Getting a birth, marriage or death certificate in Ireland

Introduction

It is a legal requirement in Ireland that a record be kept of each birth, marriage and death that occurs in the State. Records of all births, marriages and deaths are held nationally in the General Register Office, the central civil repository for records relating to births, deaths and marriages in Ireland.

When a birth, marriage or death is recorded in Ireland, a certificate is issued to the individual(s) concerned (the parents in the event of a birth, the couple in the event of a marriage and the next-of-kin in the event of a death). This record of the birth, death or marriage is a very important legal document and should be kept in a safe place. For example, a birth certificate is required if you wish to enrol your child in school or apply for an Irish passport. A death certificate is required if you are dealing with the deceased person's estate.

If you need to apply for a birth, marriage or death certificate, or a copy of these certificates, you can apply online, in person, by post or by email.

Rules

Birth, marriage and death certificates are public records, meaning anybody can access or apply for them.

There are different types of certificate available from the General Register Office.

Full standard long form certificate This is a certified copy of an entry in the register. It is the certificate used for legal and administrative purposes.
Photocopy Photocopies contain the same information as the certificate but you can only use them for research purposes.
Specified Services Certificate (for example, for social welfare purposes) Certain bodies can allow you to buy certificates at a reduced price if you need the certificate for a specified purpose.
Authenticated This is needed in certain circumstances only (in addition to the certified copy).

Rates

There is no charge for registering a birth (including re-registering a birth to include a parent's details), registering a marriage or registering a death.

There are fees for birth, marriage and death certificates, or photocopies of these certificates.

Certificates can be issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. You need to give evidence you need the certificate for social welfare purposes, such as a note from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The fees charged for issuing a certificate are:

  • €20 for a full standard certificate
  • €1 for a copy for social welfare purposes, including registration for a Public Services Card (a letter from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is required)
  • €4 for an uncertified photocopy of an entry in the Register
  • €10 to have a certificate authenticated (only available from the General Register Office)
  • €20 for a certified copy of an entry in the Adopted Children Register (can be used for legal and administrative purposes). This is only available from the General Register Office.

How to apply

You can apply for a full standard birth, marriage and death certificate online. You also can apply for full standard certificates or copies of these certificates by post, email or in person at a civil registration office or the General Register Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.

Applying for a certificate online

You can apply for a certificate online, including domestic adoptions and stillbirths that have been registered. Only full standard certificates are available online.

Applying for a certificate or copy in person or by post

You can apply for a certificate or copy of a certificate in person in any civil registration service.

To apply for a certificate or copy of a certificate by post, fill in the application form (pdf). Post the completed form to the General Register Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.

Applying for a certificate or copy by email

To apply for a certificate or copy by email, download the email application form (pdf). Fill in the form electronically and email it to [email protected].

When the General Register Office receives your email application, you will get an email back with a secure payment link allowing you to pay the fee due using a debit or credit card. If the certificate you want cannot be located, your card will be refunded the full fee.

There is more information about how to apply for certificates on welfare.ie.

Where to apply

You can find the contact details for civil registration services on the website of the Health Service Executive.

General Register Office

Government Offices
Convent Road
Roscommon
Ireland

Tel:+353 90 663 2900
Locall:1890 25 20 76
Fax:+353 90 663 2999
Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/General-Register-Office.aspx
Email: [email protected]

Further Information

The General Register Office maintains a family research facility in Dublin, where you can search the indexes to the registers and purchase photocopies of records.

Records of marriages (other than Roman Catholic) held in the General Register Office (Roscommon) date back to 1 April 1845. Records of births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages date back to 1 January 1864.
Page edited: 27 September 2018