Registering a death
When someone dies, their death needs to be registered with the Registrar.
When should I register a death?
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a death should be registered within five days of its happening. Registration can be delayed for a further nine days provided the registrar receives, in writing, confirmation that a medical certificate of the cause of death has been signed by the doctor.
For information on local registras click here
Who can register a death?
One of the following persons has a legal obligation to register the death:
- a relative of the deceased
- a person present at the death
- a person arranging the funeral (not the undertaker)
In certain circumstances others, such as the administrator of an elderly persons residential or care home can register a death, for advice please contact the Register Office.
What is needed to register?
You have to register a death in the Registration District where the death took place, although it is possible to give a declaration of the details to be registered to a registrar in another area.
You will need to provide the following information about the deceased:-
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Maiden surname, if applicable
- If the person who has died was married, widowed or in a Civil Partnership the full names and occupation of the spouse/partner.
You will need to bring a medical certificate of cause of death issued by a doctor. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the Coroner's officer and / or the funeral director will advise you what to do.
If the deceased received a pension or allowance from public funds, eg: Civil service or army pension please inform the registrar.
Supporting documents for the deceased and informant:
Documents such as birth certificate, driving licence, passport, marriage certificate and utillity bill are all acceptable documents when registering a death.
How the new service 'Once is all it takes' can help
When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, one of those things is contacting the government departments and local authority services that need to be told.
Local Councils are working with other Government departments offering a new service 'Once is all it takes' which is hoped will make things easier. This new service means that having told the Registra he or she we will then tell a number of organisations.