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 the funeral director needs to send the confirmation 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 the medical cause of death certificate issued by a GP or hospital doctor has been emailed to us 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.
The law has temporarily changed to allow all deaths to be registered via the telephone. This is to comply with the government's advice on social distancing and social isolation. The doctor, hospital or care home will need to send us the medical cause of death certificate electronically to enable us to arrange the telephone registration. All doctors have been made aware of these changes. If you have been given the medical cause of death certificate, then you will need to call us on 020 8825 7330 for advice on how to proceed with the registration.
You can book an appointment below and order as many certificates as you need after your appointment has been completed. We will call you at your appointment start time, so please ensure that you have completed the questions form we will have sent and that you are in a quiet space so that the registrar can complete your appointment.
At the end of the appointment, you will need to go online to order the certificates. They will be posted first class recorded delivery to your nominated address within two working days. We will also send the funeral documentation (the green form) directly to the funeral director.
Book an appointment to register a death
It is important that a close relative that was present at the death books the appointment as they are the preferred informant. If there was no close relative present at the death, then any other close relative can register.
Who can register a death?
You can register a death if you are:
- a close relative who was with the person when they died or during their last illness
- a close 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
- the funeral director acting on behalf of the family (temporary change March 2020).
This is a list of “close 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
As all death registrations are via the telephone, you will not need to bring any documents.
A doctor must send the medical certificate of the cause of death electronically to the register office. 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 have the person's birth certificate or passport available during the telephone appointment. This will ensure that we record the information accurately and there is no need to correct the information later. Making any amendment to the entry, once it is completed, will require a formal correction and will cost up to £90 depending on the nature of the error. Please use this form to request a correction.
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 :
- email a certificate for burial or cremation, which is required to make funeral arrangements, to the funeral director
- post out a form for social security purposes if the person was receiving state pension or benefits.
- provide you with a unique number to access the Tell Us Once service. A short information video explaining the Tell Us Once service can be vewed via YouTube.
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
You will also need to pay for postage - 1st class recorded delivery.