This is always a difficult time but the detailed instructions below should help make this task as easy as possible.
Is there a time limit to register a death?
In circumstances where the coroner has not been involved you have to notify the Registrar within 5 working days of the date of death.
What documentation is required to register a Death?
A Medical Certificate of the Cause Death from a General Practitioner, or Hospital Doctor, or if the death was referred to the Coroner, paperwork from the Coroner will be required before the Registration can take place.
To help ensure the accuracy of the Registration, you should bring supporting documentary evidence with you.
For the deceased: Passport, Birth Certificate, Deed Poll, Marriage / Civil Partnership Certificate, Utility Bill.
For the person who will be registering the death: Passport, Driving Licence, Utility Bill.
Do not worry if any of the supporting documents are not available as the death registration can still proceed.
Where can I register the death?
The death has to be registered at a Registration Office for the district in which it took place. If the death occurred in Hertfordshire, the registration can be made at any of the Registration Offices within the county.
If it is not possible for you to attend at any of the offices in Hertfordshire then you may make a Declaration at any Register Office in England and Wales. The Death Declaration will then be sent to the correct office under these circumstances. The death certificates and other documents will be posted to you, which may cause a delay in you being able to make the funeral arrangements.
Please book an appointment online or telephone 0300 123 4045.
How long will the death registration take?
Usually about 30 minutes if all the necessary information is at hand. In some circumstances the Registrar may have to refer the death to the Coroner. Therefore only provisional funeral arrangements should be made until the death has been registered and then confirmed when the authority for the funeral has been issued.
Can I register the death?
Most deaths occur in a house, a hospital or an elderly persons home and the law states that a death may be registered by (in this order of preference):
- A relative of the deceased
- A person present at the death
- The occupier of the house or institution where the death took place, if there is no known relative who is able to register
- The person who is arranging the funeral, that is the person instructing the Funeral Director
Is the procedure for registering a death different if the Coroner has been involved?
Yes, for further details refer to later sections about Coroners, but please also read the remainder of this information.
What information will the Registrar require?
You will find it useful to write down, or print off these details:
- Date and place of death
- Full name of the deceased
- Any former names of the deceased
- Date and place of birth of the deceased
- Occupation of the deceased's spouse or civil partner
- The address of the deceased
- If the deceased was still married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of their spouse or civil partner
- If readily available the Medical Card or the National Heath Service Number
- Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or benefits from public funds
What documents will the Registrar give me on completing the registration?
The Registrar will issue you with a form to take to the Funeral Director (in some cases this will have been issued by the Coroner) which gives permission for burial or cremation (often known as the Green Form). You will also be given another form (BD8), which you should take or send to the DWP in respect of the state pensions and benefits.
You will be able to purchase standard death certificates for a fee. The fee for a death certificate ordered at the time of registration is £4.00. These are copies of the entry in the register, which you will need for a variety of purposes such as; administering the will; claiming a pension or unlocking savings from the deceased's accounts.
The number of certificates you require will vary according to how complicated the deceased person's affairs were. It is advisable to purchase as many certificates as required at this stage because the fees rise for certificates obtained at a later date.