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Registering a death

A death should be registered within 5 days of the date of death in the district in which it occurred.

How do I register a death?

If you need to register a death or stillbirth the hospital, surgery or the Coroner's Office will email the necessary paperwork directly to the Register Office. You do not need to collect any paperwork from them. They will also provide us with the contact telephone number for the person who will be registering. Please ensure that the hospital or surgery have the most suitable telephone number(s).

A registrar will check the paperwork to ensure that the registration can go ahead and telephone the family or person who will be registering the death to arrange an appointment.

Who can register a death?

People who have a legal responsibility to register a death include:

  • a relative
  • a person present at the death
  • the occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he/she knew about of it
  • the person responsible for arranging the funeral (this does not include the funeral director).

What information will the registrar need and what documents should I have?

A Registrar will talk to you privately and will ask you for:

  • the date and place of death
  • the full name and surname of the deceased person (and the maiden surname if the deceased was a married woman/civil partner)
  • the date and place of birth
  • the occupation of the deceased and, if the deceased person was married or in a civil partnership, the full name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • their usual address
  • the date of birth of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • details of any public sector pension eg civil service, teacher or armed forces.

The hospital or surgery will email the necessary paperwork directly to the Register Office. Without this the registration cannot take place. Please note that the procedure is different if a post mortem has been held.

It would be useful for us if you have the deceased's birth certificate and marriage/civil partnership certificate (if applicable). We may also ask for the deceased's NHS Medical Card if it can be easily located.

Once the registration has been completed, the Registrar will ask you to check that all the details are correct. You should check the information carefully as any errors found after the registration has been completed will involve a formal correction procedure.

Is the procedure different if the Coroner is involved?

Please be aware that there are times when the doctor or registrar needs to contact the Coroner. On such occasions, the registration might be delayed. If a post mortem or inquest has been held, the Coroner will keep you informed of the process. Please contact us on 01792 637444 for any more information.

What is Tell Us Once?

Tell Us Once (opens new window) is a service run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). At the time of the registration, the registrar can provide you with a unique reference number which will be used to notify various government and local authority departments of the death for example the DVLA, the Passport Office, DWP. More information will be given to you by the registrar at your appointment.

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