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In the event of death, you as the relatives of the deceased can apply for a death certificate.

The death certificate is a document that certifies the death of a person.

Every death must be reported to the registry office in whose jurisdiction the death occurred.

The death certificate is an important document that you, as the next of kin, can apply for in the event of death.

You can apply for a death certificate as soon as the death has been recorded in the death register.

The death certificate is important for, for example:

  • the funeral and its preparation (such as for burial and transport), and
  • the settlement of the estate
  • claiming statutory or private insurance benefits.

You can apply for a death certificate in person, in writing or electronically at the relevant registry office.

When applying, you must submit:

  • Identity card or passport
  • Proof of relationship, such as
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate
    • Civil partnership certificate
  • in the case of collection by a representative:
    • written power of attorney from the authorized person
    • original or certified copy of the person's identity document and
    • your own identity document
  • for other persons, such as closer relatives:
    • Proof of the legitimate interest, such as
      • certificate of inheritance
      • extract from the land register
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: no
  • Personal appearance required: no

Application can usually be made via the website of the relevant registry office.


An application for a death certificate may be made by:

  • the last spouse,
  • the last civil partner within the meaning of the Registered Civil Partnership Act,
  • ancestors and descendants of the deceased person, or
  • siblings with a legitimate interest,
  • Closer relatives, such as
    • aunts and uncles who can show a legal interest, for example by means of a letter from the probate court.

Related Links

  • § 55 Civil Status Act (PStG)
  • § 60 Civil Status Act (PStG)

You may apply for a death certificate at the appropriate registrar's office in person, in writing, or electronically.

Applying in person:

  • Go to your local registry office during business hours to apply for a death certificate.
  • You must present your identity card or passport to prove your identity.
  • You usually pay the fee when you apply at the registry office.
  • You can also have the death certificate applied for and collected by a person you trust. In addition to a written power of attorney, this person must also present his or her own identity card or passport (original or certified copy).

Application by post, fax or e-mail:

  • Send the appropriate registrar's office an informal application for a death certificate by mail, fax or e-mail.
  • Your letter should address your eligibility to apply.
  • It must contain the following information about the deceased person:
    • Surname, first name
    • Date and place of birth
    • date and place of death
    • if applicable, details of the spouse of the deceased
    • Registry office and certification number (if known)
  • When the certificate is sent to you, you will receive a fee notice.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)

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