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.
When must a death be registered?
How do I register a death?
Who can register a death?
What information will I be asked to provide?
Do I need copies of the death certificate?
Will I be sent 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?
Tell Us Once
A death must be registered within five days unless the Coroner is investigating.
Information regarding registering a still birth can be found here.
A telephone appointment will need to be booked with a Registrar. The Registrar will then call you to take off the details over the phone. This means relatives do not need to travel and can register even if they are isolating or live in a different district.
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. The doctor will need the name, telephone number and email for the relative who will register the death.
Once the MCCD is checked the relative names 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 can check that we have the documents required and book the telephone registration appointment with the Registrar.
When the appointment is booked, a confirmation email will be sent which has all the questions the Registrar will ask at the appointment. You can return this to us, using the portal above, to assist with the registration.
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.
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 form (PDF, 176KB) and upload this onto our system via the document portal or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org before your scheduled appointment.
Please ask the doctor who is preparing the Medical Certificate Cause of Death (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
- 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 on the telephone call with 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.
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.
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 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.
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 after the appointment has taken place.
The fee is set by Parliament and is regularly reviewed.
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.
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 are also running a pilot scheme with Luton Register Office to carry out urgent death registrations on our behalf between 9am and 11am most weekends. Further information regarding this pilot scheme can be found on our website under the heading of Urgent weekend death registrations.
We cannot guarantee we will be able to support any out of hours requests.
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.
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.
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 certificates you require.
Find out how this Department of Work and Pensions service can help you. You might find the "When someone has died (PDF, 461KB)" leaflet useful too plus the DWP video which is available online.
Last Updated: 9 November 2021