Unless referred to the coroner, a death needs to be registered within five days.

All pre-booked appointments and ceremonies except death registrations are now cancelled with immediate effect. This is due to Government guidance on containing the spread of coronavirus.

You must have a medical certificate of cause of death from a doctor to book an appointment to register a death.

If the death has been referred to the coroner, they will tell you when you can make an appointment to register the death.

You can only book an appointment if all of the following apply:

  • You have the medical certificate of cause of death, or where the death was referred to the coroner and they have confirmed an appointment can be booked to register.
  • You are a relative of the deceased, were present at the death, or you are personally arranging the funeral.
  • The death occurred within England or Wales.
  • You can speak and understand English.

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What you need to know...

It would be useful for you to bring:

  • the deceased's passport or birth certificate
  • the deceased's marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • the deceased's medical card
  • a document with the deceased's usual address.

You are not legally required to bring these documents, but they can help ensure the registration is completed accurately.

The registrar needs to know:

  • the date and place of the death
  • the deceased's first and last name (and the maiden last name, if the deceased was a woman who had married or formed a civil partnership)
  • the deceased's date and place of birth (state their town and county if they were born in the UK, only state their country if they were born abroad)
  • the deceased's occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner (if applicable)
  • the deceased's last address
  • whether the deceased was getting a pension or allowance from public funds
  • the date of birth of the surviving partner (if applicable).

The registrar will:

  • give you a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as the Green Form), unless the coroner has already issued an Order for Burial or a Certificate for Cremation.
  • register you onto the Tell Us Once service, enabling you to inform multiple local and central government departments of the death in one contact.
  • give you a Certificate of Registration of Death (BD8) for social security purposes.

Costs for this service

There is no charge for the death registration or the Tell Us Once service. You can buy death certificates for £11 each.