Death Certificate

What is death certificate ?
A death certificate is a document issued by the government to the nearest relative of the deceased, stating the date, fact and cause of death.

Why it is needed ?
It is essential to register death to prove the time and date of death, to establish the fact of death for relieving the individual from social, legal and official obligations. It is also required to enable the individual for settlement of property inheritance, and to authorize the family to collect insurance and other benefits.

Legal Framework
In India it is mandatory under the Law (as per the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969), to register every death with the concerned State/ UT within 21 days of its occurrence. The government accordingly has provided a very structured system for registration of death, with the Register General at the Centre and Chief Registrars in the states, running through district registrars to the village and town registrars at the periphery.

Eligibility Criteria
The death certificate is issued to the nearest of the deceased.

Concerned Authority
a) In urban areas - Registrar (Birth and death)-cum-Health Officer for Municipal Corporations - Executive Officer for Municipalities/ NACs .
b) In rural areas - Medical Officer in charge UGPHC (Upgraded Primary Health Centre), CHC (Community Health Centre), PHC (Primary health Centre).


1. A death can be reported and registered by the head/ guardian of the family to the concerned authority in case the death occurs in the house.
2. The death can be registered by the medical in charge if it occurs in hospital
3. The death can be registered by the head man of the village or in charge of the local police if the body is found deserted in that area.
4. For applying death certificate, death has to be registered first to the concerned authority of the locality.
5. The form is available in the offices of local bodies.