Register a death

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.

Book an appointment to register a death

Book an appointment

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.

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Step mother
  • Step father
  • Mother-in-law
  • Father-in-law
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Son
  • Son-in-law
  • Daughter
  • Daughter-in-law
  • Step son
  • Step daughter
  • Step sister
  • Step brother
  • Grandson
  • Granddaughter

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 
  • pensions 
  • solicitors