Death - Registering
The death of someone close to you can involve enormous stress as you come to terms with your bereavement. So we've pulled together the answers to some of the questions you might have about registering a death to help make this part of the process just a little easier.
When do you register a death?
It is possible to register the death once you have obtained the 'Medical Certificate of Death' from the Hospital or Doctor.
If the death is referred to the Coroner's office the registration will only occur once the Coroner has given permission.
Legally, the death must be registered within 5 days but this period may be extended under certain circumstances.
What if the death has been reported to the coroner?
You should wait until you hear from the coroner before you come to see us.
What do you need to tell us?
The doctor who treated the person during their last illness will usually issue a medical certificate of the cause of death.
You must bring this with you when you come to see us.
To register a death and to start funeral arrangements you will need to bring the medical certificate of death with you.
You will also need to bring the following with you when you come to see us:
- Medical certificate of death
- birth certificate*
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS number/ NHS medical card.
If you do not have these documents you will need to provide us the following information:
- date and place of the deceased birth
- spouse/ civil partner's full name
What documents will you get?
We will give you:
- a certificate (form BD8) for you to use when you contact the social security office about the death
- a green form the undertaker will need to arrange the burial or cremation, unless the death has been reported to the coroner and a separate certificate issued allowing the funeral to take place (we'll tell you if this is the case).
Who can register a death?
- A relative of the deceased present at death
- A relative of the deceased in attendance during the last illness of the deceased
- A relative of the deceased
- A person present at death
- The Occupier i.e. Manager of a Care Home/Hospital Administrator
- The person causing the body to be buried or cremated
Where can you register a death?
If the person died in the London Borough of Lambeth, you should register the death with us.
If you do not live locally, you can take the information to your local register office, who will send it onto us and we will post any information to you.
If it is too distressing or not convenient for you to attend this office to register the death, then you may go to any other Register Office in England or Wales to register by 'Death Declaration'. When you attend that Register Office, the Registrar will record the relevant information and act as an intermediary, sending the details to us by post. In this case, we will send the death certificates to you by post.
Important: Copies of death certificates are only available from the office where the death is registered and not where the death declaration was made.
Obtaining death certificates
A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the Register of Deaths. The Registrar can issue copies of this for a statutory fee of £4.00 at the time of registration.
You may purchase as many certificates as required on the day of registration. However, certificates purchased the day after registration will cost a statutory fee of £7.00 until such time as the Register is completed.
Once the Register is completed and deposited, the cost of any further certificates will be £10.00 per copy.
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a service enabling local authorities to offer a bereavement and birth registration service which puts the customer at the heart of what they do.
Once the death has been registered, several other organisations may have to be contacted and given the same information. By using the Tell us Once services you only have to give us the details once and we will contact the Department of Work and Pensions who will then pass the details on to other government departments, we will also tell other local authority service.
The Lambeth Register Office has a specialist team to provide additional help/information to assist you. This includes:
- Informing Lambeth Pensions (if the deceased lives in Lambeth)
- Informing Blue Badge department (or Parking) to send surviving spouse a application for Blue Badges
- Contact Tenancy officers to send succession of Tenancy Forms
- EPC Referrals
- Outside Partnerships Area Joint Team Referrals
- Customised list of Funeral Directors
- Contact information for Private/Occupational Pensions and Annuities
- DVLA contact details/Passport Return forms and details.
Do you need an appointment to register a death?
Yes. Please call us on 020 7926 9420 to make an appointment.
We offer appointments from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm.
We will aim to see you within ten minutes of your appointment time, if you arrive on time.
Please note that the Register Office is closed on the first Wednesday of every month until 1pm.
How do you register a death that occurred outside the UK?
When a person from England and Wales dies abroad, the death should be registered following the local regulations of the country in which it occurred, and a local death certificate obtained.
You will then need to register the death with the British Consul, so that a record of the death can be kept in England or Wales.
You will be able to get a copy of the death certificate from the consulate, or from the Overseas Registration Section.
If the death occurred in particular circumstances or the information about the death abroad is incomplete, this must be reported to a coroner in the same way as if the death occurred in England and Wales.