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Register a death

You must register a death within five days of the date of death in the registration district in which it took place. This includes weekends and Bank Holidays.

By registering you will be able to obtain death certificates, a green form for cremation or burial and use the Tell Us Once service.

If the death has been reported to the coroner you will not be able to register until the coroner has completed her investigation.

Please make sure you book an appointment.

Please click here to make an appointment

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

If the death has not been referred to the Coroner, a medical certificate of cause of death will be issued by a doctor and transmitted electronically to the Register Office. A death cannot be registered without this document. 

If you have not been advised that a medical certificate of cause of death has been emailed to Registration, please DO NOT book an appointment. If the medical certificate of cause of death is from Gloucester Royal or Cheltenham General Hospital, please ensure you have spoken to the Bereavement Team at either hospital prior to contacting us for an appointment.

Once the medical certificate has been scanned to Gloucestershire Registration Service this needs to be triaged by ourselves prior to an appointment being made by the family etc. The family / next of kin will be able to book a registration appointment after a 24 hour period has elapsed, thus preventing any issues on the day of the registration.

Please note that GP’s may hand the medical certificate to the family / next of kin. This is acceptable, although it does not allow us to triage for errors prior to your attendance, which could delay your registration.

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 Licence
  • Proof of Address (utility bill)
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership certificates
  • Deed Poll
  • NHS medical card/ NHS number

Supporting documents for the informant:

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

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

Occupation and the full name along with 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.  

Please note: We request that a maximum of two people attend to register a death at a register office. 


What will happen at the appointment?

You will be seen in a private room and, in most cases, the registration process should take no more than 40 minutes.

Please have to hand the information to be recorded in the register, any supporting documents to help ensure the accuracy of the information to be recorded, and a debit or credit card if you wish to purchase death certificates.

Your appointment will be in person with a Registration Officer at the location you chose when you made your booking.

You can either pre-pay for a death certificate when making your online booking, or you can buy a death certificate at the time of registration for £11. We accept card payment or cash (please bring the correct money with you if possible).  You can also order a death certificate onlineOpens new window    at a later date (cost - £11 per certificate).



After the death has been registered, the registration officer will issue the following document free of charge

Certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form)This Certificate should be given to the funeral director to enable the funeral to take place.

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.

Death Certificates can be used when dealing with the deceased’s financial matters. They are not required for state pension, DVLA  etc as these are dealt with by the Tell Us Once Service. Funeral Directors also do not need a copy.

Death certificates may be required for the following: 

  • Insurance Policies
  • Banks / Building Societies (Not one per organisation, they should be able to copy, and return them to you)
  • National Savings (Premium Bonds)
  • Property Matters may be being dealt with by a solicitor (they can copy and certify at a cost if more than one needed)
  • Stocks/ Shares etc

Certificates issued at the time of registering the death will cost £11 each. You can buy a death certificate at the time of booking your appointment online, or, you can pay by card during your appointment. If you need more copies, you can always order copies of a death certificate online after the death has been registered at the same price. There is no increased cost for further copies at a later date.


Tell us once

At the end of the appointment, the registration officer will issue you with a reference number so that you can use the free Tell Us Once service to notify government and local council departments and services. The Tell Us Once service is not compulsory, and may be completed within the following 28 days online or by telephone. The registration officer will explain how to do this.

All the information provided to the Tell Us Once service will be treated securely and confidentially.

The organisations who are contacted will use the information to update records; to end services, benefits and credits as appropriate; and to resolve any outstanding issues. They may use this information in other ways, but only as the law allows.

Further information on Tell Us Once can be found on the website.

For further information on What to do after a Death, please visit the following government website: › after-a-death

Privacy statement

Tell Us Once has a privacy statement which tells you how the information you provide when using this service will be used and protected. Ask the registration officer if you wish to see the full privacy statement or you can view it here.