Death Certificates

Death Certificates

It is a legal requirement for the death of the deceased to be registered by a family member or representative. Please note that a burial or cremation cannot take place before the death has been registered. If the death has been reported to a coroner (Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) you cannot register the death until the coroner gives permission.

Registering a death in England and Wales

You should register the death within 5 days. This can be done at the register office. Registering the death will take about 30 minutes – you might need to make an appointment. You need to take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.

The registrar will give you:

  • a Certificate for Burial and Cremation – this is known as the green certificate. This gives permission for the body to be buried or for an application for cremation to be made, and you should give this to the funeral director
  • a Certificate for Registration of Death. You’ll need this to deal with the person’s affairs if they were getting a pension or benefits

To find out the register office local to you please Click Here.

It is free to register a death and copies of death certificates usually start at £11 per copy and often it is cheaper to purchase copies at the time of registration.

Registering a death in Scotland

Any death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within eight days of the date of death by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The opening hours of registration offices varies between local authorities and some operate an appointments system. You should therefore check with the relevant local authority before attending an office.

The registrar will give you:

  • a Certificate for Registration of Death (form 14) so the funeral can take place
  • a Registration or Notification of Death (form 334/SI), which you’ll need to deal with the person’s affairs if they were getting a pension or benefits

To find a Registrar in Scotland please Click Here.