How can we help?
When you have suffered a bereavement it is very difficult to
know what to do first and how to cope with the legalities and
paperwork that a death inevitably causes.
The following pages explain the procedure for registering the
death and should answer most, if not all, of your questions.
Naturally, we can’t include everything about death registration on
this website so if there is anything that you’re not sure about
please feel free to call the Register Office and our experienced
staff will do all they can to advise you.
How quickly can the death be registered?
It is possible to register the death as soon as you have
obtained either a ‘Medical Certificate of Death’ from the
Hospital/Doctor or a Form Part B from the Coroners Office - the
only exception being when an inquest is being held. In this case
the registration of death will only occur once the Coroner has
given his permission.
Legally, the death must be registered within five days of it
occurring - though this period may be extended in certain
circumstances, for example when the Coroner has been consulted. If
you are unsure about the time limitations, or think you may not be
able to register within five days, please telephone the Register
Office for further information.
Where can the death be registered?
A death can only be registered in the registration district in
which the death occurred. If the death occurred at an address
located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea then it
must be registered at the Kensington and Chelsea
Register Office. You may do this in person here at the Chelsea Old
Town Hall or by declaration at any other Register Office in
England or Wales.
Registration in person
If you wish to attend this Register Office to register the death
then you may do so without an appointment. You will need to attend
this office between the hours of 9.00 and 16.00 Monday to
Friday and a member of staff will see you as soon as possible. If
all the Registrars are busy you may be asked to wait for a while
until a member of staff becomes free. If you would prefer to book
an appointment then you are welcome to do so and you can make an
appointment by contacting the Register Office during our normal
Registration by declaration
If it is too distressing or not convenient for you to attend
this office to register the death then you may go to any other
Register Office in England or Wales to register by ‘Death
Declaration’. When you attend that Register Office the Registrar
who sees you will record the relevant information and act as an
intermediary, passing the details to the Registrar at Chelsea by
In this case any death certificates you require and the
authority allowing the funeral director to proceed with
arrangements will be sent to you by post. If you wish to obtain any
death certificates then you will need to enclose the appropriate
payment of £4.00 per certificate (at the time of
registration). Please remember however that such arrangements
rely on many different organisations and services (postal services,
part time register offices etc.) and this will inevitably delay the
arrangements you are making for the funeral. If you choose to use
this facility please telephone the Register Office at Chelsea in
advance of your attendance for further information. However, please
remember that you have a legal obligation to register the death
within five days.
Important – If you wish to register the death
by declaration, for future reference please remember that copies of
death certificates are only available from the office where the
death is registered and not where the death declaration was
Who is able to register the death?
The death must be registered by a qualified informant and this
person must be one of the following:
- a relative, usually the closest one
- someone who was present at the death
- someone who is instructing the funeral director
- in rare circumstances another person may qualify as an
informant - if you think that this may be the case then you should
contact the Register Office for further advice
Important - an executor is not automatically
entitled to register a death unless they are also arranging the
If English is not your first language and you would like someone
to help you with the registration, please feel free to ask a
relative or friend to accompany you to the Register Office.
However, please remember that the death must be registered by a
qualified informant and, regrettably, a friend cannot register on
What information needs to be supplied to the Registrar?
When you attend to register the death, the Registrar will need
to see the following documents:
- a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ (as issued by
the doctor who certified the death)
- if the doctor has had to inform the Coroner about the
death, the Coroner may need to issue another certificate and in
that case, the Registrar will need the Coroner’s document in order
to register the death
- the deceased’s NHS medical card (if available)
- it is also useful if you have the deceased’s passport, birth
certificate and (if applicable) marriage certificate to hand but
these documents are not essential provided you are able to give the
Registrar the correct information
In addition the Registrar will need to know the following
- the date and place of death
- the deceased’s last (usual) address
- the deceased’s full names and surnames (and the maiden surname
- the deceased’s date and place of birth (town and county if born
in the United Kingdom, and country if born abroad)
- the deceased’s occupation and the name and occupation of their
spouse, and of previous spouses (if appropriate)
- whether the deceased was receiving a pension or allowance from
- if the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving
widow or widower
- other statistical information (some of which you are required
by law to give)
Documents provided by the Registrar
The Registrar will give you, free of charge, the following:
- A Certificate of Registration of Death (Form
BD8) This is for Social Security purposes only. Read the
information on the back of the certificate and if any of it applies
to you, fill in the certificate and send it or hand it in to your
Social Security Office.
- A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Form 9)
This is known as the Green Form and gives permission for the body
to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made and
should be delivered to the funeral directors so that the funeral
can be held. However, in certain circumstances the Coroner may make
one the following available in place of the above:
i) an Order for Burial (Form 101)
ii)a Certificate for Cremation (Form E)
Obtaining death certificates
A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the
Register of Deaths. The Registrar can issue copies of this on
payment of a statutory fee and this is currently £4.00 per copy
at the time of registration. The ‘original’ is the
actual entry in the register and any copies issued from it carry
the statutory fee which, unfortunately, we are unable to waive. You
may purchase as many certificates as you need at the time of
registration, for a fee of £4.00 per certificate. The
day after the registration the price of these
certificates will increase to £7.00 until such time as
the Register has been completed.
Once the Register has been completed and deposited in the vault,
the cost of any further certificates you may wish to purchase
increases to £10.00 per copy.
Please remember that if you chose to go to another Register
Office and make a death declaration, and you wish to purchase
certificates, you will need to enclose the appropriate payment of
£4.00 per certificate (at the time of registration). The
certificates will then be forwarded on to you from Chelsea once the
death has been registered here.
Important - Copies of death certificates are
only available from the office where the death is registered and
not where the death declaration was made.
You may need a death certificate for the Will and for any
pension claims, insurance policies, bank accounts and premium bonds
and it is easier to purchase these copies at the time you visit the
Registrar. If the Registrar at Chelsea is unable to issue all the
certificates you require immediately, these can be posted on to you
by first class post later that day. (If you choose to declare a
death at another office you can leave a cheque with the Registrar
who will include it with documents sent to Chelsea).
If you have any further questions, or would like to make an
appointment, please telephone the Register Office on 020 7361 4100
between 9am and 4pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or
9am and 7pm (Thursdays). Please remember that the appointment
system is available to assist you at this distressing time. Be
assured that our staff will make every effort to ensure your visit
here is as simple and straightforward as possible.
If the death has already been registered and you wish to apply
for a copy of a death certificate from the Kensington and Chelsea
Register Office, see Obtaining a copy of a
birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate.