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Death certificate

A death certificate proves the fact of death and establishes the identity of the deceased. This certificate is required for the register office to be able to grant permission for the transport and burial or cremation of the deceased.

Conditions

Under certain conditions, you can request a copy of or an extract from the death certificate:

  • A copy contains the original data of the certificate and the history of the status of the person to whom the certificate relates.
  • An extract, on the contrary, only states the current details of the certificate, without stating the history of the status of the person to whom the certificate relates. Therefore, an extract only shows the current status of the data.

Who can request a copy or an extract?

For death certificates, the right to receive a copy or an extract is limited to

  • the surviving spouse or legal cohabitant
  • the legal representative (e.g. parent, guardian, conservator)
  • blood relatives in the ascending or descending line (no relatives by affinity and side branches)
  • heirs
  • and special agents such as notaries or lawyers.

If the certificate is more than fifty years old, anyone is entitled to a copy or an extract.

Procedure

The death certificate is drawn up in the municipality in which the person died. The municipality in question then forwards the certificate to the municipality in which the deceased lived.

You can request a copy of or an extract from the death certificate from the local council of the municipality. If you have an electronic identity card (eID), you can request a copy of or an extract from the certificate online via the e-desk of the municipality.

Since 31 March 2019, certificates from the register office are registered in digital format only. If your certificate dates from before 31 March 2019, it may not yet be available digitally. Some municipalities digitise old archives when copies of or extracts from the certificates are requested or changes are made.

Requisites

If you collect the document yourself:

  • your own identity card or residence permit.

If you are requesting the document for someone else:

  • a power of attorney from that person, a copy of their identity card

and your own identity card.

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  • Last revision 24/01/2024
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