Registering a death

Where can I register a death?

The death must be registered at the Register Office in the district where it occurred. If it happened in Brighton or Hove you should attend Brighton & Hove Register Office. Please book a death registration appointment online or call (01273) 292016 to make an appointment.

If it is difficult to attend our offices, it is possible to register the death by 'declaration' at any register office in England or Wales. However, as the death will not be registered there, the funeral arrangements could be delayed if you choose to do this. Please note: that before the registration can take place, a death certificate issued by the doctor (or by the Coroner if there has been a post mortem) must be seen by the Registrar.

Who can register the death?

  • a relative
  • a person present at the death
  • a person who is making the funeral arrangements

Other people may be able to register the death in certain circumstances. If you are unsure as to whether you can register, please telephone the registrar who will be happy to advise you.

When should I register?

You should usually register a death within five days. If the death has been reported to the coroner there may be a delay. More information is available on our Coroner's Service pages.

What information will the registrar ask for?

  • the date and place of the death
  • the full name of the person who has died (and maiden name if the deceased was a married woman)
  • his/her date and place of birth
  • their occupation (and if applicable the full name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner)
  • their usual address
  • if the person who has died was married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of their surviving spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were receiving a pension from public funds
  • his/her medical card

What documents do I need to bring?

When you attend the death registration appointment it would be helpful if you could produce the following documents belonging to the person who has died:

  • passport
  • proof of address (council tax bill or utilities bill)
  • if applicable their marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • birth certificate
  • if applicable any name change documents such as name deed/deed poll

It would also be helpful to produce the following documents relating to yourself:

  • current passport
  • proof of address (council tax or utilities bill)

What documents will the registrar give me?

  • a green form to take to the funeral director. In some cases this will be issued by the Coroner (this document will be issued free of charge.)

Death certificates are are available for a fee which you can purchase them from the registrar.  These may be required for:

  • banks or building societies
  • probate
  • insurance companies
  • stocks and shares
  • solicitor
  • private pensions
  • post office accounts

If you do not purchase enough certificates at the time of the registration, further copies can be obtained at any time in the future.

In case of emergency

On Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays, if you need to contact a registrar to arrange an urgent burial, you can do so between 10 am and noon by telephoning (07979) 648227.

Useful links