How to register a death.

You should register the death within 5 days of the death occurring. (This time restriction does not apply if the coroner is involved)


You can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person died you’ll be given the documents you’ll need on the day.


If you make a ‘declaration’ at a different register office the documents will be sent to the office in the area where the person died before they’re issued to you. This means you’ll usually wait a few days.


Registering the death will take about 30 minutes – you might need to make an appointment.


Who can register the death… You can register the death if you’re:


  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors


What you need to do

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.


If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:


  • birth certificate
  • Council Tax bill
  • driving licence
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • passport
  • proof of address (eg utility bill)


You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person’s full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, eg maiden name
  • the person’s date and place of birth
  • their last addresstheir occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits


You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (eg a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.


When you register a death you’ll get:


  • a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or an application for cremation. This is the form we require to be able to undertake arrangements for the cremation of your loved one. Please check the details are correct as it is the information on this form that we use for the date of death and the correct name of the deceased.
  • a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) – you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)