Apply for a death certificate

Death certificates are often needed when people are finalising the estate of a family member or friend. The funeral director will usually take care of this when they register the death.

Funeral directors

Register a death, apply for a death certificate or a cremation permit online

Who can apply

To apply for a certificate you need to be the person’s:

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

Death records more than 30 years old

Anyone can access a historical death certificate, and they are commonly used to research family histories.

What you’ll need

You will need to give us basic information about the person, such as their name and the date and place they died.

Proof of identity

You will need to prove your identity unless you’re applying for death certificates more than 30 years old.

If applying in person or by post, you will need either a:

  • current Australian driver’s licence
  • proof of age card.

If you don’t have those as proof, we accept any two of the following, which show your current name and address on one, and your signature on the other:

  • passport
  • Centrelink or health care card
  • pension/seniors/veteran’s card
  • credit/debit card, bank statement
  • occupational  licence –  eg builders licence
  • defence force/police service ID card
  • current Australian firearms licence
  • electricity/gas/utilities account
  • telephone/mobile account.

If applying online you can either:

  • answer a series of questions about the registration and the certificate will be posted by registered person-to-person post.
  • upload scanned or photographed images of your identification documents.


Fees for certificates cover the search of the register:

  • certificate – $48.75
  • commemorative certificate (includes standard certificate) – $68.50.

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 $48.75 for each ten-year period is charged.

Processing times

Processing times can vary depending on the date on the certificate.

Check current processing times

Your application can be fast-tracked by paying a priority fee of $37. Certificates can be picked up from the CBS Customer Service Centre in Adelaide or sent by express post. There is no extra postage cost to have your fast-tracked certificate sent by express post.

Priority service processing times:

  • CBS Customer Service Centre applications – 30 minutes
  • online or posted applications – available for collection or posted within 24 hours.

Priority services aren’t available for deaths that are not registered or death certificates more than 30 years old.

Paying for your certificate

You can pay for your certificate:

  • in person – cash, cheque, money order, credit or debit card
  • by post – cheque, money order, credit card
  • online – credit card.

Cheques should be made payable to Births, Deaths and Marriages.

How to apply

Apply online for a death certificate

Or you can apply in person or by mail:

1.  Application form
Complete and sign the form ­ – Apply for a death certificate – PDF

2.  Supporting evidence
Attach a copy of your proof of ID to your application

3.  Lodgement
In person – Complete the form and take it to the CBS Customer service Centre or a country Service SA location.
Post – Complete and sign the form, then post it to:
Births, Deaths & Marriages
Consumer & Business Services
GPO Box 1351
Adelaide SA 5001

Contact us

You can contact BDM by email, phone or in person.

If you email, select Births, Deaths and Marriages from the ‘subject’ list.

Lost or stolen certificates

Reporting a lost or stolen certificate means that it isn’t able to be validated by third parties including the Passport Office.