Registering a death

Registering a death

It is difficult to know what to do when you have suffered a bereavement. The first step is to register the death within 5 days of the date of death. 

Frequently asked questions

If the death occurred within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, you can book an appointment to register the death.

How quickly can the death be registered?

Legally, the death must be registered within 5 days of it occurring - though this period may be extended in certain circumstances, for example when the coroner has been consulted.  The death must be registered in person by a relative, someone who is arranging the funeral or someone who was present at the death. Appointments should be booked using our online service.

There is no longer a requirement for those registering the death to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause (MCCD) as the hospital or GP surgery will scan a copy of the relevant paperwork directly to the Register Office. We regret that legislation does not allow the death to be registered remotely, such as online, by e-mail or by telephone.

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 on 020 7361 4100 or email us at [email protected] for further information.

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 funeral.

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 information:

  • the date and place of death
  • the deceased’s last (usual) address
  • the deceased’s full names and surnames (and the maiden surname where appropriate)
  • 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 public funds
  • if the deceased was married, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower
Documents provided by the registrar

After the appointment has concluded, you will be given, 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. This document will be posted to you alongside your certificate(s).
  • 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 will be transmitted electronically to the crematorium or cemetery office. 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)
  • A reference number enabling you to use the Tell Us Once service – a free and highly recommended service which will inform the main government agencies of the deceased’s death, all in one go. For more information visit the Tell Us Once page.

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.

If there is anything you are unsure about after reading these FAQs, please call the Register Office on 020 7361 4100 or email us at [email protected].

Last updated: 24 March 2022