When someone dies it can be a stressful and upsetting time. As well as coping with the emotional distress a death may bring, you need to notify a number of different organisations.
Why you need to register a death
You are legally required to register a death. Doing so will provide you with documents needed to arrange the funeral and to deal with the deceased's estate.
A death should be registered within five days, unless the Coroner is involved (in which case the Coroner’s Officer will advise you).
Who should register the death
A death must be registered by a qualified person (called an 'informant') and this is nearly always a relative of the deceased.
However, if there are no relatives available, a death can be registered by another qualified person. This includes, in order of preference:
a person present at the death
the occupier of the premises (house, hospital or nursing home) where the death occurred if he/she knew of it happening
the person arranging the funeral (this is not the funeral director, but the relative, friend or legal representative who is instructing the funeral director).
Make an appointment to register a death
If the death occurred in Nottingham city, please contact Nottingham City Council to make an appointment.
If the death occurred in the county of Nottinghamshire, or you are unsure, please contact our Customer Service Centre who will make you an appointment at a register office. Please do not go to a register office without an appointment since many offices are only part-time and all operate an appointment system.
What you will be asked at your appointment
The registrar will ask for the following details about the deceased:
date and place of death
full name (including maiden surname where appropriate)
date and place of birth
occupation, where appropriate
full name, date of birth and occupation of spouse/late spouse or civil partner/late civil partner, where relevant
whether or not the deceased was receiving any pensions or allowances from public funds.
Tell Us Once service
Our Tell Us Once service allows you to tell multiple government agencies about a death, at the same time. By taking part in the Tell Us Once service, we can notify the following organisations for you:
- Local councils
- Identity and Passport Service
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
- Driving licence cancellation
- Department for Work and Pensions
- State Pension, Disability and Carers Service
- Jobcentre Plus
- Overseas Health Team.
What you need to bring to your appointment
The registrar will need to see:
- the medical cause of death certificate issued by the GP or hospital doctor who was treating the deceased, unless the Coroner is holding a post mortem or inquest.
- your own personal identification. this can be in the form of a Passport, Council tax Bill, Driving Licence or Proof of Address such as a utility bill, although any documents provided that support the information contained in the register should be accepted. This is to ensure accuracy of records, prevent fraudulent registrations and to improve the quality of information being recorded.
In addition, it is often useful to take the deceased's:
- birth certificate
- NHS medical card
- marriage certificate (if applicable).
To complete the Tell Us Once service, please try to bring with you as many of the following as possible:
- The deceased's National Insurance Number
- The deceased’s surviving husband, wife or civil partner’s National Insurance Number or next of kin's National Insurance Number
- Next of kin's name, address and telephone number
- Name and address of the person dealing with the deceased's estate (if different)
- Dates of any recent stays in hospital/hospice/care home during the last 26 weeks, providing the most recent if more than one
- Information about any benefits and services the deceased may have been receiving (e.g. state pension, income support, housing benefit, library card etc)
- The deceased’s driving licence (if held) or driver number if licence not available
- Passport (if held) or passport number if passport not available
- Blue Badge (if held).
If you do not have the passport or driving licence, the Tell Us Once service can still go ahead but you will need to inform the DVLA and the HM Passport Office separately.
If you are not the next of kin or person dealing with the deceased's estate, you will need their permission in order for the Registrar to pass on this information as part of Tell Us Once.
You will receive a Tell Us Once letter at the end of the registration that will list the services that have been informed of the death.
Documents you will receive from the Registrar
- Certificate of burial or cremation (green form)
This must be handed to the funeral director so that arrangements can be made for the funeral to take place. In certain circumstances a form will be issued by the Coroner instead.
- Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8)
This is to inform the Department of Work and Pensions of the death. The Registrar will explain what you need to do with this form.
- Certified copies of the death certificate
You can purchase as many copies of the death certificate as you wish.
How much it will cost
You may wish to buy a certified copy of the register entry (a death certificate) to deal with the deceased's estate. There is a £4 charge per copy. The certificates are needed for the following purposes:
- Probate or letters of administration
- bank and building society accounts
- the deceased’s life insurance policies
- dealing with the deceased’s stocks and shares.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other purposes for which a death certificate may be required.
For a limited time after the day of registration, certificates can be requested from the Registrar for £7. After this time, certificates requested from a Superintendent Registrar or from an archived register will cost £10.
We have produced a Nottinghamshire Bereavement Guide which provides advice and support on registering a death, planning a funeral, administering the estate and coping with your bereavement. This can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF below.
Find out more
If you have any questions about registering a death, civil funerals or the services our registrars provide, please contact our Customer Service Centre. You can also find more detailed information about what to do when someone dies on the Gov.uk website.