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Registering a death


You must register the death with the registrar of births, marriages and deaths.


You need to do this within five days of the death unless it has been referred to the coroner.


To register a death you can go to any register office. Many offices require you to make an appointment, so it’s best to phone in advance to check.


If you go to an office in the area where the person died, you’ll be given the documents you need that day. If you go to an office in a different area, they forward the documents to the office in the area where the death occurred.


The registrar will need: 

  • the medical certificate showing the cause of death, signed by a doctor

  • the full name of the person who’s died (and any other names they once had, such as a maiden name)

  • the date and place of death

  • the usual address of the person who’s died

  • their date and place of birth (if this was outside of the UK, you only need to state the country)

  • their most recent occupation

  • to know whether or not the person who’s died was receiving a pension or other benefits

  • the name, occupation and date of birth of their spouse or civil partner 5 When someone dies If you have the following documents, you could also take them with you:

  • their medical card or NHS number

  • their passport

  • their driving licence

  • their birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates

  • proof of their address, such as a utility bill


The registrar will give you: •

  • a certificate for burial or cremation (known as a Green Form in England and Wales, form 14 in Scotland, and form GR021 in Northern Ireland), which gives permission for burial or for an application for cremation to be made. 

  • a certificate of registration of death (form BD8 in England and Wales, form 3344SI in Scotland and form 36/BD8 in Northern Ireland). If the person who died was receiving any benefits or State Pension, you can use this form to ensure that those payments are adjusted. This won’t be necessary if you use the Government’s Tell Us Once service for England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland, you can contact the Bereavement Service to report the death of someone who was receiving social security benefits.

  • leaflets about bereavement benefits for widows, widowers and surviving civil partners, if appropriate

  •  a death certificate, for which there will be a charge. This is a certified copy of what is written in the death register and will be needed for the will and any claims to pensions or savings. It may be best to pay for several certified copies at this time, as additional copies requested at a later date will be more expensive. Photocopies are not accepted by some organisations, such as banks or life insurance companies.



 Death abroad

  • If someone dies abroad, you should register the death according to the local regulations of the country. Also register it with the British Consul in the country where the person died and get a consulate death certificate, so that a record can be kept in the UK.

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