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Registering a death by declaration.

A death must be registered by the Registrar of Deaths in the District in which the death occurred. (If you are unsure in which area the death occurred please telephone your local Register Office for advice. A death should be registered within 5 days, unless the registrar says this period may be extended.)

If it is not convenient for you to visit the Register Office in the district in which the death occurred, you can go to any Register Office in England and Wales to make a DECLARATION, Particulars of a deceased given at a registrars office outside of the area in which the death occured. The details are then forwarded to the correct registrar for registration. of the particulars required for the registration.

In that case any forms and death certificates you require will be sent by post from the registrar in whose district the death occurred. If you choose to register by declaration therefore, it will mean the process is longer by one or two days as you will need to allow for the postage of documents before arranging the funeral.

As soon as you know the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been issued by the general practitioner or hospital doctor, contact your local Register Office and explain that you wish to make a declaration to register the death (The Register Offices in Cornwall operate by appointment so please telephone in advance.)

The local registering officer must have all the correct details available. Please allow a period of time for this to be done.

  • Correct address of the place of death.
  • Correct name of the Doctor or Coroner making the Certification.
  • Correct designation of the Doctor or Coroner.
  • Correct name of the payee for the cheque for any certificates required.

As soon as your local Register Office has this information an appointment will be made for you to register the death by making a declaration. This declaration will be sent, on completion, by first class post to the Register Office in the district in which the death occurred together with any fees for any certificates you may require. The certificates will be sent to you as soon as possible, together with the form for burial or cremation and a form for social security purposes (form BD8/334).

How to register a death by declaration

It is preferred that a relative of the deceased registers the death. If there are no relatives then it is possible for other persons to register. Such persons may be someone present at the death, a senior administrator of the establishment in which the death occurred, or the person instructing the funeral director.

You should allow approximately 30 minutes for the registration. However, in some circumstances the Registrar may have to refer to the Coroner which may result in further time being necessary.

The registrar will require the following information:

  • The date and place of death.
  • Correct name of the Doctor or Coroner making the Certification.
  • The date and place of birth of the deceased.
  • The deceased's occupation and the full names and occupation of her husband if she was a married woman or a widow.
  • The date and place of birth of the deceased.
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds.
  • If the deceased was married, the date of birth of the spouse.
  • Either the national Health Service number of the deceased if known, or the medical card itself if available, should be handed to the Registrar. Please do not delay registration if the medical card is not available.
  • In addition if the death certificates are required, a cheque to he correct value will nee to be forwarded with the declaration to the district registering the death who will then issue these documents.


After the death has been registered, the Registrar will post to you two certificates. These are as follows:

A Certificate for Burial or Cremation known as the Green Form, you will need to take this to the funeral director, so that the funeral can take place. In some circumstances this is issued by the Coroner.

A Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8/344 Is for the Social Security purposes. Please read the back of the form in your own time. If any of the information applies, please complete it and return it to your local Social Security Office.

Standard Death Certificates. A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register. The Registrar will advise you as to the number of certificates which you may need. There is a small fee for death certificates.

These may be required by banks, building societies, solicitors or the pension claims and some insurance claims. You may wish to ask for several copies of the standard death certificate at the time of registration as the price increases if you need one at a later date.


In certain circumstances the death will have to be referred to the Coroner by the Doctor or by the Registrar. The Coroner may do one of three things.

  • He/She may decide no action is necessary and inform the Registrar accordingly
  • He/She may decide to hold a post – mortem examination, in which case a Form 100 will be issued by the Coroner to be used instead of the medical certificate.
  • He/She may decide to hold an inquest. The Coroners Officer or Registrar will advise on what to do in these circumstances.

Information Leaflets

Leaflets relating to benefits are also available from the Registrar. If you have any questions which are not answered in this section, then the Registrar will be pleased to help you.