You normally need to register a person’s death within five working days. Once you have done so, you will be given a death certificate, a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (called the 'green form') for the funeral director and form BD8 relating to the DSS and state pension. You may wish to purchase extra copies of the death certificate to satisfy bank, insurance and pension requirements. Different time limits apply in the case of stillbirth. Registration may also be delayed if the death is referred to the coroner.

Who Can Register?

It would be usual for a death to be registered by a member of the close family however it could be:

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

Documents and Information You Will Need


When registering a death you will need the following:

  • Medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)

And if available:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage / civil partnership certificates
  • NHS Medical Card


You will need to tell the registrar:

  • The person's full name at time of death
  • Any names previously used, including maiden surname
  • The person's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • Their last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit

Where to Register

To avoid delays, it is best to go to the register office in the area in which the person died. You can choose another register office, but it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements.