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Registering a death

Let us help you through what is often a difficult time by registering the death and passing the information onto other relevant agencies on your behalf.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and in line with government guidelines, all Derbyshire Registration Offices are currently running a reduced service.

Please telephone one of our offices to arrange a telephone appointment to register a death or still-birth.

The registration must take place within 5 days of the death.

Who can register a death?

The following persons have a legal obligation to register a death. They are listed in order of preference:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • a person present at the death
  • a person arranging the funeral (not a funeral director but the person instructing them)

In certain circumstances other people, such as the senior administrator at a residential home, may be allowed to register a death. Please contact the registrar for advice.

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is an optional and free service. You can report a death to many council and government organisations all at once, to save you time.

When you attend to register the death, the registrar can provide you with a unique reference number. You can use this when you contact the Tell Us Once service, either online or by telephone.

If you can't contact the Tell Us Once service yourself, you could ask a family member, friend or your funeral director to help you.

The registrar will also provide you with the contact details for the Tell Us Once service.

What you need to register the death

A death must be registered in the district in which it occurs. However, if a death occurred in another district, a declaration can be attested at any register office and forwarded on to the relevant district which will issue all the necessary documents.

The following information is required:

  • full name and surname of the deceased
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation (even if retired)
  • usual address
  • in the case of a married person, the full name and date of birth of their spouse, and their occupation

You will need to bring a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’. The doctor in medical attendance will issue this. If the death has been referred to HM Coroner, the Coroner’s officer will advise you what to do. If you're unsure, contact a registrar.

If you have the deceased’s medical card, please bring that with you when you attend at the register office. If you can't find it, the registrar will be able to continue the registration without the medical card.

It can be helpful to bring birth and marriage certificates relating to the deceased with you, but it's not essential.

If the deceased was in receipt of a pension from public funds, for example the civil service or HM Forces, please bring details with you.


The registrar will issue the following certificates for free:

  • certificate of burial or cremation - this is a green form that you should pass to the funeral director
  • a certificate of Registration of Death - this is a white form for social security purposes, usually referred to as a BD8

‘Certified copies of a Death Entry’ are available from the registrar and are generally referred to as ‘death certificates’.