have already been issued to the Funeral Director or may be on its way to the Next of Kin.

Make sure you check with the Funeral Director first, before applying with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State or Territory.

When dealing with official documents and identification, you will need to bring original documents or certified copies.

In Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:
  • Health Professions: Chiropractor, Dentist, Medical practitioner, Nurse, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist;
  • Legal Professions: Legal practitioner, Patent attorney, Trademarks attorney;
  • Court Positions: Bailiff, Justice of the Peace, Judge, Magistrate, Registrar, or Deputy Registrar, Clerk, Master of a court, CEO of a Commonwealth court;
  • Government representatives (elected): Federal, State or Territory or Local;
  • Public Servants: Federal, State or Territory or Local – employed for five years or more;
  • Member of: Chartered Secretaries Australia, Engineers Australia, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy;
  • Bank officer, building society officer, credit union officer, finance company officer – employed for five years or more, Veterinary surgeon, Accountant (member of ICA, ASA, IPA or CPA, ATMA, NTAA); and
  • Minister of religion, Marriage celebrant, Notary public, Police Officer, Sheriff or Sheriff’s Officer, Teacher (full-time) at a school or tertiary education institution.
Outside Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:
  • Justice of the Peace;
  • Notary public;
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer (within the meaning of the Consular Fees Act 1955); and
  • Employee of the Commonwealth or the Australian Trade Commission who works outside Australia.

8.2 Applying for a Death Certificate

New South Wales (NSW) – Sydney change State

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm AEST
Address (Sydney): 35 Regent Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Address (Parramatta): Justice Precinct Offices, 160 Marsden Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Service Centre near you can be found here
Post: NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, GPO Box 30, Sydney NSW 2001

The NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages allows applications to be made:
  • online
  • in person (Sydney or Parramatta);
  • in person at Service Centre Locations; and
  • by post.
Relevant Documents Delivery Times
  • in person (Sydney and Parramatta): one working day
  • in person (priority processing): same day if lodged before 3pm
  • by post: five working days plus postal delivery time
Fees (effective June 2020)
  • Standard: $60
  • Priority Service: $88
Payment
  • Cash/cheque/money order (Cheques or money orders should be made payable to: Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.);
  • Credit card (MasterCard or Visa only); and
  • Eftpos (debit card).
Victoria (VIC) – Melbourne change State

VIC Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm AEST
Address: Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Customer Service Centre, Ground floor, 595 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Justice Service Centre (JSC) near you can be found here
Post: Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, GPO Box 4332, Melbourne VIC 3001

The VIC Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages allows applications to be made:
  • online
  • in person in Melbourne;
  • in person at selected Justice Service Centres (JSC); and
  • by post.
Relevant Documents
  • Deceased person details
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Eligibility
Delivery Times
  • five working days for deaths in 2017 (pick-up in person in Melbourne or 6 days Australia Post)
  • ten working days for deaths in other years (pick-up in person in Melbourne or 6 days Australia Post)
Fees (effective January 2021)
  • Standard: $33.80; and
  • Postage Australia: $10.00; or
  • Postage overseas: $54.10.
Queensland (QLD) – Brisbane change State

QLD Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm AEST
Address: Brisbane Registry Customer Service Centre, Level 32, 180 Ann Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
Queensland Magistrates Court or Queensland Government Agent Program offices near you can be found here
Post: Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, PO Box 15188, City East QLD 4002

The QLD Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages allows applications to be made: Relevant Documents
Delivery Times
  • in person (Brisbane): while waiting at the time of your visit
  • in person (other locations): five working days
  • by post: five working days plus postal delivery time or two working days plus postal delivery time for urgent applications (additional fee of $28.70 as at June 2018)
Fees (effective March 2021)
  • Standard: $50.40 (5 days)
  • Urgent fee: $29.90 (2 days)
Payment
  • Cash/cheque/money order (Cheques or money orders should be made payable to: Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.); and
  • Credit card (MasterCard or Visa only).

Complete Step

Actions and Decisions to Complete Step Yourself

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding the above, you may want to:

  1. Request the Death Certificate from the Funeral Director or check if an application for the Death Certificate was made by them
    (see Step 8.1 above);
  2. Alternatively, request the Funeral Director or Next of Kin to apply for the Death Certificate with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the relevant State/Territory
    (see Step 8.2 above);
  3. If the Next of Kin is unable to request it, ask for an letter from the Next of Kin authorising you to apply on their behalf; and
  4. Make certified copies of the Death Certificate as this is a key document that will be requested by most organisations when you inform them of the death
    (see Step 8.1 above).

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Information

Forms

Legislation

New South Wales (NSW) – Sydney change State
Victoria (VIC) – Melbourne change State
Queensland (QLD) – Brisbane change State

Cost & Effort

Reading: 10 mins
Preparing: 1 hr
Completing: 20 mins
Waiting: 1-2 wks
Total: 1-2 wks
Cost: $43.80 – $88.00

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without experienced support.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

New South Wales (NSW) – Sydney change State
Victoria (VIC) – Melbourne change State
Queensland (QLD) – Brisbane change State

Forms

Death Certificate in VIC

Apply online

Death Certificate in QLD

Apply online

Refer to Step 8.2 above for more detail about these forms.
Other forms not listed here may be required based on your specific circumstances.

Checklists & Tools

Use Australia’s smartest Assets & Liabilities Inventory to automatically calculate the estate value for Grant of Probate.
New South Wales (NSW) – Sydney change State
Victoria (VIC) – Melbourne change State
Queensland (QLD) – Brisbane change State

Legislation & Rules

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Other legislation and rules not listed here may apply to your specific circumstances.


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