Registering a death is one duty a Funeral Director is unable to carry out on your behalf. A legally responsible person needs to complete this – this is normally a relative, executor or someone present at the death. To register a death you will usually need to attend the Register Office where you will meet with the Registrar.

When attending the Register Office, you must either take the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) which will have been issued by a doctor or the MCCD will have been sent electronically to the Register Office ahead of your appointment.

You can call the Register Office on 0300 1234 181 should you have any questions, or visit their website.

When Someone Dies

The Registrar will need the following information:

  • The date and place of death
  • The full name and any names previously used by the deceased, including the maiden name if applicable
  • The date and place of birth
  • Their last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • Whether they were receiving a State Pension or any other benefit

If available (but don’t worry if not) it’s also useful to have some of the following documents relating to the deceased person:

  • Birth Certificate
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Driving Licence
  • Passport
  • Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
people hand holding a pen for working to write on 2022 10 06 04 03 36 utc
Cars 3

When you register the death, you will receive the following:

Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the Green Form) which gives permission for burial or an application for cremation.

Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8). This is used for social security purposes.

Both above forms are free of charge but now you can also request extra copies of the death certificate which will be useful for dealing with the deceased person’s affairs. These are available at the time for £11 each – be sure to purchase enough copies, you’ll be surprised how many you may need.

When the Coroner becomes involved

If a death has been reported to the Coroner, you cannot register that death until you have the Coroner’s permission.

As with every step, please call us on 01209 211684 if you have any concerns.

A death will be reported to the Coroner if:

  • The cause of death is unknown
  • The death was violent or unnatural
  • The death was sudden and unexplained
  • The death was not at the deceased’s home address
  • The deceased was not visited by a medical practitioner during their final illness
  • The medical certificate isn’t available
  • The deceased wasn’t seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died
  • The death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic
  • The medical certificate suggests the death may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning

After reviewing the case the Coroner may decide the cause of death is clear and, if this is the case:

  • The doctor signs a medical certificate
  • You take the medical certificate to the registrar
  • The coroner issues a certificate to the registrar stating a post-mortem isn’t needed
flowers 3
woman with lily flowers and coffin at funeral 2022 10 07 03 21 31 utc


The Coroner may ask for a post-mortem to be completed to find out how the person has died.

When the post-mortem has been completed and no further examinations are necessary the Coroner will allow the funeral to go ahead. If an inquest is not required, the Coroner will issue Form 100B (the Pink Form) to the registrar which states the cause of death.

If the deceased is going to be cremated the Coroner will also issue Cremation Form 6.

A Coroner will hold an inquest if the cause of death is still unknown, or if the person:

  • Possibly died a violent or unnatural death
  • Died in prison or police custody

If this is necessary, the death cannot be registered until the inquest has been completed. Once this has happened the Coroner is responsible for sending the relevant paperwork to the registrar.

Although the death cannot be registered until after the inquest, the Coroner can give you an Interim Death Certificate to confirm the person has passed. This can be used to notify organisations of the death and to apply for probate.

The funeral can still go ahead as the Coroner will supply to the funeral director an Order for Burial (Form 101) or Certificate of Coroner (Cremation Form 6).

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a service available via the Register Office.

It enables you to notify Government departments/organisations all in one go.

Using this scheme can take a lot of worry away from you and avoids having to send multiple copies of the Death Certificate.

Life Ledger

Life Ledger is a free, easy-to-use service similar in principle to Tell Us Once.

It allows families to contact all of the businesses connected with the deceased from a single point, saving time and removing the need to have the same difficult conversation over and over.