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Registration Procedure

A death must be registered within the district it occurs and, by law, must be registered within 5 days.

Who can register a death?

The following persons have a legal obligation to register a death;
they are listed in order of preference:

• A close relative of the deceased
• A person present at the death
• A person arranging the funeral (NOT a Funeral Director but the person instructing them)

In certain circumstances other people may be allowed to register a death.
What information is needed to register?

The following information is required:

• Full name and surname of the deceased.
• Date and place of birth.
• Occupation (even if retired.)
• Usual address.
• If the deceased was married/widowed/civil partner; the full name and occupation of the husband/wife/civil partner.
• If the deceased was married or leaves a surviving civil partner, the date of birth of that person.
You will need to take a 'Medical Certificate of Cause of Death'; the Doctor who has been in medical attendance will issue this.

If you are able to locate the deceased's Medical Card, please take that with you when you attend at the Register Office. If you can not find it, don't delay registering and please, do not worry, the Registrar will be able to continue the registration without the Medical Card.

It can be helpful to take Birth and Marriage Certificates relating to the deceased with you but it is not essential. If the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds e.g.: Civil Service or HM Forces please take details with you and tell the Registrar.
What certificates will I be issued with?

The Registrar will issue the following certificates, free of charge:

• A certificate for Burial or Cremation - this is a green form that you should pass to the Funeral Director.
• A certificate of Registration of Death - this is a white form for social security (Benefits Agency) purposes, usually referred to as a BD8.

The following certificate is not issued free of charge:

• 'Certified copies of a Death Entry' are available from the Registrar and are generally referred to as 'death certificates'.

There is a fee charged for each certificate.
If you purchase 'Death Certificates' at the time you register, you will pay £4.00 for each certificate. These certificates may be required for banks, insurance companies, occupational pension schemes, Premium Bonds etc. It's a good idea to consider how many certificates you may require before you attend to register the death. The cost of obtaining a certificate after registration will be more. The Registrar will be able to advise you of these prices.

Coroner's Procedure

If the death has been reported to the Coroner (usually in the case of sudden or accidental deaths) the procedure is slightly different. It is the Coroner’s duty to establish the cause of death when a doctor cannot issue a medical certificate. If he can establish that the death was due to natural causes a certificate will be issued allowing the above Registration procedure to take place.

If the Coroner confirms that the death was due to an accident or other cause then he may decide that an Inquest will be necessary to establish the details surrounding the person’s death. Following the ‘Opening of the Inquest’ the Coroner will normally issue a certificate to allow the funeral to take place but the death cannot be Registered until the Inquest is completed.
Under these circumstances the Coroner’s Officer, or your Funeral Director, will explain what will happen. This is not an isolated, or unusual, procedure and in the majority of cases will not delay the funeral by more than one or two days.

The 'Tell Us Once' Service

A new service called 'Tell Us Once' has been introduced in England, Scotland and Wales which helps you tell the government just once about a person’s death.

Tell Us Once – how it could help you

When someone dies, there can often be a number of government departments and agencies to notify.

For example, a passport or driving licence may need to be cancelled, or benefits stopped.

The Tell Us Once service is designed to make things simpler for you, by helping you give this information to government only once.
Who can use Tell Us Once,

Tell Us Once is available in most local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.

To use the service, your first step is to register the death with your local register office in the usual way. They will then tell you what to do next.

How to use the service.

Once you have registered the death, the registrar will tell you about your options for using Tell Us Once. These are:

• in person, at the time of registration or by making an appointment with your local link
• by phone – the registrar will give you the phone number
• online

To use Tell Us Once online, your registrar will give you a unique Tell Us Once reference number, which you will need to log in.
What you will be asked

The type of information you will be asked to provide about the person includes:

• their death certificate – you get this when the death is registered
• their National Insurance number and date of birth
• their passport and driving licence
• details of any benefits and services they were getting.

You will also be asked for the name of the closest relative – known as the ‘next of kin’. If you’re not the next of kin (or spouse/partner), you must have permission from them before you give any information to the adviser.
What happens next

After you have used the Tell Us Once service, the relevant government departments and services will be contacted on your behalf. Depending on your circumstances these may include:

• Adult Services (social care for adults)
• Children’s Services
• Council Housing
• Council Tax Office
• Disability and Carers Service
• DVLA (driving licence agency)
• HM Revenue and Customs (for Child Benefit, Tax Credits and personal taxation)
• Passport Service
• Pension Service

The information you give to the adviser is only passed on to the government departments that need to know

Registering A Death