Upon death, the next of kin of the deceased receive a death certificate from a doctor that must be submitted to the district commissioner in the district in which the deceased had his/her legal domicile. The district commissioner forwards the death certificate to Registers Iceland, where the person is registered as deceased in the National Registry.
As it is important that registration in the National Registry is amended as soon as possible, the death certificate must be submitted to the district commissioner immediately.
In the case of foreign nationals who die in Iceland but who are not listed in the National Registry (tourists, for instance), the district commissioner will send a death certificate to Registers Iceland.
If a child dies soon after birth, the child will be listed in the National Registry in accordance with the birth notification from the health centre and registered as deceased on the basis of a death certificate from the district commissioner. The child’s parents can submit the child’s name and notify of its paternity, if applicable; see registration of children.
Other rules apply if a death occurs abroad, as foreign authorities do not notify Icelandic authorities of the death. In this case, the next of kin must submit documentation confirming the person’s death to a district commissioner or Registers Iceland.
If the deceased was domiciled in Iceland at the time of his/her death, a death certificate must be submitted to the district commissioner in the district in which the deceased had his/her legal domicile. The district commissioner forwards the death certificate to Registers Iceland, where the person is registered as deceased in the National Registry.
If the deceased was domiciled abroad at the time of his/her death, the next of kin must acquire documentation confirming his/her death and forward it to be registered by Registers Iceland.
Next of kin of missing persons can request that the person be declared legally dead, provided that the person in question has not been seen or heard from for at least 3 years. When it is considered clear that a person has disappeared due to an accident or natural disaster, e.g. due to an accident at sea, a court ruling can be requested within four months.
Registers Iceland receives rulings on missing person from the courts and registers deaths accordingly.
A child stillborn after 22 weeks of pregnancy is listed in a special registry on the basis of a notification from a health centre. The child is not allocated a personal identification number in the National Registry but is issued a system ID No., partly due to registration in the Directorate of Health’s birth registry.