Register a death

When someone dies, the doctor who was treating them will issue a medical certificate of cause of death. This certificate must be taken to the registrar's office.

Occasionally, if the death was sudden or the doctor treating the deceased is unavailable, it may not be possible to issue a medical certificate of cause of death. If this happens, the death will have to be reported to the coroner which may lead to a delay in registering the death.

The death must be registered in the district in which it took place within 5 days. The information about the person who has died is usually recorded on computer as well as in the death register and the person registering the death signs the record.

If the person registering the death can’t easily go to the district where it took place, the information for the registration may be given to a registrar in another district. The registrar will record the details on a form of declaration and send it to the registrar for the appropriate district, who will enter the information in the death register.

The registration may be made bilingually in English and Welsh if the person who registers the death gives the information in Welsh and the registrar is able to understand and write Welsh. If the registrar cannot understand and write Welsh, the registration may be carried out in a different district where there are Welsh-speaking registrars, using the declaration procedure described above.

  • 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,
  • a person present at the death.
  • the occupier of the house or institution if s/he knew about the death happening.
  • the person arranging for the disposal of the body (not the undertaker)


You can order and pay for certificates of death when you make the declaration, and these, as well as the document allowing the funeral to go ahead, will be posted to you.

If the declaration procedure is used, it may take a day or two longer to issue the document allowing the funeral to go ahead. Relatives should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar so as to avoid any delay to the funeral.

Listed below are some of the forms and certificates you will be given by doctors and Coroners. The list explains when and where you get each form.

When registering a death You will usually get From
If the death is not referred to a coroner Medical Certificate Doctor
In all cases Formal Notice Doctor
If a baby is stillborn Medical Certificate of Stillbirth Doctor or Midwife
If the death is referred to a Coroner but there is no inquest Notification by the Coroner (Pink Form B/form 100) Coroner (this is usually sent to the Registrar, but you may be asked to deliver it)
If there is an inquest and the body is to be buried Order for burial (form 101) Coroner
If there is a post-mortem or an inquest and the body is to be cremated Certificate for Cremation (form E) Coroner
If the body is to be moved out of England or Wales Removal Notice (form 104) Coroner

Tell us once

When someone dies, there are lots of things that need to be done at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. We hope our Tell us Once service will make things easier.

What to do / what happens?

Advice about what to do if the death occurs in hospital or if the death occurs elsewhere, post-mortem and reporting the death to the coroner.