You should register the death within five days. The death should be registered in the borough where the person died. If you use a different register office, documents will need to be sent to the area where the person died before certificates can be issued.
If you wish to remove a body from the country or the death has been reported to the coroner other procedures may apply. You will be informed of these when you contact the register office.
Urgent burials - Jewish and Muslim faith
On a Saturday, we are able to help you, by issuing you with the appropriate paperwork for urgent burials taking place within 24 hours. However this can only be done once we have written confirmation of the date and the time of the funeral from the funeral director - and that it will take place within 24 hours. The registrar on call, will inform you were to send the email. If this information cannot be supplied, we will be unable to help you on Saturday and you will need to book an appointment for Monday morning. Please do not call us until you are in possession of the medical cause of death certificate issued by a GP or hospital doctor as we will not be able to issue the burial notice without this.
Registering a death due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In the unfortunate circumstance that a death is as a result of the Coronavirus Covid-19, and you have been in close proximity to the deceased person, you will need to follow self-isolation procedures. Therefore, you will not be able to attend to register the death. You will need to nominate someone who has not been in contact with the patient to collect the medical cause of death certificate and attend the register office to give information for the registration.
Book an appointment to register a death
Who can register a death?
You can register a death if you are:
- a relative who was with the person when they died or during their last illness
- a relative of the deceased
- someone who was present at the death
- an occupier or administrator of the house and knew the death had occurred
- arranging the funeral (not the funeral director) and no relatives are available.
This is a list of “relatives” that we will accept to register the death as a qualified informant. Please be aware that any “step” or “in law” relatives have to be legally related through marriage or civil partnership and not cohabitation or common law to be described in this manner.
- Step mother
- Step father
- Step son
- Step daughter
- Step sister
- Step brother
Documents you should bring
You must bring the medical certificate of the cause of death signed by a doctor. This can be a family doctor or a doctor at the hospital where the person died.
If the coroner has been informed, they will tell you when to register the death.
It may be helpful to bring the person's birth certificate or passport if available.
What you need to tell us
We will need to know:
- the date of death
- where the person died
- their full name
- any previous names, including maiden name
- their date of birth
- their place of birth
- their occupation
- the full name and occupation or their husband or wife
- if they were getting a state pension or other benefit
Documents you will get
The registrar will give you:
- a certificate for burial or cremation, which is required to make funeral arrangements
- a form for social security purposes if the person was receiving state pension or benefits
You can buy one or more death certificates at a cost of £11 each. Extra death certificates may be needed for:
- probate or letters of administration
- bank and building society accounts
- insurance companies
- stocks and shares