Register a death
Coronavirus advice for Register Office appointments
From Monday 30 March we will be registering all deaths and stillbirths by telephone only. We will be conducting no face to face appointments.
Appointments to register a death can still be made as usual by calling 0191 433 3000 or by using the online booking system.
Death certificates will be sent to the Register Office directly from the doctor or hospital. Please only make an appointment after you have had confirmation this has been done.
Please make sure you provide a telephone number when booking. We will contact you on this number at the time of your appointment. See the guidance below about what information we will need from you at the time of your appointment.
Certificates and necessary documents will be sent to you by post. We will contact you after your appointment to arrange this.
We will not be registering births, or issuing certificates in person. Only copy certificates which are required for urgent legal purposes can be ordered by phone and will be posted out. There will be no collection service.
We will not be taking notices of marriage or civil partnership, or wedding bookings. We will not be arranging any cancelled weddings until further guidance is given by the government.
Make an appointment to register a death
All deaths must be registered within 5 days.
If the death occurred in Gateshead you can register it at Gateshead Register Office.
If the death did not occur in Gateshead, you can register the death by declaration. We will send your details to the correct office who will post any certificates required to you. This may result in a delay in getting the documents required to organise a funeral.
Who can register the death
A relative should register the death. If this isn't possible, you can do it if you:
- were there at the time of death
- are an administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)
- are in charge of making the funeral arrangements (not the undertaker or funeral director)
Bring the medical certificate showing the cause of death with you to your appointment. Without this we will not be able to register the death. If the Coroner has been involved the Coroner's Office will advise you what to do as there may be additional paperwork needed.
If available, also bring the person's:
- birth certificate
- council tax bill
- driving licence
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS medical card
- proof of address (for example a utility bill)
Don't worry if any of these documents aren't available as the registrar can still register the death.
The registrar will ask you:
- the date and place of death
- the person's full name at the time of death
- any names previously used, for example maiden name
- the person's date and place of birth
- their last address
- their occupation
- the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
- whether they were getting a state pension or any other benefits
You should also bring supporting documents that show your name and address, for example a utility bill, but you can still register a death without them.
You will be given 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 (DWP) to notify them of the death. These are both free.
A certified copy of the entry in the Register (death certificate) can be provided at the time of registration. You may need this for banks, building societies, solicitors, or for pension or insurance claims. If copies of the death certificate are required after the registration. View our fees and charges.
Tell us Once is a free service which can report a death to several government organisations in one go. We can inform the following organisations for you:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits
- Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a licence and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles
- local councils - to cancel housing benefit, council tax benefit, a blue badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
- Veterans UK - to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments
If you are using the Tell us Once service please bring the person's National Insurance number to your appointment.
Information will be treated securely and confidentially. Organisations that we contact will use the information to update their records and end benefits or services as appropriate.