Donation after cardiac death (DCD) liver transplantation is associated with an increased frequency of hepato-biliary complications. The implications for renal function have not been explored previously. The aims of this single-center study of 88 consecutive DCD liver transplant recipients were (1) to compare renal outcomes with propensity-risk-matched donation after brain death (DBD) patients and (2) in the DCD patients specifically to examine the risk factors for acute kidney injury (AKI; peak creatinine ≥2 times baseline) and chronic kidney disease (CKD; eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2). During the immediate postoperative period DCD liver transplantation was associated with an increased incidence of AKI (DCD, 53.4%; DBD 31.8%, p = 0.004). In DCD patients AKI was a risk factor for CKD (p = 0.035) and mortality (p = 0.017). The cumulative incidence of CKD by 3 years post-transplant was 53.7% and 42.1% for DCD and DBD patients, respectively (p = 0.774). Importantly, increasing peak perioperative aspartate aminotransferase, a surrogate marker of hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury, was the only consistent predictor of renal dysfunction after DCD transplantation (AKI, p < 0.001; CKD, p = 0.032). In conclusion, DCD liver transplantation is associated with an increased frequency of AKI. The findings suggest that hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of post-transplant renal dysfunction.