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Registering a death

A death must be registered within five days of it occurring unless it has been referred to the coroner

If the death has not been referred to the coroner and you have a medical certificate of cause of death from the doctor, go to the registrar as soon as possible.  If the death has been referred to the coroner, it cannot be registered until the registrar has received written authority from the coroner.

An appointment is required to register a death at one of our offices within Surrey. Please telephone 0300 200 1002 to make an appointment.

Who needs to register?

It is usual for a relative of the deceased to register the death. However, if a relative is not available, someone else may register the death, such as someone present at the death, the person responsible for instructing the funeral directors or, in the case of a hospital, care or nursing home death, a manager from that establishment.

The registrar needs to know:

  • The date and place of death
  • The deceased's full name and surname (and the maiden surname if the deceased was a woman who had married)
  • The deceased's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK, and country if born abroad)
  • The deceased's occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • The deceased's last (usual) address
  • Whether the deceased was getting a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If the deceased was married or a civil partner, the date of birth of the surviving widow, widower or civil partner

What you need to bring:

If the death has not been referred to the coroner, you must bring the medical certificate of cause of death given to you by the certifying doctor or bereavement office at the hospital, otherwise the registrar will be unable to complete the registration.  If the death has been referred to the coroner, the coroner will send the paperwork required for the registration directly to the registrar.

It would also be useful for you to bring:

  • The deceased's passport or birth certificate
  • The deceased marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • The deceased's medical card
  • A document with the deceased's usual address

Please note that you are not legally required to bring these documents but if you do, they can help to ensure that the registration is completed accurately.

The registrar who registers the death will:

  • give you a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as the Green Form) unless the coroner has already issued an Order for Burial or a Certificate for Cremation. It should be taken to the funeral director so that the funeral can be held.
  • register you onto the Tell Us Once service, enabling you to inform multiple local and central government departments of the death in one contact.
  • give you a Certificate of Registration of Death - this is for Social Security purposes only. If any of it applies, it should be completed and sent to your Pension Centre.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for the death registration itself or the Tell Us Once registration.

However, no death certificates are issued free of charge. If you require certificates, any number of these may be purchased on the day of registration for a cost of £4.00 each.  Prices for certificates purchased after the day of registration increase as the register is completed and archived.  You will need these certificates to deal with the deceased’s finances, for example, banks, insurance companies and private pensions. Most organisations will ask you to send an original certificate to them and will not accept a photocopy; however, you may wish to request that they return the certificate to you after they have processed it to help reduce the total number that you need to purchase.

Page information

  • Updated: 05 Jun 2014
  • Jenny Holland
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