How do I register a death in England and Wales?

By law, a death must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, in the district where the deceased lived, or where they died within five working days.

The purpose of registration is for the next of kin or executor of the deceased to present the Cause of Death Certificate, in a sealed envelope, to the Registrar who will then officially log the details in the register after reading to you the cause of death. Anyone present at death or accepting financial responsibility (executor/solicitor) for the funeral can also register.

Registration by declaration can be of use for a family who may live a long distance needing to register a death.
The family will need to contact the registrar (registrar a) in the area death occurred to ask permission to register by declaration, next contact your local Register office to inform the registrar there, (registrar b) of this action to take place. You will then register at your local registrar (b), they fax and send via the postal system to each other, so that registrar (a) can release the documents for the funeral to go ahead.

It should be noted that while this can save a lot of traveling for a family it is always best, whenever possible, to register in the district death occurs, as the vagaries of the postal system can sometimes delay the forms by extra days, this will have to be taken into account when arranging dates for the funeral. We will be happy to further advise on any aspects of registration.

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The Registrar will need the following information from the informant:

• A Birth certificate and medical card
• Place and date of birth and death
• The deceased’s full name
• Their usual address
• Their marital status
• The occupation of the deceased
• Maiden name of the deceased (if a married, spouse’s full name and occupation).

It’s worth remembering that we will, by appointment, help you with transport to and from the registrars if needed. We understand that some people rely on others for lifts, if you have no transport this can be an un-necessary worry for you.

The Registrar will issue you with the following:

A green colour Certificate, this needs to be given to your funeral director as soon as possible.
(This allows a Burial or Cremation to take place, it is our responsibility to take the green certificate, along with other important papers, to the authority involved).
The registrar will ask you if you need extra copies of the entry, to give to banks, insurance companies or private pension companies etc. there is a charge for the extra forms. This fee will be more if you purchase these at a later date.

There is an on-line service called “tell us once” you can use,, this tells the right parts of government so that they can:
• Work out final payments of benefits for the person who’s died (including the state pension) and tax credits.
• Make arrangements for Income Tax, National Insurance and Council Tax.
• Cancel the passport and/or driving license of the person who’s died (if you’ve provided this information).
• Let local councils know so they can make arrangements council housing and blue badge schemes.
• Make sure the person’s name is removed from the electoral register (also known as the electoral roll).