A death certificate is a legal record of civil status. It is an authenticated document, signed by the person declaring the death and by the civil registrar. A death certificate is established when a person dies.
The copy or extract of a death certificate is a reproduction in full or in part of the details indicated on the death certificate.
A copy or an extract of this certificate is often necessary for carrying out certain administrative procedures such as:
Who is concerned
A relative of the deceased can request a death certificate.
The issue of the certificate is subject to the payment of a tax. This chancellery tax must be paid to the communal administration.
How to proceed
Submitting the application
When a person dies, the death must be declared to the communal administration in the commune where the death occurred. For this reason, only the commune in question is able to issue a copy of the death certificate.
Depending on the commune, in order to obtain a copy or an extract of the death certificate, applicants have the possibility to submit their application:
- in person: to the civil registrar’s office, upon presentation of a valid ID card;
- electronically: by submitting an application online;
- by post;
- by phone (during the opening hours of the communal administration).
The office of the civil registrar establishes the death certificate on the basis of the report issued by the doctor (formal declaration of death). The civil registrar drafts the death certificate based on the declaration, if possible, by one of the deceased person’s close relatives or neighbours or, if the person did not die at home, by the person in whose home the death occurred.
In the case of applications submitted online, by post or telephone, the documents will be sent by post to the address indicated in the application.
To obtain the death certificate issued by the civil registrar, the applicant must provide:
- the deceased's family record book, if such a book exists; or
- failing that, the deceased's marriage certificate; or
- for a deceased single person: the birth certificate of the deceased.
The death certificate includes all the mandatory information for a civil status certificate (year, date and time of issue; first name(s) and name of the civil registrar; first name(s), names and domiciles of all named persons), as well as the following:
- the name(s) and first name(s), date and place of birth, gender and domicile of the deceased;
- if the deceased was married, widowed or divorced, the spouse’s name, first name(s) and gender;
- the date, time and place of death;
- the given name(s), age and domicile of the person declaring the death and, if that person is a relative, the degree of relationship between them and the deceased.
The same document also contains the names, first names and domicile of the deceased's parents and their dates and places of birth. The death is also recorded as a marginal entry in the deceased’s birth certificate.
When a child dies before its birth was declared to the civil registrar, the latter draws up both a birth certificate and a death certificate upon presentation of a medical certificate specifying the dates and times of birth and death.
If the child was stillborn, the civil registrar draws up a stillbirth certificate. This document is recorded with the date of the event in the death registers and states:
- the date, time and place of delivery;
- the child’s gender;
- the name and first name(s) chosen for the child, if the parents so desire;
- the names, first names, gender and domicile of the parents, and the places and dates of their birth, if known.
Forms / Online services
Demander un acte de décès
Eine Sterbeurkunde beantragen
Requesting a death certificate