The 'applicant' means the person applying to BDM, even if applying on behalf of someone else.

The 'registered person' means the person to whom the information or certificate relates. For example, the registered person is the deceased person on a death certificate.

What information BDM might provide to you

The table below sets out the requirements that different types of the applicants need to meet. However, access to information is still subject to the Registrar's discretion. For more information see how The Registrar makes a decision about access to information.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM) can provide information relating to death in the following formats:

  • Standard certificate
  • Letter of verification
  • Data
  • Historical certificate

Please refer to What information can be accessed for further information about these formats.

BDM will make every effort to assist you with your enquiry. If you are unable to meet all the requirements for a standard certificate, BDM might be able to provide you with a letter of verification.

Requirements for specific types of applicants

Type of access Applicant How to apply Requirements What BDM might provide you
Family access
  • Informant on death certificate
  • Next of kin
  • Family members** including:

    In relation to deceased adult:

    • The deceased's spouse or domestic partner
    • The deceased's child or the guardian of the deceased's child
    • The deceased's parent

    In relation to a deceased child:

    • The child's parent
    • The child's guardian immediately before death.

**Other family members may be entitled to the death certificate only if none of the family members listed above exist.

Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

Proof of status examples include:

  • If you are a spouse or domestic partner at the time of death, you must be registered as the spouse or domestic partner of the deceased or provide relevant evidence
  • If you are a child of the deceased, you must be registered as the child of the deceased or provide relevant evidence
  • If you are the guardian of the deceased's child, you must provide evidence demonstrating that you have parental responsibility for the child
  • If you are a parent of the deceased, you must be listed as the parent of the deceased on the deceased's birth certificate.
Standard death certificate
Family access Other relatives (not entitled persons) Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

Standard death certificate
Deceased estate matters Public trustees and trustee companies Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

  • A written request on letterhead signed by the authorised delegate stating that the trustee acts on behalf of the deceased's estate
  • Evidence that the delegate has authority to apply (e.g. inclusion on a list of authorised delegates, letter of authority)
  • Certified copies of documents evidencing the capacity in which the trustee acts
  • The relevant fee.
Standard death certificate
Deceased estate matters Executors Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

Standard death certificate
Deceased estate matters Legal practitioners applying on behalf of an executor Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

Standard death certificate

Letter of verification

A certificate that cannot be used as proof of identity

Deceased estate matters Search agent applying on behalf of a legal practitioner or trustee representing an executor Go to Get a death certificate

The requirements for legal practitioners (above)

A written statement on letterhead from the legal practitioner authorising the agent to apply on their behalf.

Standard death certificate

Letter of verification

A certificate that cannot be used as proof of identity

Other agent Financial institutions Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

  • A written request on letterhead signed by an officer authorised to act on behalf of the institution setting out:
    • The information you need
    • The reason for the request
  • Evidence that the deceased was a client (e.g. written statement of account)
  • Proof of identity from an officer authorised to act on behalf of the institution (a certified copy of staff card is sufficient)
  • The relevant fee.

 

Letter of verification
Administrative or research access Government, not-for-profit, research (e.g. universities) or commercial organisations

Go to Apply for registry data

For more information, contact BDM using our contact us form and include 'data request' in your message.

A written request using the online data request form setting out:

  • The information you need
  • The reasons for the request (e.g. explaining the administrative or research purpose for which you need the information)
  • That you have the delegated authority to apply
  • Human Research Ethics Committee approval (if applicable for research).

Pay the relevant fee.

Note: There may be additional requirements, depending on the nature of the request. BDM will advise you if this is the case.

Data
Statutory or government access

Any Australian government or statutory body requiring access. For example:

  • Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria)
  • Centrelink
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Hospitals
  • etc.
Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

  • A written request on letterhead signed by an authorised delegate setting out:
    • The information you need

    • The statutory authority to obtain the information

      If you do not have statutory authority, you must provide permission (known as third party authority) and proof of identity from the entitled person

    • Certified proof of the authorised delegate's identity (staff identification card is sufficient)
  • The relevant fee.

Standard death certificate

Letter of verification

A certificate that cannot be used as proof of identity

Statutory or government access  Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

  • A written request on letterhead signed by an authorised delegate setting out:
    • The statutory authority to obtain the information

      If there is no statutory authority, provide permission (known as third party authority) and proof of identity from the entitled person

    • The purpose for which the LEA seeks access
  • The relevant fee.

Note: If a standard certificate from BDM is required, in addition to the requirements above, the application must:

  • State that the purpose for which the LEA seeks access is for court proceedings
  • Include a subpoena.

A letter of verification

Standard death certificate

Statutory or government access Consulates (from the country the registered person was born in or where the parent/guardian of the registered person resides) Go to Get a death certificate

Apply for a certificate including:

  • A written request on letterhead setting out:
    • The information you need
    • Any statutory authority you have to obtain the information
  • The registered person's next of kin's permission (known as third party authority) and the next of kin's proof of identity

    If you cannot provide the next of kin's permission, provide a written statement setting out:

    • Why you cannot obtain their permission
    • Your reason for seeking access to the information
  • The relevant fee.

Any documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Learn more about the requirements for translated documents.

A letter of verification

Historical Anyone - for information about a person who died over 30 years ago. Visit Search your family history Visit Search your family history

Uncertified historical image of certificate

Historical certificate

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