How Long Does It Take to Get a Death Certificate in Australia?

Learn the turnaround times for death certificates in Australia and the reasons for delays in this guide.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Death Certificate in Australia?

death certificate is an important document. The executor or the next of kin will typically need a death certificate to administer the deceased’s estate swiftly and properly. For example, a death certificate is sometimes necessary to access bank accounts, life insurance, super and investment funds.

When to expect a death certificate in each Australian state and territory

While birth certificates and marriage registrations can sometimes take 5-7 weeks to process, death certificates are often fast-tracked. Below, find a rundown of the estimated turnaround time for each Australian state and territory:

  • VIC – within 7 days.
  • NSW – Up to 2 weeks.
  • QLD – The average processing time is 10 business days, however, urgent certificate applications can be processed in 2 business days for an added fee.
  • SA – About 3 days to obtain a certificate or extract if requested personally and about 10 days if requested by mail.
  • WA – Within 3 business days.
  • TAS – About 2 weeks.
  • NT – Approximately 2-4 weeks after the notice of disposal of remains is provided. 
  • ACT – Within 15 business days of receiving all the required documents.

Having provided the timeline above, we generally advise our clients to allow around 4 weeks from the time of submission to receive the certificate.

Reasons for delays

The most common cause of delays is not providing certified proof of identity documents, as the relevant authority can only accept copies of identity documents that have been certified by authorised people. However, mistakes may also be made on the cause of death, or there could be a delay in identifying the cause of death, stalling the process. Postal delays may also play a role. 

Wrap up 

The processing time for a death certificate varies across the different Australian states and territories, and delays can occur depending on the circumstances. Note that if the death certificate hasn’t arrived after two months, you can report it as late or missing.

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If you need assistance with arranging a funeral, the team at Willed can help. Please call our team on 1300 945 533 today.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.

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