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Registering a death

I need to register a death - what should I do?

When you have suffered a bereavement it is very difficult to know what to do first. The following information is designed to assist you in registering the death and to answer your immediate questions. Please telephone the office on the number below if you wish to, and our experienced staff will do all they can to help you at this time.

  • Who is able to register a death?
  • Where can I register the death?
  • When must I register the death?
  • What questions will I be asked by the registrar?
  • What documents will I need to produce?
  • What documents will the registrar give me?
  • What about death certificates?
  • Appointments
  • Any further questions?


Who is able to register a death?

Usually, a relative of the deceased will register the death. If this is not possible, there are other people who may qualify to register. Contact the Register Office for further information.

Where can I register the death?

The death must be registered within the district it occurred. However if you are unable to visit the Register Office in that district, you may go to any Register Office in England or Wales. This is called registering a death by declaration and the Registrar who sees you will forward the information you give to the relevant Registration District.

In this case the authority allowing the funeral director to proceed with arrangements, and any death certificates you may require, will be sent to you by post.

Please note that registering a death by declaration can take longer than registering directly with the district in which the death occurred. This may, in turn, result in a delay in receiving the certificates necessary to allow the funeral to take place. If you choose to use this facility, please contact the Register Office in advance for further information.

To register a death or if you require further information contact the Register Office.

When must I register the death?

Every death should normally be registered within five days (unless a coroner is investigating the circumstances leading to a death).

What questions will I be asked by the Registrar?

The Registrar will need to know the following information:

  • the date and place of death
  • the deceased's last (usual) address
  • the deceased's full name(s) and surname (and the maiden surname)
  • the deceased's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK, and country if born abroad)
  • the deceased's occupation and the name and occupation of their spouse, and of previous spouse(s) as appropriate
  • whether the deceased was receiving a pension or allowance from public funds
  • if the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower
  • other statistical information



What documents will I need to produce?

You will need to produce the following documents to the Registrar:

  • A Medical certificate of the cause of death (issued by the doctor who certified the death)
  • the deceased's NHS medical card (if available)
  • any pension book, certificate or documents relating to any pension or benefits that the deceased was receiving from public funds
  • it is also useful if you have the deceased's birth and, if applicable, their marriage certificate(s) to hand; although these documents are not essential, provided you are able to supply the correct information 
  • if the death has been referred to the Coroner, the Coroner may issue another certificate direct to the Register office. The Registrar will need this certificate before the death can be registered. In cases where the death has been referred to the Coroner, it is always advisable to contact the Register office before attending any appointment you may have made
  • Supporting documents relating to the deceased would help with the registration (birth certificate, passport, marriage/civil partnership certificate, proof of address)

Not being able to provide these documents will not prevent you from registering the death. However, it would be helpful to provide them wherever possible so that we can make sure our records are accurate.

What documents will the Registrar give me?

The Registrar will give you the following documents free of charge:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation. This is known as the green form and gives permission for the body to be buried or cremated. It should be delivered to the funeral director so that the funeral can be held. However if the death has been referred to the Coroner, forms may be issued from his office that will replace the above.
  • Leaflets about dealing with the death/widows benefits/Income tax for widows.
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death (white form known as a BD8). This is for Social Security purposes only. Read the information on the certificate and if anything applies, fill in the certificate and send it, or hand it in, to your Social Security Office.


What about Death Certificates?

Registration of the death is free but if you require a copy of the death certificates the following fees are charged:

  • £11.00 for a death certificate

You may need a death certificate for the Will and for any pension claims, insurance policies, bank accounts and premium bonds. It is easier to purchase these copies at the time you visit the Registrar but they will be available if further copies are required at a later date.


An appointment system is used to assist you at this distressing time and be assured that our staff will make every effort to ensure your visit here is as simple and straightforward as possible. Please telephone before attending the office to book a suitable date and time.

Tell Us Once

When someone has died, the Registrars can help tell the people who need to know about the death. "Tell Us Once" is a service which the Registrars can offer the family following the registration of the death, and they will then notify the Council and central Government departments, Hospitals, GP's and Housing Associations that need to be told, on the family's behalf.

Who can we tell?

Department for Work & Pensions - Bereavement Benefit; State Pension; Pension Credit; Attendance Allowance; Disability Living Allowance; Carer's Allowance; Employment & Support Allowance; Incapacity Benefit; Income Support; Jobseeker's Allowance; Pension, Disability & Carers Service; Overseas Health Team.

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs - Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit; Child Benefit, Personal Taxation.

Service Personnel & Veterans Agency - War Pensions Scheme, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.

The Council - Adult Services; Children's Services; Electoral Services; Libraries; Council Tax; Housing & Council Tax Benefit; Lifeline; Blue Badge scheme; Housing Advice; Concessionary Travel; Parking Permits; Local Government Payroll & Pensions; Merthyr Leisure Centre membership.

DVLA - Driving Licence

Identity & Passport Service - UK Passport.

Housing Associations - Wales & West HA; Hafod HA, Merthyr Tydfil HA, Merthyr Valleys Homes.

What information do we need?

When you have registered the death, you will be offered the "Tell Us Once" service, and it is important you have the following information with you:

  • The deceased's National Insurance number and date of birth
  • Details of any benefits they were receiving
  • Their Passport or Passport number and town or country of birth
  • The Driving Licence or Driving Licence number, if applicable

We may ask for information about:

  • The deceased's next of kin
  • A surviving husband/wife or civil partner
  • The person dealing with their estate
  • What will we do with the information you give us?

The information you give us will be treated securely and confidentially. The organisations mentioned above will use it to update records, to end services, benefits and entitlements, and to resolve any outstanding issues. They may use the information we give them in other ways, but only as the law allows.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that any organisation that pays a benefit has correct and up to date information.

The service will only take a few minutes to complete, but saves the informant the time and expense of contacting the many departments and organisations that need to know.

If you would like to know more about Tell Us Once, please contact the Registrars section on 01685 727333.

Information is also available on the UK Government website, Direct Gov.

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