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Registering a Death

In England and Wales, a death must be registered within five (5) days. Registration must be carried out by the Registrar of Births and Deaths, for the area in which the death occurred. 

If you are unsure whether or not you have authority to register the death, we will advise you. 

woman with a pen and death certificate registering a death

When attending the office of the Registrar, you (the Informant), must take the following things with you:

  • Medical Certificate of Cause of Death 
  • Deceased’s Birth Certificate 
  • Marriage Certificate (where relevant) 
  • Deceased’s National Health Medical Card (if possible)

The Registrar will ask you to provide information about the person who has passed away:

  • First name/s, surname and any other names used officially (and maiden name where relevant)
  • Usual home address 
  • Date and place of death 
  • Date and place of birth 
  • Occupation (if the person was a married woman, then the name and occupation of the her surviving husband or civil partner is also required)
  • Date of birth of surviving partner 
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance/s from public funds 

The Registrar will ask you, as Informant, to provide information about yourself:

  • First name/s and surname 
  • Relationship to the person who has passed away
  • Usual home address

The Registrar will give you the following documents:

  • Certified Copy of an Entry - Death (commonly known as the Death Certificate).
    •  The Registrar will charge a reduced fee (£4 per copy in Leeds) for purchase at the time of registration. The full fee will be applied should you choose to purchase the Certified Copy of an Entry - Death, at a later date. This document is often required for purposes of Probate, banking, shares, bonds, pensions and insurance. It is also useful for finalising many other legal aspects of the person’s estate as well as for private family records.
  • Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8)
    •  Required (only when the person was of pensionable age) by the Department for Work and Pensions. This is necessary in respect of pensions and the cancellation of all relevant benefit payments.

Registrars' Certificate for Burial or Cremation. 

  • This is green in colour and may be referred to as the 'Green Form'.  This document must be handed to your funeral director.



A dandelion puff-ball with the un shining from the background

Deaths referred to the coroner

If a death is referred to the coroner, it cannot be registered until it is agreed with the coroner. This is not uncommon and there are two outcomes of a death being referred.


There won't be an inquest

You will be sent a form from the coroner to confirm that the death can now be registered. The will usually let you know whether a cause of death certificate will need to be acquired from the doctor. Once the registrar has received documentation from the coroner, you can register the death (you can make an appointment with the registrar whilst you are waiting for the coroner to receive this).

There will be an inquest

You may be offered a ‘Coroner's Certificate of the Fact of Death’ [certificate] before the inquest, which can help you to deal with estate affairs etc. However, you will not be able to register a death with this. When the inquest is concluded the documentation will be sent by the coroner to the registrars' office to register the death. You do not need to be present for this, but you will need to contact the registrar should you require copies of the death certificate.

Related to deaths referred to the coroner

Non-Invasive Postmortem 

Where there is coroner involvement, you will either notify us or the coroner, of your requirement for non invasive examination. If your friend or relative is already in our care, they must first be taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where a pathologist must grant permission for a third party examination to take place.  Once permission is granted, we will arrange for your loved one to be taken to Digital Autopsy.

Our private ambulance call-out collection service is available to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year. Private viewing is by appointment.

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