The doctor will usually give you information about how to register your relative or friend’s death when they give you 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 will register the death with the Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. This has to be done within 5 days (in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) or 8 days (in Scotland), unless it has been referred to the coroner or procurator fiscal.
Some registrars’ offices have an appointment system, so call and check before you go.
You can get the telephone number for the registrars’ office:
- on the envelope the MCCD is in
- in the phone book
- by calling the Bereavement Advice Centre on 0800 634 9494.
Things to take with you include:
- the MCCD – you must take this with you
- 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 their 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.
Before you go to the registrars’ office, it is helpful to think about how many copies of the death certificate you might need. These are original, certified copies and not photocopies. You can buy certified copies for a small charge at the time of registration.
You can also buy certified copies at a later time, but they may cost more.
You usually need one certified copy for each life insurance policy (or similar) that you need to claim. You may need copies for other official agencies and organisations. They will usually return the copy of the death certificate once they have seen it.
You can get more information about registering the death from: