You will usually be given information about registering your relative or friend’s death when you are given the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD).
The person who can register the death varies in different parts of the UK. You can find more detailed information about this at gov.uk/register-a-death
You have to register the death with the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. This has to be done within five days (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or eight days (in Scotland), unless it has been referred to the coroner or procurator fiscal.
To find the phone number of your local registrar’s office, you can:
- look up ‘registration of births, deaths and marriages’ in the business section of your local phone book
- look on the envelope the MCCD is in
- ask the staff in the hospital or hospice, if that’s where your relative or friend died
- call the Bereavement Advice Centre on 0800 634 9494.
Some registrars’ offices have an appointment system, so call and check before you go.
You will need to take the MCCD with you. It is also helpful to take:
- your relative or friend’s birth certificate, and their marriage certificate if they had one
- details of any state benefits they were getting
- their NHS medical card, if they had one
- the National Insurance number of the person who has died, and of a surviving husband, wife or civil partner, if they have one.
The registrar will enter the details of the death in the register and give you a certificate for burial or cremation. You need to give this to the funeral director. If you need a certificate of registration of death for social security purposes, the registrar will give you one. The registrar will also give you an MCCD for you to keep.
Before you go to the registrar’s office, it’s helpful to think about how many copies of the death certificate you might need. These are duplicate original, certified copies and not photocopies. You usually need one certified copy for each life insurance policy (or similar) that you need to claim.
You can buy certified copies for a small charge at the time of registration. It is also possible to buy certified copies at a later time, but they may cost more.
You can get more information about registering the death from: