Register a death

When faced with a bereavement, many of us will feel overwhelmed by the practical considerations. This list might help you through the first stages of the process, from registering the death onwards. Please find some practical advice on how to register a death.

Registration in most cases should take place prior to the funeral. A relative of the deceased usually registers the death. If no relative is available then the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, the occupier of the premises where the death took place, or the person who is accepting responsibility for arranging the funeral. It may be necessary to arrange an appointment with the Registrar. 

If you feel you would like support, we can accompany you to the Registrar’s Office.

What does the Registrar need to know?

The Registrar will require the following information about the deceased:

  • The date and place of their death.
  • Their full name
  • The date and place of their birth
  • Their occupation
  • Their home address
  • If they were in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse
The Registrar will also require the following documents:
  • The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • The deceased's National Health Service medical card (if available)
  • The Registrar may also require the Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate (if applicable) if these are readily available

The Registrar may issue a green certificate for burial or cremation (a white certificate of registration of death in Scotland), which is required by us prior to the funeral taking place. Certified copies of the entry of death can be obtained for a small charge – these may be needed for legal or financial purposes.

If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the registration process may vary – we will advise you accordingly.

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