Registering a death
Once the death has been confirmed you’ll need to register the death with a local registrar. The registrar will then issue all of the forms and paperwork that you will need to arrange the funeral.
When to register a death
All deaths need to be registered at your local registry office for births, deaths and marriages. This must be done within:
- five days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- eight days in Scotland.
This period includes weekends and bank holidays, the registrar may agree to extend the period in certain circumstances.
If the death has been referred to the coroners office, you will need to wait for them to give permission before you can register the death.
There is no cost for registering a death. however you will be charged for each copy of the death certificate you require.
How to register a death
When you are provided with the medical certificate confirming cause of death, request the contact details of the local register office. Alternatively you can also find your local register office online on GOV.UK’s Find a register office
It is always easier to use the register office closest to where the person died. You can attempt to use an alternative register office however this may cause delays to the funeral arrangements.
Who can Register?
The majority of deaths are registered by a family member. If a family member is not available to register the death, it can be registered by one of the following people:
- Someone present at the death.
- The deceased chosen executor of will or other legal representative.
- The person arranging the funeral
- The funeral director.
If you are in any doubt about who can register a death, you can call the register office.
What will I need to register a death?
you will need the medical certificate of cause of death to hand. The doctor certifying the death will give this to you.
- birth certificate
- driving licence
- the person’s full name (at the time of their death)
- any other names that the person used (eg a birth or married name)
- their date and place of birth, including the town and county if they were born in the UK
- their most recent address
- their occupation or most recent occupation if now retired
- the full name of their husband, wife or civil partner, if they’ve died
Will I receive anything when registering the death?
Yes. Upon registering a death you will receive two things;
- A Certificate for Burial and Cremation. This is often known as the green certificate. It gives permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made, as funeral directors we will need this document.
- A Certificate for Registration of Death. This is also called a death certificate. You’ll need this to deal with the person’s affairs for example closing down bank accounts.