Who can issue a death certificate

Death certificate

Topic overview

Death certificate

What's this?

The death certificate is a document that certifies the death of a person. It documents the place and time of death of the deceased and is created by the responsible registry office at the place of death. As a rule, you need five to ten original copies, for example for insurance companies, banks or for the creation of the certificate of inheritance at the probate court. When deregistering from memberships (for example in the ADAC), copies of the death certificates are usually sufficient.


Where can I get a death certificate?

You will receive the death certificate from registry office responsible for the place of death. If you would like your undertaker to do this for you, give him a power of attorney to collect it.

Necessary documents

What documents do I need to apply for the death certificate?

For the creation of a death certificate, the registry office always needs the death certificate (also called death certificate) and the identity card of the deceased. The following is also required: the birth certificate (for single persons), the marriage certificate (for married persons), the marriage certificate and a legally binding divorce decree (for divorced persons), the marriage certificate and the death certificate of the spouse (for widowed persons). If the deceased had a degree and you want it to be included, you will need to provide the relevant diploma. If the required documents are not available, you or your undertaker can also obtain a copy from the family register from the responsible registry office.

Death certificate

What is a death certificate?

The death certificate is issued by the doctor. This certificate contains the personal details of the deceased, the time and place of death and the cause of death. What is important here is whether it is natural or unnatural death.


What does the application cost?

The first copy usually costs ten to twelve euros. The issuance for the statutory pension insurance, the health insurance or the social welfare office are free of charge. Additional death certificates are usually cheaper and cost around five euros. We recommend that you contact the institutes in advance who will receive a death certificate. Inquire whether this is required in the original or whether a copy is sufficient.
The following table lists the fees for the cities specified.

cityDeath certificate *More copies **
Berlin10,00 €5,00 €
Dresden10,00 €5,00 €
Dusseldorf10,00 €5,00 €
Frankfurt am Main10,00 €5,00 €
Hamburg12,00 €6,00 €
Hanover10,00 €5,00 €
Cologne10,00 €5,00 €
Leipzig10,00 €-
Munich10,00 €-
Wuppertal10,00 €5,00 €

* The death certificate for the pension insurance provider is usually free of charge
** more copies if exhibited at the same time
Status: January 2016


What does the death certificate look like?

The documents that are issued by a registry office are all identical in appearance. The federal eagle appears in light gray on a white background. In the header of the page, the corresponding document is titled, the registry office and the registration number are noted. The additional information differs depending on the type of certificate. A death certificate contains the following information about the deceased person: family name, maiden name, first name (s), time of death, place of death, last place of residence, birthday, place of birth, religion and marital status. In addition, details of the husband, wife, life partner are entered. These are the family name, the maiden name and the first name (s). Further information from the register, information on the place and date of issue, the seal and name as well as the function of the notary complete the death certificate.


How long must a death certificate be kept?

The death certificate should not be discarded after a certain period. We recommend this carefully put down and, like for example the identity card, to keep it permanently.

Author: Annika Wenzel - Image source: © C. Sollmann / Bestattungen.de

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