How to Register a Death

To register a death you need to attain a formal death certificate

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A death certificate must be attained from your local registrar

Deaths in England and Wales should be registered within 5 days at any registrar across the Country. You do not have to go to the registrar in the district where the death occurred, or where the deceased person lived, although it is usually more convenient to register a death in the locality in which it happened.

A relative of the deceased will need to register the death. The registrar will normally only allow one of the other people listed below to register the death if there are no relatives available.

How to Register a Death

If the person died in a house or hospital, it can be registered by:

  • A relative
  • Someone present at the death
  • An occupant of the house/official from the hospital
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

If the person died anywhere else, it can be registered by:

  • A relative
  • Someone present at the death
  • The person who found the body
  • The person in charge of the body
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

How to register the death

Arrange an appointment with the Registrar, so you can register the death, this will take around 30 minutes. There is no cost to register a death and you can find your local Registrar by going to the General Register Office website or in the Yellow Pages.

When you visit the Registrar they will ask you to provide the following information:

You may not have all the information to hand, however you can follow up with the Registrar at a later date.

  • The date and place of their death
  • Their full name
  • The date and place of their birth
  • Their occupation
  • Their home address
  • If they were in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
  • The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • The deceased’s National Health Service medical card (if available)
  • Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate (if applicable)

Get copies of the certificate

You need to take the medical certificate of cause of death to the register office and tell the Registrar how many copies of the death certificate you need. It’s advisable to get 5-6 copies, dependant on how many people you need to contact regarding the death that will want to see the certificate.

Certificates are more expensive if you have to order additional copies at a later date, but they can be bought online, by post or telephone, or through the register office where you registered the death.

The registrar will give you:

  • A Certificate for Burial and Cremation – this is known as the green certificate. This gives permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made, and you should give this to the funeral director
  • A Certificate for Registration of Death. You’ll need this to deal with the person’s affairs if they were getting a pension or benefits
rowland brothers international repatriation services

How to register a death away from home

For instructions on how to register a death away from home, go to the General Register Office.

Rowland Brothers offer a worldwide repatriation service that can help with registering a death away from home and getting the deceased back home safely:

Call us any time

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