Registering a death

A death must be registered by the Registrar of Births and Deaths for the district in which the death occurred within five days unless the Registrar says that the period may be extended.

Telephone 01633 235510 to make an appointment once the certifying doctor (a GP or hospital doctor) has issued the medical certificate of cause of death.

You should bring this certificate when you attend the register office.

Coroner

It is sometimes necessary for the Registrar to report a death to the coroner which may mean a delay in registering the death.

How to register a death

The death should be registered by a relative of the deceased or someone who was present at the death, for example, a senior administrator of the establishment in which the death occurred, or the person instructing the funeral director may register.

Being an executor of a will alone does not qualify you to register a death.

You should allow approximately 30 minutes for the registration and if the Registrar has to refer to the coroner a return visit may be necessary.

The Registrar will need to know:

  • the date and place of death
  • the full name of the deceased (and maiden name where appropriate) 
  • the date and place of birth of the deceased
  • the deceased's occupation (even if retired) and the full names and occupation of their husband/wife/civil partner
  • the deceased's usual address 
  • whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds or a works pension
  • whether the deceased was in receipt of any benefits from public funds

Supporting documents

Please bring at least one of the following documents with you when you come to register a death.

Documents are required for both the deceased and the informant to support the information held in the register and to help ensure the accuracy of information recorded, reducing the need for inconvenient and potentially costly corrections in the future.

For the deceased

  • passport
  • proof of address
  • medical card
  • birth certificate
  • all marriage or civil partnership certificates
  • change of name deed

For the informant

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • proof of address, e.g. utility bill

NB: the absence of these supporting documents will not prevent the appointment being made - the Registrar can still register the death.

Certificates

After the death has been registered, the Registrar may issue you with two documents free of charge:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation (known as the green form) for you to take to the funeral director so that the funeral can take place. In some circumstances this is issued by the coroner.
  • A certificate of registration of death (form BD8/344) for social security purposes.  Please read the back of the form in your own time and if any of the information applies, complete it and return it to your local social security office.

Standard death certificates
You may also need to purchase some death certificates. 

A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register and may be required by banks, building societies, insurance companies, solicitors or for pension claims. 

You may wish to ask for several death certificates at the time of registration as the price increases if you need one at a later date. 

The Registrar will advise you about the type and number of certificates which you may need.

Download and print an application for a Death Certificate (pdf).

Tell Us Once

Once a death has been registered, the Tell Us Once service can help you to give the necessary information to the Department for Work and Pensions, other government departments and local council services.

Further information

Information about benefits, probate and help with funeral expenses is available on the Directgov website.