Registering a death

You normally need to register the death within five days. It's best to go to the register office in the area in which the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements.

To make an appointment to register a death please contact the relevant register office.

Who can register a death?

The following persons have a legal obligation to register a death; they are listed in order of preference:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • a person present at the death
  • a person arranging the funeral (not a funeral director but the person instructing them).

In certain circumstances other people, such as the senior administrator at a residential home, may be allowed to register a death. Please contact the registrar for advice.

Tell Us Once

To make things easier for you the registrar can collect details from you about the deceased to pass to other relevant agencies and organisations.

This means you don't have to inform them all individually, post off copies of the certificate, receive mail addressed to the deceased and you can get benefits sorted out quickly.

We can pass details to agencies including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Blue Badge parking scheme and housing and council tax offices.

What is needed to register the death?

A death must be registered in the district in which it occurs. However, if a death occurred in another district, a declaration can be attested at any register office and forwarded on to the relevant district which will issue all the necessary documents.

The following information is required:

  • full name and surname of the deceased
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation (even if retired)
  • usual address
  • in the case of a married person, the full name and date of birth of their spouse, and their occupation.

You will need to bring a 'Medical Certificate of Cause of Death'; the doctor in medical attendance will issue this. If the death has been referred to HM Coroner, the Coroner's Officer will advise you what to do. If you are unsure contact a registrar.

If you are able to locate the deceased's medical card, please bring that with you when you attend at the register office. If you cannot find it, the Registrar will be able to continue the registration without the medical card.

It can be helpful to bring birth and marriage certificates relating to the deceased with you but it is not essential.

If the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds, for example the Civil Service or HM Forces, please bring details with you.

What certificates will I receive?

The registrar will issue the following certificates, free of charge:

  • a certificate of burial or cremation - this is a green form that you should pass to the funeral director
  • a certificate of Registration of Death - this is a white form for social security purposes, usually referred to as a BD8.

'Certified copies of a Death Entry' are available from the registrar and are generally referred to as 'death certificates'.