Registering a death
Registering the death will give you the documents you need for the funeral, though we can start making arrangements and give you advice before that.
- Where can I register a death?
- Who can register a death?
- What to take with you to the Registrar
- What the Registrar will do
- How much does a death certificate cost?
- What happens if you don't register a death within 5 days?
Where can I register a death?
You can register a death by making an appointment at a Registrar's office, over the phone or online.
If you use the office that's local to where the person has died, you'll be given the documents needed for the funeral during your appointment. Otherwise, it may take a few days for these to be issued.
Who can register a death?
Usually, a relative of the person who has died will register the death. If no relatives are available, then the death can be registered by:
- anyone who was present at the death
- an occupant of the house where the death occurred
- the person who's taking responsibility for arranging the funeral
Registering a death might work a bit differently if the Coroner or Procurator Fiscal is looking into the death. If this happens we can talk to you about it and give you advice.
You will need to provide the Registrar with the following information about the person who has died:
- the date and place of their birth
- their full name
- the date and location of death
- their occupation
- their home address
- if they had a pension or allowance from public funds
- if they were married or in a civil partnership
What to take with you to the Registrar
You must take with you:
It may also be useful to take the person's:
- birth certificate
- driving licence
- marriage certificate (if they were married)
- NHS medical card (if you have it)
- proof of address
What the Registrar will do
They’ll issue the following free of charge:
- a green Certificate for Burial or Cremation, or in Scotland, a white Certificate of Registration of Death. We'll need to see this for the funeral to be carried out.
- a form or certificate to send to the Department of Work and Pensions benefits.
The Registrar will also issue:
- a death certificate, which is a copy of the entry in the death register. There is a charge for copies of this.
How much does a death certificate cost?
The cost of a death certificate varies depending on where in the UK the person has died. The cost per copy of a death certificate is: £11 in England & Wales, £10 in Scotland, and £8 in Northern Ireland.
It's important to puchase additional copies of the death certificate when you visit the Registrar as these may cost more if you buy them at a later date. Additional copies will be needed if the person's estate needs to go through probate, or if there are bank accounts or insurance policies to close down.
What happens if you don't register a death within 5 days?
A death should be registered within 5 days in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or 8 days if you're in Scotland. If the death has been reported to the coroner you can't register the death until the coroner's investigations are finished.
You can't get someone to register the death on your behalf. It is a criminal offence not to register a death.