Register a death


Who can register a death

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. For registration purposes a relative is defined to be the nearest relative of the deceased and that person will always take priority. If there is no living relative the informant can be someone from the lists below.  The lists are in order of preference:

If the death occurred in a house or hospital

  • A relative of the deceased
  • Surviving civil partner
  • Someone present at the death
  • The occupier of the house or hospital if he or she knew of the death
  • Another person living at the house if he or she knew of the death
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

If the death occurred elsewhere

  • A relative of the deceased
  • Surviving civil partner
  • Someone present at the death
  • Someone who found the deceased
  • A person in charge of the deceased
  • The person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

Documents and information you need to provide

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • The medical certificate of cause of death from the doctor who was treating the deceased
  • The deceased's medical card, if available

It would also be beneficial if you could also bring one of the following supporting documents relating to the deceased, Passport/Utility Bill/Driving Licence/Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate. You can however still register a Death without any of these.

You will need to give the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and surname of the deceased
  • Maiden surname (if applicable)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Name and occupation of husband, if the deceased was a married woman or widow
  • Address
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower

NB: It is important that all details are registered correctly to produce the legal record.  If any changes need to be made at a later date it will incur a fee. 

After a death has been registered, you can purchase a death certificate at a cost of £11 per certificate.

Certificate for burial or cremation

When you register a death in the majority of cases the registrar will issue a certificate (green form) for the burial or cremation of the body.

If you are making the funeral arrangements you will need to hand it to the funeral director.

A funeral cannot proceed until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium.

If there is a delay to the registration of a death, the registrar can still issue a certificate for burial before registration but only if the death does not need to be reported to the coroner.

Please note the registrar won't be able to issue a certificate for cremation before the registration of the death.

If a death has been reported to the coroner, he or she may issue a certificate for burial or cremation where possible.