Registering a death

You must register a death within five days:

  • at the register office which covers the area where it happened,
  • by supplying the information to a registrar in another district (this may take longer)

You must bring the death certificate, giving the cause of death, issued by the doctor or the hospital.

If a post mortem examination is needed, the death cannot be registered until the coroner issues the death certificate. In these cases the coroner's officer will advise you when to make an appointment to register the death.

Who can register a death?

You can register if you are:

  • a relative or spouse (including a civil partner) of the person who has died
  • not related to the person who has died but you were present at their death
  • the person instructing the funeral director
  • the occupier of the establishment where the death happened.

Information needed to register a death

  • the date and place of death
  • the full name of the person who has died
  • their date and place of birth
  • their home address
  • their last occupation and whether they were retired
  • whether the person who has died was married when they died

If the person who has died was married or in a civil partnership (or they were a widow/widower of marriage or civil partnership) we’ll need to know their spouse's full name and occupation. Alternatively, we will ask for the date of birth of any spouse still living.

Documents you need to bring

  • the medical certificate which gives the cause of death, unless the coroner has carried out a post mortem
  • the birth certificate of the person who has died, if possible
  • the medical card of the person who has died, if possible

Documents we will give you

When you register a death you’ll receive a green form to give to the funeral director to allow arrangements to be made for cremation or burial, unless the coroner has been involved.

You will also receive a white form to complete for the Department of Work and Pensions.

Copy death certificates cost £4.00 each if you buy them at the time of registration.

'Tell us once' service

Find out more about our bereavement services and the 'tell us once' service we can provide.

Further information

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