Register a death
Important service changes
You book an appointment with us to register a death at one our register offices.Book an appointment to register a death
When someone dies:
- the doctor who was treating the deceased issues a medical certificate for the death
- you must register the death within 5 days – this includes weekends and bank holidays
- when registering a death you will need to take certain documents with you to the appointment
A small number of deaths must be reported to the coroner before they can be registered. This may unfortunately lead to a delay in registering the death.
If the coroner is involved the coroner’s officers will keep you informed of progress.
Who can register a death
A death may be registered by:
- a relative of the deceased
- a person present at the death
- the occupier of the institution, home or hospital in which the death occurred
- the person making the funeral arrangements – this does not include an executor, unless they are also making the funeral arrangements
Where to register a death
Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, no face to face death registration appointments are available at our offices. All deaths will now be registered via a telephone appointment. When you call to book an appointment, you will be asked to provide your contact phone number and name for a call back by the registrar. Ensure that you are available to take the call back appointment, which will last about 30 minutes.
If the death took place outside South Gloucestershire you can still provide us with details. We will pass the information you provide to the registrar for that area. They will register the death and send you a form for the Department of Work and Pensions, together with the form for the funeral director.
When you register a death you need to take certain documents with you to the appointment.
You should take:
- the medical certificate for the cause of death (issued by the doctor)
- the deceased’s medical card
- the deceased’s birth certificate and marriage certificate (if you have them)
- the deceased’s passport (if applicable)
- ID documents and proof of address for yourself (this helps us avoid mistakes in recording spellings of names and addresses)
- details of any pensions or allowances paid from public funds to the deceased
You will also need:
- the date and place of the death
- the full names and surname of the deceased together with any other names they have ever used
- the place of birth of the deceased and their age (or date of birth)
- the maiden surname of a woman who has married
- the occupation of the deceased
- the name and occupation of the deceased’s husband or wife or surviving civil partner
- the deceased’s home address, including postcode
- the date of birth of any surviving spouse
It is important that the information provided and the entry in the register is correct. It is your responsibility to ensure that there are no mistakes, including spelling errors.
Errors discovered after you have signed the register may take considerable time to process and cause delays in dealing with the deceased person’s estate.
Fee for correcting errors
Issue of certificates
Once a death has been registered you will be issued with:
- a form for the funeral director
- a form to send or take to the Department for Work and Pensions with any state pension or benefit books
You may request as many certified copies of the entry in the death register (certificates) as you will need to deal with the deceased’s affairs. Each certificate costs £11. We can accept debit and credit card payments (Visa and Mastercard) only at the appointment. You can also pay by cash or personal cheque made payable to South Gloucestershire Council.
Department for Work and Pensions booklet “What to do after a death”
This useful booklet is currently being reviewed and is out of print. The information can now be found at https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death
Tell Us Once
Once you have registered a death, you can use the Tell Us Once service to give relevant information to the Department of Work and Pensions. They will pass this on to other government departments and council services on your behalf. For more information on how the Tell Us Once service works you can access a short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw0Ob59HFEY
This service is voluntary and free to use and will be offered during your appointment with the registrar.