Registering the death
When someone passes away you should register their death at the Registrar’s Office within the district where the death has occurred. We can provide you with the relevant contact details for the appropriate Registrar’s Office. Generally, all deaths should be registered within five days – unless H. M. Coroner is informed – in which case please feel free to contact us and we can advise you as appropriate to your particular circumstances.
In most circumstances, a relative may register the death, but if that is not possible then the following people may also be considered appropriate:
- a person present at the death
- the occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he or she knew about it
- the person arranging the funeral (this does not include the Funeral Director)
You will need to make an appointment to attend the Registrar’s Office by telephoning the relevant office.
It will take approximately 40 minutes to complete the registration procedure during your appointment. If you have any concerns about registering the death after you have read the following notes, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0121 476 9111.
What you will need to take to the Registrar:
- You will need to ask the Doctor for a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ and then take this with you. The Registrar will keep this document and issue a ‘Death Certificate’ in its place
- If you can find it, you should take the Medical Card which belonged to the person who has passed away. Please do not worry if you can’t locate the Medical Card.
- It may be helpful (but not essential) for you to take the Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate which belonged to the person who has passed away as these contain information you may find helpful
What the Registrar will ask you about the person who has passed away:
It will help if you can find out the answers to the following points prior to visiting the Registrar’s Office.
- Date and place of death
- Full name of the person who has died (this should be the name they used at the time of their death)
- Any other names they may have been known by
- Date and place of their birth
- Their occupation and whether they were retired
- Their usual home address
- If the person who died was a married person, or in a civil partnership, or widowed, you will also need to know:
A. In the case of a woman, her surname before she first married or registered her civil partnership
B. The full name and occupation of the deceased’s wife, husband or civil partner
- You will need to give your full name and address
- You will also be asked to give your relationship to the person who died, for example, son, daughter, widow, widower, surviving civil partner, niece, nephew, or the person making the funeral arrangements
You will also be asked to answer some additional questions which the Registrar collects to add to government statistics and which is kept confidential. This may vary from time to time.
A. Was the person who died married or in a civil partnership?
B. If their husband or wife or civil partner is still living, what is their date of birth?
C. How long did the person stay in hospital or other establishment, for example a hospice?
D. Was the person under 75? If they were, what industry did they work in?.
E. Did they get a pension paid from government funds? This includes the civil service, teachers, armed forces and war widows. This does not include the state pension or pension credits. You will be asked this so that the Registrar can let the relevant department know the person has died
What the Registrar is able to give you:
- Copies of ‘The Death Certificate’ (there is a fee payable for each copy)
- A ‘Certificate of Registration/Notification of Death’. This is issued free of charge and you should complete it and send it to the Department for Work and Pensions to bring up to date any pensions or benefits of the person who has passed away; we can help you with this
- A ‘Green Coloured Certificate’ – this is issued free of charge and must be handed to us as soon as possible otherwise the funeral arrangements may be delayed
Many Registrar’s Offices operate a ‘Tell us once’ facility which serves to advise governmental and local council services when someone has passed away. You can ask the Registrar about this when you have your appointment or visit www.gov.uk/tell-us-once for more information.