Death Registration


Coronavirus (COVID-19) registration update - New legislation has been passed to allow us to take death registrations by phone as many relatives may be self-isolating or not local to our offices.

In order for us to complete the registrations:

Please ask the doctor to upload the Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) to the document portal as soon as possible and send the original document to us.  They will need a name, telephone number and email for the relative who will register the death.

Once we receive the MCCD and have checked it, an automated email will be sent to the relative named above to book a telephone appointment to register the death.  Once the appointment is booked a confirmation email will be sent which has a pre-registration form attached.  If possible, this should be completed and returned to us using the same portal above. 

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

We thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

When must a death be registered?
How do I register a death?
Who can register a death?
What documents will the registrar need and what information will I be asked to provide?
Do I need copies of the death certificate?
Will I be given any documents at the end of the registration?
What will it cost?
Is the procedure for registering a death different if there is an inquest? 
Can I get help in an emergency?
When can I make the funeral arrangements?
What if I cannot speak or understand English?
How do I get a copy of a death certificate after registration?
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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.

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How do I register a death?

New legislation has been passed to allow us to take death registrations by phone as many relatives may be self-isolating or not local to our offices at this difficult time.

Please ask the doctor to upload the Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) to the document portal as soon as possible and send the original document to us.  They will need a name, telephone number and email for the relative who will register the death.

Once we receive the MCCD and have checked it, an automated email will be sent to the relative named above to book a telephone appointment to register the death.  Once the appointment is booked a confirmation email will be sent which has a pre-registration form attached.  If possible, this should be completed and returned to us using the same portal above.

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

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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 there at the time of 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

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What documents will the registrar need and what information will I be asked to provide?

From the doctor / hospital: 

Please ask the doctor who is preparing the Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) to upload this, along with the telephone and email for the relative who will register, as soon as possible to the document portal:

  • 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

Once the doctor / Coroner has confirmed all the necessary paperwork has been sent to us and checked you will receive an email to book a telephone death registration appointment. Once booked there is a pre-registration form to complete and this asks the following:

  • The deceased's date and place of death (full address)
  • Their full name that they were known by
  • Their marital status (Married, Civil Partner, Widow/Widower, Surviving Civil Partner, Single/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 only country if born outside UK) 
  • 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
  • Their last job title
  • If they were married or in a civil partnership, the full name, date of birth and last job title of their spouse
  • Name of Informant
  • Qualification of Informant
  • Full address and contact details of person completing the pre-registration form
  • Funeral director's details (Name, location/branch, contact details)

Please note: It is your responsibility to make sure that all the information supplied is correct as this is a legal document.  It is important that you supply all the information carefully, paying particular attention to the spelling of names and places as well as dates. If 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.

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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

We aim to issue these as soon as possible but please bear with us during this difficult time.

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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 directly to your chosen funeral director.

If you have purchased any copy certificates these will be posted to you.

You will also be given a unique reference number to access the Tell Us Once service which will either be emailed to you or sent with your certificate order.

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What will it cost?

Registering the 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 after the appointment has taken place.

The fee is set by Parliament and is regularly reviewed.

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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. 

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Can I get help in an emergency?

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

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

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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.

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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.

Alternatively, Milton Keynes Council has a language service providing Interpreting and Translation Services for those who need additional support.  A fee is chargeable for this service.

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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. 

If the death occurred in another District you will need to contact the district where the death occurred in order to purchase any further copy certificates

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Tell Us Once

Find out how this Department of Work and Pensions service can help you. You might find the "When someone has died" checklist useful too.

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Last Updated: 13 July 2020