How to Register a Death

Registering a Death

It is a legal requirement for the family or appointed person to register the death before the funeral can take place. You can go to any registrar’s office but it’s best to use one in the county where the person died – otherwise the process can take longer and be more complicated.

Registering the death will take about 30 minutes – and you will need to make an appointment. To make an appointment with Oxfordshire Registrar’s you will need to go to or call 0345 2422489.

Who can register the death?

You can register the death if you’re:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an administrator from the hospital
  • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors

What you need to do

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you. If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person’s full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, eg 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

Documents you’ll get

When you register a death you’ll get:

  • a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) – gives permission for burial or a cremation
  • a Certificate of Registration of Death. You can buy extra death certificates for a small charge and most families will get 3-6 copies.