Registration of the death
In England and Wales a death must be registered at the Registrar’s office for the area in which the death occurred. This is a procedure which usually needs to be completed as soon as possible and in most cases before the funeral can take place. Registration must be completed within five working days of the death unless a sufficient reason is given to the Registrar along with the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.
To register a death, the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (sometimes referred to as "the Death Certificate" or MCCD) is required. If the death occurred at home or in a private nursing/residential home the certificate is obtained from the deceased's General Practitioner. However, if the death occurred in hospital, it is generally obtained from the hospital bereavement office. Once obtained the certificate should then be taken to the registrar's office for the sub-district in which the death occurred (an appointment is normally needed for this).
The following persons are able to register the death:-
• A relative of the deceased present at the death.
• A relative of the deceased in attendance during the last illness.
• A relative of the deceased residing or being in the sub-district where the death occurred.
• A person present at the death.
• The occupier if he/she knew of the happening of the death. (Occupier - in relation to a public institution includes the governor, keeper, master, matron, superintendent or other chief residential officer.)
• Any inmate if he/she knew of the happening of the death.
• The person causing disposal of the body.
The Registrar will require the following information:
About the deceased:
• Full name of the deceased. Home address of the deceased.
• Date and place of death. Date and place of birth.
• The deceased’s last occupation. Date of birth of surviving spouse / civil partner.
• Was the deceased in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds.
• National Insurance Number
If the deceased was a married woman:
• Her maiden name.
• Husbands’ full name - even if deceased.
• Husband’s last occupation - even if deceased.
From the person registering the death:
• Full name. Home address.
• The number of copies of the certificate needed.
Upon completion of the registration the registrar will supply the following documents:
Certified Copies of the Entry in the Register (often referred to as Death Certificates)
This certificate is generally required for financial purposes, e.g.- to administer a bank account, or for insurance purposes, etc. The registrar will invite you to purchase as many copies of the entry as you require at £11.00 per copy.
Registrar's Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Green in colour)
This should be handed to us as soon as possible; if you are not able to attend our office, we will be happy to call and collect this certificate from you. In some hospitals this document can often act as a release document, allowing us to attend and transfer the deceased to our care.
Certificate of Registration / Notification of Death (Form BD8)
This document is now generally no longer needed due to the Tell Us Once service.