Death

The relevant authorities do not automatically submit documents regarding a death to the Swiss representations abroad. It is therefore essential that the necessary documents are transmitted to the competent Swiss representation in order to have the various Swiss registers updated free of charge.

Death abroad

To register a death abroad in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar), the following documents and information generally have to be submitted to the competent Swiss representation:

  • death certificate - original
  • Swiss identity documents (passport & identity card) for cancellation – at the written request of the family, the cancelled documents can be returned as mementos (please specify this when submitting the documents)
  • address and contact details of the surviving relatives

Death in Switzerland

The competent Swiss representation must also be notified of the death in Switzerland of Swiss Abroad or their foreign spouses, in order to update the personal details in the register of the Swiss Abroad. The following documents and information have to be submitted to the competent Swiss representation:

  • photocopy of Swiss death certificate (original not required)
  • Swiss identity documents (passport & identity card) for cancellation, if they have not been cancelled already by a passport office in Switzerland – at the written request of the family, the cancelled documents can be returned as mementos (please specify this when submitting the documents)
  • address and contact details of the surviving relatives

In order to keep the family registers accurate and up-to-date, the Swiss authorities need to be informed about any changes in the civil status (birth, marriage, partnership, death and divorce) of Swiss citizens and dual nationals. When such changes occur, the persons concerned, or their nearest relatives, should send a complete and certified copy of the appropriate document/s (birth, death, marriage, partnership or divorce certificates) to the responsible Swiss representation.

Please note that these requirements are not set by the Swiss representations but by the respective cantonal offices in Switzerland. They make the final decisions whether the documents meet or do not meet the requirements.

Local and cantonal civil status authorities

Civil status changes (marital status, birth of children, death, name change, etc.) must be communicated to the Swiss authorities. Failure to provide accurate documentation may impede future administrative procedures with the Swiss authorities and even hinder the issuance of new identity documents, i.e. passports, etc.

Death (U.S.)

  • Certified death certificate (not older than 6 months)

Important: The documents will not be returned to you. Photocopies and documents certified by a notary public will not be accepted.

For cancellation of Swiss identity documents, please enclose passport and ID card of the deceased person, if available. Upon request, they will be returned to the family.