Registration of a Death

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Before Applying

Death from Natural Causes (e.g. illness)

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Introduction

Registering the death of a person is the first and key obligation to be fulfilled by a close relative of the deceased, i.e. the informant, whether the cause of death is natural or unnatural.

Under the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance, it shall be the duty for the informant (being the nearest relative or other relevant person of the deceased) to register a death from natural causes within 24 hours.

In most cases, the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased person during his or her last illness will sign and issue a Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (Form 18).

The informant will need to take it to the Deaths Registry for registration of the death.

Applying

Death from Natural Causes (e.g. illness)

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Where to Register

Deaths from natural causes can be registered on weekdays and Saturday mornings (except General Holidays) at Hong Kong Island Deaths Registry or Kowloon Deaths Registry. On Sundays and General Holidays, the informant can approach the Births and Deaths General Register Office from 10 am - 12:30 pm for service. Deaths registration services for natural deaths are also available in some designated police stations in the New Territories such as Cheung Chau and Mui Wo for deaths that occurred in the respective districts.

Addresses and office hours of Deaths Registries 

General Enquiries

Hotline: (852) 2824 6111

Fax: (852) 2877 7711

Email: enquiry@immd.gov.hk

Supporting Documents

When applying for registering a death, the informant should supply originals of the following documents:

  • Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (Form 18), signed and issued by the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased person during his or her last illness
  • The deceased person’s Hong Kong identity card or travel document
  • The informant’s Hong Kong identity card or travel document

The informant is required to provide information on the deceased person's occupation, nationality, and marital status.

Processing Time

The registration of a death normally takes 30 minutes, and a certified copy of a death entry (commonly known as Death Certificate) can usually be issued within another 10 minutes.

Fee

Registering a death does not incur a fee, but the informant will need to pay HK$140 for a certified copy of a death entry.

After Applying

Death from Natural Causes (e.g. illness)

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After Applying

If the informant did not apply for a certified copy of a death entry at the time of the death registration but need to get one afterwards, he/she may need to apply for a search of death records first and a search fee (HK$140 for Particular Search and HK$680 for General Search) will have to be paid.

For more information on applying for a death certificate, please refer to “Application for Search of Death Records and/or a Certified Copy of a Death Entry”.

Before Applying

Death from Unnatural Causes (e.g. poison or violence)

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Introduction

A death from unnatural causes need not be registered by any relative of the deceased. For a death resulted from unnatural causes such as poison or violence, the case will be reported to the Coroner. The Coroner may conduct a post-mortem examination or an inquest to determine the cause of death. When the cause of death is determined, the Coroner will inform the Registrar of Deaths to register the death. The Registrar will then notify the family members of the deceased in writing after the death is registered.

Applying

Death from Unnatural Causes (e.g. poison or violence)

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Where to Register

Registration of a death referred by the Coroner is only processed at the Births and Deaths General Register Office in Admiralty. The family members of the deceased can apply for a certified copy of the death entry (commonly known as death certificate) at that Office or any of the other two Deaths Registries on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon after they have received the Registrar’s notification on the completion of death registration.

 Addresses and office hours of Deaths Registries

Processing Time

The Coroner usually takes one to six months to determine the cause of death. If the cause of death is determined by the Coroner and made known to the Registrar, the death will be registered within one week and the family members of the deceased will be notified by letter.

Fee

The applicant is required to provide the Registrar's notification letter upon application and pay HK$140 for a certified copy of a death entry.

After Applying

Death from Unnatural Causes (e.g. poison or violence)

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After Applying

If the family members of the deceased did not apply for a certified copy of a death entry at the time of the death registration but need to get one afterwards, they may need to apply for a search of death records first and a search fee (HK$140 for Particular Search and HK$680 for General Search) will have to be paid.

For more information on applying for a death certificate, please refer to “Application for Search of Death Records and a Certified Copy of a Death Entry”.