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Registering A Death

These pages give you information about how to register a death that occurred in England or Wales.

Deaths in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which they take place although this may be arranged through any register office within these countries. If you choose to do this there could well be a delay in the funeral arrangements and in receiving documents. Deaths in Wales may be registered bilingually in English and Welsh.

The Register Office for the New Forest area is located at; Ringwood Gateway, The Furlong, Ringwood, BH24 1AT.  Telephone number 0845 603 5637,  The Register office comes under the jurisdiction of Hampshire County Council and operates an appointment system.

Home Visits:- Home visits to register a birth, death or still birth are entirely at the discretion of the Registrar, and are subject to many and varied criteria. Please contact Registrars (details above) for further details.

When does the Death need to be Registered? - In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a death should be registered within five days of its happening. Registration can be delayed for a further nine days provided the Registrar receives, in writing, confirmation that a medical certificate of the cause of death has been signed by the doctor.

Who can Register the Death? - People with legal responsibility to register include: a relative of the deceased, a person present at the death, a person arranging the funeral - This does NOT mean the funeral director. In certain circumstances others, such as the administrator of an elderly persons home, can register a death, for advice please contact the Register Office.

What is needed to Register the Death? - The Registrar will interview you in private and will need to know the following information: The date and place of death. The full name and surname, and maiden surname if the person who has died was a married woman. The date and place of birth. The occupation and, if the deceased person was a married woman or widow the full name and occupation of her husband. The usual address. If the person who has died was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse. Whether the person who has died was receiving a pension from public funds.

You will need to bring:-  The medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor treating the person who has died. This is essential - the Registrar can do nothing without it. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, the Coroner's Office will advise you what to do. If the deceased received a pension or allowance from public funds, e.g. Civil Service or Army Pensions, please inform the Registrar.

The Registrar will enter all these details into a computer system and will then give you the opportunity to check they are correct. The information will then be written into a register. This is the "original" legal record and you should check it through very carefully before signing it, as any mistakes discovered later on may be difficult to correct.

What Documents Will I Receive? -

The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the body which is normally passed to the funeral director by the relative who is making the arrangements. A funeral cannot proceed until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium. If there is a delay to the registration of the death, it is possible for a certificate for the burial of the deceased's body to be issued before registration provided the death does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before the registration of the death.

If the death has been reported to the coroner, he or she may issue a certificate for burial or cremation where possible.

You will also be given a form for Social Security purposes. Both of these documents are issued free of charge. 

A death certificate can also be purchased from the Registrar at the time of registration or at any time afterwards. You can obtain further information about obtaining certificates from the Registrars Office.

Updated: 21 Mar 2016
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