Register a death: step by step

All deaths must be registered within 5 days.

You cannot arrange a funeral or notify companies before the death is registered.

Once the death is registered, you'll be given:

  • the death certificate
  • a green form - this form that lets you organise the funeral
  • the tell us once code - this code allows you to tell multiple organisations of the death at once.

Where to register a death

Deaths should be registered at the register office in the district where the death took place.

For example, if death took place in Medway, you should register the death at Medway Register Office. 

If you cannot register in the district where the death took place

You'll need to make a declaration of death.

To do this, you'll need to visit another register office and make a declaration of death.

That register office will produce a declaration which is signed and posted to the register office where the death did take place.

The register office in the district where the death took place will then register the death. Death certificates can then be made and ordered from that district. 

Deaths outside the UK 

The death must be registered in the country the child or children were born in.

If the person who died lived in England, Scotland or Wales, you can contact Medway Register Office to use the Tell Us Once service to register the death.

Find out more about what to do if someone dies abroad.

Who can register or declare a death

A registration or declaration of death can be made by an informant. An informant is someone who:

  • is a relative of the person who died 
  • was present when the person died
  • will be making the funeral arrangements .

If there is a coroner's inquest, an informant is not needed. 

What you'll need to register a death

You do not need to bring ID to the appointment, however, if you want to bring ID to confirm spellings and details, you must bring an accepted form of ID.

When to register a death

The register office cannot register the death until they have received the medical certificate cause of death (MCCD). This will be sent to the register office from the doctor who attended the death if they died at home or the medical examiner if the person died in hospital.

Deaths involving a coroner, inquests or postmortems

If there is either a coroner referral or a postmortem , the register office cannot complete the death registration until they have:

  • a coroners referral (medical certificate and form100a)
  • a postmortem (form 100b).

If there's an inquest, the coroner will send all documents to the register office who will register the death automatically. 

Find out more about coroner inquests and post mortems.

Once the register office has all the documents they need, they'll contact the next of kin to make an appointment to complete the registration.

The appointment will be made within 2 working days, or whenever is convenient for you. 

If you give the register office an email address, they'll email you the questions from the appointment and what ID you'll need.

Accepted ID for a death registration appointment

  • passport 
  • birth certificate 
  • deed poll 
  • driving licence 
  • proof of address (for example a utility bill) 
  • Council Tax bill 
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate.