How to Register a death

The Essential Steps to Registering a Death

From 25th March 2022 onwards you must attend a death registration appointment in person (during Covid restrictions the registration process was handled by telephone). We have noticed that this causes a delay in getting an appointment at some register offices.

  • Officially you need to register the death within five working days of the death occurring – but in practice it takes longer than this to get an appointment at some Register Offices.
  • Registration cannot happen until the Medical Certificate for Cause of Death (MCCD) has been issued, either from the hospital doctor or the GP, which they send electronically to the registrar. Usually the hospital bereavement office or the GP surgery will inform you when they have done this.
  • Most registrars require you to complete an online form and they will then call you to arrange an appointment, others will simply call you to arrange a date. You are best to visit their website – see the tabs opposite for useful links.
  • The Register Office to use is the one in the same district where your relative died, which you can find using this online search tool:

The following documentation is useful to have when the telephone appointment takes place, the registrar will also advise:

  • any ID documentation for the deceased (e.g. utility bill, NHS number or medical card)
  • any official certificates for the deceased (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate)

During the appointment

  • The registrar will also ask for certain additional details, such as place and date of birth, place and date of death, last address and occupation of the deceased. They will also need the full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse.
  • They will also ask for details of the funeral director (we are on the system of many registrars)

After the appointment

  • The Registrar will provide you with the Death Certificate which you will need for settling their affairs, so it’s a good idea to buy extra copies at the time. Each copy costs £11.
  • They will also give you a Tell Us Once reference number to access the Tell Us Once online service which makes it easy to notify most government organisations at once of the death.
  • The Registrar will email the Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as ‘the Green Form’) directly to the funeral director.
  • If the death has been reported to a coroner you can’t register the death until the coroner gives permission.

For contact details of local register offices in Richmond, Kingston, Surrey and SW London read our blog Registering a death at a register office.

White Rose Modern Funerals team

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If you have any questions regarding arranging a funeral or planning ahead, please get in touch. Call us on 020 3281 1045 or send us a message.

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