How To Register a Death

A near relative should attend the Registrar’s Office in the district where the death took place to register the death and sign the official records. This needs to be done within 5 days of the person passing away in the district Register office where it occurred.

If a relative cannot register the death, you can do it if you:

  • were there at the time of death
  • are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)
  • are in charge of making funeral arrangements

The register office will tell you what you need to do when you contact them.

The register office may also want to see the person’s:

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

Ask the register office what to do if you do not have them.

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 address
  • their 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


When you register a death, you’ll get a certificate for burial or cremation (the ‘green form’). This gives you permission for a burial or to apply for a cremation.

You’ll also be able to buy death certificates - these prove the death has been registered. These certificates will be needed for sorting out the persons affairs. You can:

The copy of the death certificate is what people mean when they ask to see an “original” of the Death Certificate. The registrar will issue one and you are able to purchase more, we suggest to purchase as many as you may need as the price to get a copy after your appointment can rise significantly. If there has been an inquest with the coroner then you will be issued with an Interim Certificate which you can use instead of certified copies.

The Certificate of Registration/Notification (BD8) is free and you need to complete the form on the back to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of the death if the person received a state pension or any other benefits. This form can be obtained from the Registrar even if the death cannot be registered yet. Some registrars do this with you and send it off.

The Certificate for Burial or Cremation is free and commonly referred to as the green form. It proves to the funeral director and cemetery or crematorium authorities that a funeral may take place, this needs to be given to our funeral director as soon as possible to allow the funeral to take place and for you to see your loved one if you have chosen to see them again. If the coroner is involved then this form will be replaced by a document from the coroner's office.

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