What you need to register a death

You must take with you the medical certificate of cause of death (unless the coroner or procurator fiscal has issued their document directly to the registrar)

If possible, you should also take the following documents. They are not absolutely essential but provide much of the additional information you need for the registration, but do not delay registering just because you cannot find this paperwork.

  • NHS card (also called the medical card)
  • Birth certificate
  • Driving licence
  • Council tax bill
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
  • If possible please take the National Insurance number of the deceased and the number of a surviving spouse or civil partner.
  • Passport
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill)

When you see the registrar, they will be as helpful as they can in registering the death. They will require the following information about the deceased:

  • Date and place of the death
  • The address of the person
  • Their full names (including the maiden name of a married woman). Any former married names or other names by which the deceased was known can also be recorded.
  • Where and when they were born (the town or county is sufficient if the exact address is not known). Only the country of origin is required for people born outside the United Kingdom. The country is recorded according to its current name if this is different from how it was known at the date of birth.
  • Their occupation
  • Details of their wife or husband or civil partner
  • Whether they had any government pension or other benefits

While it is not essential, you should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (e.g. a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.

The registration process will take approximately 30 minutes. If a full Tell Us Once service is offered the appointment may be extended by about 15 minutes.

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