Apply for a death certificate

Death certificates are often needed to finalise a person's estate. They are also commonly used to research family histories.

The funeral director usually applies for a death certificate when they register a death.

To apply for a death certificate you need to be:

  • a parent or child of the deceased person
  • their spouse - evidence is needed if surnames are different
  • a legal guardian - evidence is needed for non-parent guardians
  • the executor of their estate, an administrator or trustee - evidence is needed
  • have power of attorney or written authority to act on the person’s behalf - evidence is needed.

Anyone can access an historical death certificate (more than 30 years old).

You'll need to supply basic information about the person whose certificate you want, and proof of your identity.

Fee: $55.50

Other ways to apply

What you'll need

You will need to provide basic information about the person, such as their name and the date and place they died. In most cases you'll also need to provide evidence of your eligibility to apply (usually this is defined by your relationship to the deceased person).

Proof of identity

You need to prove your identity unless you are applying for a death certificate that's more than 30 years old.

You'll need to provide one of these combinations of documents:

  • TWO documents from list 1
  • ONE document from list 1 and ONE document from either list 2 or 3
  • ONE document from list 2 and TWO documents from list 3
  • THREE documents from list 3.

At least one document must show your name and address and one document must show your signature.

All identification documents must be current (not expired). Where a document from list 3 is provided as evidence of your address, it must have been issued within the last three months.

You can upload scanned or photographed images of your ID documents.

If you are applying online, you must include a document from list 1, or your medicare card, to be verified by the online Document Verification Service (DVS). If you live overseas, you can use your overseas driver’s licence or passport.

List 1List 2List 3
Australian passport Government employee photo ID card Bank statement
Australian driver’s licenceOverseas driver’s licenceCouncil rates notice
Centrelink concession cardTertiary student ID cardUtility account statement (electricity, gas, water)
 Overseas passportProof of age card
 Aviation/maritime security ID cardTenancy or lease agreement
 Medicare cardMotor vehicle registration papers
 Australian firearms licenceTelephone or mobile account
 Security guard or crowd control licenceATO notice of assessment
  Mortgage documents
  Australian Electoral Commission enrollment
  Seniors card
  Superannuation fund statement
  Certified academic university transcript
  Credit or debit card

Ways to pay

You can pay for your certificate:

  • in person - cash, cheque, money order, credit/debit card
  • by post - cheque, money order, credit card
  • if you apply online - credit card.

Make cheques payable to Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Occasionally CBS can't find a record to match an application. If this happens, a 'no record' certificate is issued and a search fee of $55.50 for each ten-year period is charged.

Contact Births, Deaths and Marriages

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1351
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 6 July 2020

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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