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Tel: 0116 305 6565

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Tel: 0116 305 6509

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Death Registration FAQ's


Where and when to register a death?

When someone dies, the doctor who was treating the deceased will issue a medical certificate of cause of death to the relatives. The person who will be registering the death must take this certificate to the registrar's office. Occasionally, if the death was sudden or the doctor treating the deceased is unavailable, it may not be possible for a medical certificate of cause of death to be issued. If this happens, the death will have to be reported to the coroner which may lead to a delay in registering the death.
Every death in England or Wales must be registered in the registration district in which it takes place within 5 days of the date of death. You can register a death that took place anywhere in the areas covered by Leicestershire County Council by going to any of its registration offices. Information for the registration is given to the registrar by the person registering the death. The information, which is usually recorded on computer, is also recorded in the death register and the person registering the death signs the record.
If it is inconvenient for the person registering the death to 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 registration particulars on a form of declaration and send it to the registrar for the district where the death occurred. The registrar who receives the declaration will enter the information in the death register. Certificates of the death, which may be ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration, as well as the document allowing the funeral to proceed, will be posted to the person registering the death by the registrar for the district where it took place. If the declaration procedure is used, it may take a day or two longer for the document allowing the funeral to proceed to be issued. Relatives should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar so as to avoid any delay to the funeral.
The registration of a death in Wales 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 as described above. A death that takes place in England may be registered in English only.
Leicestershire Registration Offices use an appointment system which avoids the need for queuing. Please telephone the office of your choice to make an appointment.

Who can register a death?

The people who can register a death fall into two slightly different categories depending on whether the death occurred in a house or hospital etc, or elsewhere:
Deaths in a house or hospital etc. -
  • a relative of the deceased
  • someone present at the death
  • the occupier of the house or hospital if he or she knew of the death
  • another person living at the house if he or she knew of the death
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors
Deaths elsewhere -
  • a relative of the deceased
  • someone present at the death
  • someone who found the deceased
  • a person in charge of the deceased
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors
The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registrar would normally allow one of the other listed persons to register the death only if there were no relatives available.

What information needs to be supplied for the registration of a death?

This page gives you the information that must be given to the registrar for the registration:
  • date and place of death
  • name and surname of the deceased
  • maiden surname, if the deceased was a woman who had married
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation
  • name and occupation of husband, where the deceased was a married woman or widow
  • usual address
  • whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • if the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower
The deceased's medical card, if available, should also be given to the registrar.
It is most important that the information recorded in the death register is correct. If any mistake is made, for example in the spelling of a name or surname or in the description of the occupation, it will give the relative or other person who registered the death some trouble to have it put right. The person registering the death should check the information in the register very carefully before the entry is signed.
If English is not the first language of the relative or other person registering the death and help is needed, it would be helpful for someone else to accompany him or her to the registrar's office and act as interpreter. However, the relative or other person must register the death personally as a helper cannot register instead of them.
You can obtain further information about correcting particulars in a death registration from any register office.

What certificate will be issued?

Death certificate
Once a death has been registered, copy certificates may be purchased. Certificates for recent deaths are available from the office where the death was registered.
White Flower ImageCertificate for burial or cremation
The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the body which is normally passed to the funeral director by the relative who is making the arrangements.
A funeral cannot proceed until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium. If there is a delay to the registration of the death, it is possible for a certificate for the burial of the deceased's body to be issued before registration provided the death does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued by a registrar before the registration of the death.
If a death has been reported to the coroner, he or she may issue a certificate for burial or cremation where possible.
Certificate for applicable Social Security benefits
A certificate for sending to the Department of Social Security will also be issued free of charge by the registrar to the person registering the death or other applicant. The form serves a dual purpose; details of the death are given on one side and the other side is the application for applicable claim forms.

What if a body is to be taken out of England or Wales?

If a body is to be taken out of England and Wales, notice must be given to the coroner for the area where the body is lying. There is no restriction on the removal of bodies within England and Wales, but notice is necessary where the removal is to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, as well as abroad.
A Form of Notice (form 104) may be obtained from a registrar or a coroner. Any certificate for burial or cremation already issued by the registrar or the coroner must be given to the coroner with the notice.
The coroner will acknowledge receipt of the notice and say when the removal of the body may take place. This will normally be after four clear days from when the coroner received the notice. If it is urgent, the person giving notice to the coroner should speak to him or her personally since it may be possible to allow the removal sooner than the four days.

Where can I get further advice on registering a death?

If you need help understanding any of this information or if uncertain of how to proceed with a death registration, your local registrar will gladly give you further advice. You can contact us by calling 0116 305 6565 or by using the Feedback Form.
Alternatively, further information may be obtained from the General Register Office website.

Page Last Updated: 26 March 2009