Register a death

Registering the death will give you the documents you need for the funeral, though we can start making arrangements and giving you advice before that.

Who registers the death?

The person who registers the death is usually a relative of the person who has died. If no relatives are available, then the death can be registered by:

  • Anyone who was there when the person died.
  • Someone who lives in the place where the person died.
  • The person who's taking responsibility for arranging the funeral.

The person who registers the death will need to visit the local Registrar, which might mean making an appointment. If you'd like support, we can accompany you to the Registrar's Office.

What you'll need to give to the Registrar

The Registrar will need to know some things about the person who has died:

  • The date and place of their birth.
  • Their full name
  • The date of death, and where it happened
  • Their occupation
  • Their home address
  • If they had a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If they were married, (if they were, the Registrar will need to know their living husband's or wife's date of birth).
The Registrar will also need to see their:
  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • National Health Service medical card (if you have it)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (if they were married)
What the Registrar will do

They’ll issue a green certificate for burial or cremation, or in Scotland, a white certificate of registration of death. We’ll need to see these documents. Additional certified copies of the entry of death can be obtained from the Registrar for a small charge (these may be needed for legal or financial purposes).

Registering a death might work a bit differently if the Coroner or Procurator Fiscal is looking into the death. If this happens we can talk to you about it and give you advice.

You may like to watch our animation video below for information on registering a death.