Register a death
We understand how difficult it can be when someone close to us dies. It is a time when there are many things to be done, just when we may feel least able to do them.
Registration staff are here to help you register the death and advise on other things you will need to consider.
Important: A death registration should be carried out by the 5th day after the death occurred.
There are a number of people who can legally register a death including:
- A relative
- A person present at the death
- A senior member of the establishment (such as a nursing home) in which the death occurred
- The person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director - however, your chosen funeral director may contact us on your behalf to make an appointment for you to register)
Other people may be able to register in specific circumstances. In this case contact us on 0344 800 8020.
Note that in registration there is a difference between a ‘civil partner’ and a ‘partner’. Your ‘partner’ (ie someone you are not married to) is not legally linked to you for registration purposes. A ‘civil partner’ is someone of the same sex with whom you have been through a legal ceremony of formation.
There is no provision for a partner who is not married to or in a civil partnership with the deceased to be recorded as the deceased’s partner on the death registration. However, they can qualify as informant as ‘present at the death’ or ‘causing the body to be buried/cremated’.
A death must be registered in the registration district where it occurred.
A death which occurred in Norfolk may be registered at any of the registration offices in the county.
Alternatively, if this will be difficult for you, you can go to any office in England or Wales. We call this registering by declaration. Registering by declaration will mean a delay in receiving a death certificate and associated documents as the registration details will have to be passed (generally by post) to the registration office where the death occurred before they can then issue the paperwork.
Important: A death registration should be carried out by the 5th day after the death occurred. Please make every effort to register in the five days, but don't worry if there is an unavoidable delay in doing so.
All registration offices in Norfolk have an appointment system. Allow about 30 minutes for your appointment.
If the Coroner is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the death he or she will issue paperwork in place of the doctor’s medical certificate. In these cases, before you can make an appointment to register the death, we need to check the paperwork has been received. In this case you will be unable to book an appointment online so please call 0344 800 8020 and choose option 3 for Registration.
Outside Norfolk you will need to check with the office concerned.
You will need to take the medical certificate of cause of death, which is issued by the doctor. Until you have this document (or the Coroner has issued paperwork instead) you should not book an appointment to register.
You will be asked the date and place of birth of the deceased so it may be useful to take their birth certificate with you if this is available.
The NHS Medical Card for the person who has died should also be given to the registration officer if available.
If the Coroner is involved he or she will issue paperwork in place of the doctor’s medical certificate. Before you can make an appointment to register the registrar will need to check if the paperwork has been received, or make arrangements to have it sent through.
The registration officer will need the following information:
- The date and place of death
- The full name of the person who has died, and any previous or maiden names where appropriate
- The date and place of birth of the person who has died
- The occupation and usual address of the person who has died
- If the person who has died was married or in a civil partnership, the full names, date of birth and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
- If the person who has died was still married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of their widow, widower or surviving civil partner
- Your name and address
- If the deceased was receiving any pension or allowance from public funds, other than a state pension from public funds, please tell the registration officer
A certificate for Burial or Cremation (also known as the Green Form)
This form is for you to take to the funeral director so that the funeral can take place. In some circumstances this form will be issued direct from the Coroner.
This form is free of charge.
A certificate of Registration of Death (also known as Form BD8 or a Form 344)
This form is for social security purposes. Please refer to the notes shown on the back of this form.
Standard Death Certificate
A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register. These will be required for banks, building societies, solicitors, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
The fee for certificates requested on the day of the registration, is £4 each.
If certificates are requested after that date, the fee is £7 each until that register is closed, when the fee rises to £10.
Please note that we do not issue a free death certificate as standard.
To make a change or a correction to a death registration and certificate you must contact a registration office, preferably the one where the death was registered. Once they know what correction is required they will be able to advise you on what to do next.
If a person dies from natural causes whilst abroad, the death certificate(s) can only be obtained from the registering authority in the country where the death occurred.
However, in some cases, the details of the death can be notified to the Consular Registration Section at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This only applies to some countries and you will need to provide evidence that the person who has died was a British National. A British style death document can be issued from this registration.
There is a charge for this service and it may take several weeks to complete the process. Further details can be found at: www.gov.uk/after-a-death or by calling 03700 002244 between 12pm-4pm, Monday to Friday.