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Register a death

Deadline for registering a death

A death must normally be registered within five days, unless it has been referred to the Coroner, in the registration district in which it took place.

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This may not be the same district in which the person had lived. You can provide information about a death at any registration office in England or Wales. The registration officer will send the information through to be registered in the appropriate district. Please bear in mind that this will take a little longer and could delay the funeral.  You will need to contact the appropriate registration office if you are outside Gloucestershire.

A stillbirth must normally be registered within 42 days but cannot be more than 3 months after its occurrence. There is more information about registering a stillbirth at Direct Gov: Registering or changing a stillbirth record

What other information and documents need to be supplied for the registration of a death?

If the death has not been referred to the Coroner you will require a medical certificate cause of death issued by a doctor - a death cannot be registered without this document.

All information relating to a registration is obtained by direct personal questioning of the informant.  Informants are asked to provide supporting documents at registrations to help ensure records are as accurate as possible.  We would ask that you bring, on a voluntary basis, various forms of documents to support all relevant areas of the register entry e.g. names, addresses, relationships, places and dates of events.

Supporting documents for the deceased:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Proof of Address (utility bill)
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership certificates
  • Deed Poll
  • NHS medical card

Supporting Documents for the Informant

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Proof of Address (utility bill)

The absence of supporting documents will not prevent the registration from taking place. 

Occupation and the full name and occupation of their spouse or Civil Partner may also be required. The registration officer will need to know whether he or she was in receipt of any other government pension, in addition to Social Security benefits.

The information will then be written into a register, and you will be asked to check all details carefully before signing to say that they are all correct

Who can register a death?

It is a legal obligation to register a death, and a relative of the person who has died should do this.

If no relative is available, then it is sometimes possible for someone else to do it. This could be someone who was present at the death, for example, a senior member of staff from the establishment in which the death occurred or the person making the funeral arrangements but not the funeral director.  

Certificates

After the death has been registered, the registration officer will issue you with two documents free of charge:

  1. Certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form)
    This Certificate should given to the funeral director to enable the funeral to take place
  2. Certificate of Registration of Death (BD8-white form)
    This Certificate is for Social Security purposes. Please complete the form and return it to your local Benefits Agency office

You may also need to purchase death certificates. A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the register of deaths. It is subject to crown copyright and so cannot be photocopied.

As death certificates may be required by solicitors and financial organisations or for pensions and insurance claims, you may wish to purchase several copies at the time of registration. Certificates issued at the time of registering the death will cost £4.00 each.  Please bring the correct money with you to your appointment.

You can also order copies of a death certificate online after the death has been registered at a charge of £10.00.