Death registration

The Register Office at Civic is open for pre-booked appointments only. 

When must a death be registered?

A death must be registered within five days unless the Coroner is investigating.

Information regarding registering a still birth can be found here or if you wish to request a baby loss certificate, further information can be found on the request a baby loss certificate on the website.

How do I book an appointment to register a death?

A death must be registered in the district where the person passed away.  If this occurred in the Milton Keynes registration district, please ask the doctor to upload the medical certificate cause of death (MCCD) to the document portal as soon as possible.  The doctor will need the name, telephone number and email for the relative who will register the death.

Once the MCCD has been checked, if an email address has been entered onto our system, the relative named will receive an automated email with a link to book an appointment. 

If the doctor did not provide a valid email address for the relative, a booking can still be made by calling 01908 372101.  The contact centre will check that we have the documents required and book registration appointment. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to book an appointment to register a death until we have received and reviewed all the required documents from the hospital, doctor and / or coroner, as applicable. 

When the appointment is booked, a confirmation email will be sent which will have a document attached containing all the questions the registrar will ask at the appointment.  If you wish to and are able to, you can return this to us before the appointment, using the portal above.

A registration must be completed in person, however, if you struggle to get to us in Milton Keynes, you can make an appointment at a register office closer to where you live and complete a declaration, this means that all of the information will be given to the registrar who will then forward this on to us in Milton Keynes for the registration to be completed. 

If a declaration is undertaken, any certificates you require will need to be ordered directly from us and these will be posted to you once the registration has been completed. 

Who can register a death?

A relative must register the death.  A relative being a person related to the deceased by blood, marriage, civil partnership or by legal adoption.  Unfortunately, an unmarried partner is not recognised as a relative.   

If there are no relatives, you can only register if:

  • you were present at the death; or
  • you are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital) or you live at the place where the person died; or
  • you are in charge of making funeral arrangements

If you are not related to the deceased, you must complete the statement of informant's qualification to register form and upload this onto our system via the document portal or email it to before your scheduled appointment.

What information will I be asked to provide?

Please ask the doctor who is preparing the MCCD to upload this, as soon as possible, to the document portal.  When they do this, they will also need to provide contact details of the relative who will be registering the death.

If the death was referred to the Coroner we will also require paperwork from them, they will send this to us directly.

Note: if an inquest was held you do not need to make an appointment with us.  The death will be registered using the Coroner's paperwork and then any copy death certificates required can be ordered.

The confirmation email will provide you with information regarding the appointment plus will have a document with all the questions the registrar will ask you at the appointment:

  • The deceased's full name, including any middle names
  • The date and place of death (full address)
  • Their marital status (married, civil partner, widow / widower, surviving civil partner, single or divorced)
  • Maiden surname (if applicable)
  • Any other names they were known by or used
  • Their legal gender
  • Their date and place of birth (town and county / London borough or county of birth or, if born outside of the UK, the country of birth) 
  • Their last full-time occupation (job role and industry) and if they were retired
  • Their full usual address
  • Their National Health Service (NHS) number if you have this
  • If they were married or in a civil partnership, the full name, date of birth and last job title of their spouse
  • Your relationship to the deceased - if you are not related by blood, marriage or adoption please read informant's relationship to the deceased section below 
  • Your full name and address
  • The funeral director's details (name and contact details)
  • The name and location of the burial ground / crematorium and if the deceased will be buried or cremated

Please note: The person registering the death is responsible for making sure that all the information supplied to the registrar is correct as this is a legal document.  It is important that they supply all the information carefully, paying particular attention to the spelling of names and places as well as dates.  If, after the registration has been completed, you subsequently notice anything wrong then you will need to pay a fee for the consideration of a correction.  The vast majority of these require the authority of the Registrar General which can often take some time.

Do I need copies of the death certificate?

You may need copies of the death certificate for:

  • Dealing with the will;
  • Bank and building society accounts;
  • Insurance companies; and
  • Tax rebates

Will I be given any documents at the end of the registration?

The registrar will issue a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the "green" form) which allows you to make the funeral arrangements.  This will be emailed directly to your chosen funeral director.

If you have purchased any copy certificates these will be issued to you during the appointment.

You will also be given a unique reference number to access the Tell Us Once service

What will it cost?

Registering a death, the document allowing you to arrange the burial or cremation (the "green" form), and the Department of Work and Pensions certificate are free. 

There is a fee for copies of death certificates which will be taken at the time of booking your appointment.  If you do not purchase these at this time you can order them online or by calling 01908 372101, or alternatively they can be purchased during your appointment.

The fee is set by Parliament and is regularly reviewed.

Is the procedure for registering a death different if there is an inquest?

Yes, the Coroner’s office will help you through this process, but, if an inquest has taken place, we will register the death using the paperwork issued to us by the Coroner's office.  You will then need to order any copies of the death certificates you require by either calling 01908 372101 or by using our online ordering system.

Can I get help in an emergency?

If you need emergency help outside of our normal office hours, the Coroner’s office or hospital bereavement office may be able to help you.  You can contact the Coroner’s office via the Police 101 service. 

On weekends and bank holidays, between 9am and 11am, the registration team will be available to review requests to book death registrations and issue paperwork for same day funerals.  Further information on this can be found on the urgent weekend funeral paperwork and death registrations page on our website. 

We cannot guarantee we will be able to support any out of hours requests.

When can I make the funeral arrangements?

You can make preliminary arrangements but these cannot be confirmed until after the death has been registered.  We will ask if the deceased is to be buried or cremated and who will be dealing with the funeral arrangements and this will be included on the paperwork we issue.

What if I cannot speak or understand English?

If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help you register, you can ask a friend or relative to assist you.

How do I get a copy of a death certificate after registration?

The easiest way to order further copy certificates is via our online ordering system or by calling 01908 372101. 

Order copy death certificates

If the death occurred in another district, the registration will need to be completed in the district where the death occurred and you will need to contact that district in order to purchase any certificates you require.