Date Revised:

You need to register a death within 5 days, (8 days in Scotland) so that you get the documents you need for the funeral. 

You need to register a death at a register office. You can go to any register office but it is easiest to go to one in the area where the person died. Find a register office.

You may need to make an appointment and it will only take about half an hour. Follow the instructions about how to Register a death on Gov.uk. 

If you live in Scotland

If you live in Scotland you need to register a death at a registration office. The way you register a death in Scotland is different from in England and Wales: Registering a death in Scotland 

If you live in Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland you need to register a death at a District Registration office. The way you register a death in Northern Ireland is different from in England and Wales, see Registering a death in Northern Ireland on nidirect.

Who can register a death?

You can register a death if you are a relative or if you were present when they died. Otherwise you need to get an administrator from the hospital/owner of the building where they died, or the person making funeral arrangements.

What do I need to take with me?

You need to take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (from the doctor).

If you can take proof of identity document for the person who has died.  This could include their birth certificate, Council Tax bill, driving licence, marriage or civil partnership certificate, passport or utility bill.

You will also need to know other details about them including their full name, date and place of birth, address, and occupation. Use the register a death tool on Gov.uk to check exactly what you should take with you. 

Then what happens?

You will be given

  • a green form (called a Certificate for Burial or Cremation) that gives permission for burial or an application for cremation
  • a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) - you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits

You can buy extra death certificates - you will need to if you are sorting out the person’s affairs.

Find out more about what to do when someone dies on The Money Advice Service website.

Next review due: June 2017