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Registering a death

The death should be registered in the district where it took place. If this is inconvenient, the death can be registered by declaration in a different district. This means giving the information about the death to the Registrar in your local area. It will then be sent to the Registrar in the area where the death took place to be recorded in that district. This may involve a delay in the receipt of documents that you may need to organise the funeral.  

If you are not sure which district the death occurred in, please contact us forCivic Centre flowers advice. You should make an appointment to register the death within five days, unless the registrar says that we can extend this period. Please contact us to make an appointment as soon as you have the ‘medical certificate of cause of death’ from the relevant doctor. You must bring this certificate with you when you come to the register office. 

Who may register a death?

The following people are able to register a death in the order as shown:

  • A relative present at the death
  • A relative present during the last illness
  • A relative living in the registration district
  • A person present at the death
  • The occupier of premises where a death occurred
  • The person arranging the funeral (not the undertaker)

The registrar will need the following information    

  • The date and place of death
  • The date and place of birth
  • The full names, and any other names used, of the person who has died (and maiden surname if this applies)
  • Their occupation
  • The full names of her/his husband/wife/ civil partner (if she/he was a married woman/man, widow/widower or civil partner) and their occupation
  • The usual address of the person who has died
  • Whether they received a private pension from public funds
  • If they were married, the date of birth of their husband or wife
  • If they were in a civil partnership, the date of birth of their civil partner
  • You should give the National Health Service number of the person who has died, if known. The medical card itself, if available, should be given to the registrar. (Please do not delay registering the death if you do not have the medical card)

What does it mean if the death has been referred to the coroner?

It is sometimes necessary for a doctor to refer a death to the coroner. This is usually when the death is unexpected, unexplained or following surgery. If the deceased has links to an industrial disease this may also be reported to the coroner. In these circumstances there will be additional paperwork the registrar will need to receive from the coroner before the death can be registered. 

In certain circumstances, when you attend to register a death, the registrar may refer the death to the coroner. The coroner will then respond in one of three ways:

  • after speaking with the doctor they may instruct the registrar to proceed with the registration,
  • they may decide a post mortem needs to be carried out and
  • in extreme circumstances they may decide he needs to hold an inquest.

This may delay the registration process. 

What will I obtain from the Registrar?

You will receive a form to take to the undertaker (if the coroner is involved other arrangements will be made). You will also receive a form for the Department for Work and Pensions| to notify them of the death. Both of these are free. 

Further information on registering a death in England and Wales, removing a body from England or Wales and what to do if the death occurred abroad can be found at the website of the General Register Office|

Standard death certificates

You may also need to buy some death certificates. A death certificate is a certified copy of the entry of death in the register and has to be paid for. You may need these for banks, building societies, solicitors, or for pension or insurance claims. You may want to ask for extra death certificates at the time of registration as after the registration of the death the cost rises. 

What is the ‘Tell Us Once’ scheme?

When someone dies, there are always numerous agencies and organisations you have to inform. Now a Government scheme, offered free of charge via the Registrar's Office, means you only need to ‘Tell Us Once’ when you go to register the loss of a loved one and we will do the rest. 

If you wish to make use of it, simply ask the officer when you are registering the death. Relevant details are then placed on a national database where they can be accessed by public sector organisations so their records can be updated accordingly. Registrars will be supported in this where necessary by Customer Services.

More information on the ‘Tell Us Once’ scheme is also available at: www.direct.gov.uk|

Contact Us

Gateshead Register Office
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH
Tel: 0191 433 3000
Email: registeroffice@gateshead.gov.uk|
How to get to the Civic Centre| (272k PDF)

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