Registering a Death
Registering the death of a loved one is a necessary step, and there are some important details you’ll need to note. Here we cover the essential documentation and information, and provide some helpful links to make the process a little bit easier.
How to register a death
Before you can register the death, you need to go through some initial steps so that the death is officially confirmed. If you haven’t got that far yet, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you know exactly what you need to do when someone dies.
The next step is to register the death. We understand that this is likely to be a difficult time for all involved, so we’re here to take you through it.
You usually need to register a person’s death within five days. Contact your local register office and make an appointment, using the reference code that the doctor, GP or medical examiner provided to you.
Registration could be delayed if the death is referred to the coroner, but you can still start to arrange the funeral during this time.
Who can register a death?
A close family member or relative of the person who has died will usually register the death.
The death can also be registered by:
- Someone who was present when the death occurred
- An occupant of the house/official from the hospital where the death occurred
- The person making the funeral arrangements.
What documents and information do I need to register a death?
There are a number of documents and certain information that you will need to provide to the registrar:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage / civil partnership certificate (if they were married)
- NHS Medical Card (if available).
- The reference code provided by the GP or medical examiner
- The person’s full name at time of death
- Any names previously used, including maiden name, if applicable
- The person’s date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK; country if born abroad)
- Their address
- Their occupation
- The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner if applicable
- Whether they were receiving a state pension or any other state benefit.
What will the registrar issue?
- A death certificate
- A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (called the ‘green form’) for the funeral director
- Form BD8 relating to the DSS and state pension.
They will also explain the Government’s ‘Tell Us Once Service’ to you. This service allows you to report a death to most government offices in one go.
You may wish to purchase extra copies of the death certificate to satisfy bank, insurance and pension requirements.
Frequently asked questions
No, you must attend an appointment in person at a register office.
Deaths in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should be registered within 5 days. In Scotland, deaths must be registered within 8 days.
You will need the reference code provided by the medical examiner to register a death.
When you attend the appointment, you should take along the birth certificate, marriage / civil partnership certificate (if they were married) and NHS Medical Card for the person who has died – if available.
Yes, you can start to start the funeral prior to registering the death. However the death will need to be registered before the funeral can take place.
If a death is reported to the coroner, the documents and process involved in registering a death may be different, depending on the coroner’s decision. The government’s website provides an overview of the requirements depending on the coroner’s decision.
You must register a death with the local authorities of the country where the person died.
If the person is being brought back to the UK, you will also need to register the death in the UK at a local register office.
Arranging a funeral
AB Walker works with you to create the right funeral for your loved one. Whether you choose a traditional or modern service, one without ceremony or a bespoke, specialist service, your needs are met with care, compassion, and professionalism.
We know this very likely to be a difficult time for you, so we’ve found different ways to support you through it.