The death has to be registered within five days of the death occurring, this does not apply when the coroner is involved. The death has to be registered at the Registry Office for the district in which it took place. For example, if the death occurred in Watford General Hospital, the registration will be made at Watford register office.

If it is not possible for you to attend at the office where the death should be registered then you may make what is called ‘a declaration’ at any Register Office in England and Wales. The death declaration will then be sent to the correct office for the registration. However, the death certificates and other documents will be posted to you, which may cause a delay in your being able to confirm the funeral arrangements.

At most register offices an appointment is required; please telephone to arrange a convenient time for your appointment. Contact details of various register offices are given further on in this publication.

If you have been given the doctor’s certificate of cause of death you must take this with you to the register office along with the following information:-

• the date and place of death
• the full name of the deceased
• the maiden name, in the case of a woman who has been married
• the date and place of birth of the deceased
• the occupation of the deceased and, in the case of a woman
• who is married or widowed, the full name and occupation of her husband.
• the address of the deceased
• if the deceased was still married, the date of birth of their spouse
• if readily available, the Medical Card or National Health Service Number
• whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or benefits
• a nominal charge is made per copy.

Once the registration is completed the Registrar will issue you with the following:

A certified copy of an entry
The death certificate is a certified copy of an entry in the death register. The registrar can let you have a death certificate if you want one, but youwill have to pay a fee. You may need a death certificate for the will and for any pension claims, insurance policies, savings bank certificates and premium bonds. You may wish to ask for several copies of the death certificate straight away as the price increases if you need one later.

A certificate for burial or cremation
This takes the form of a green piece of paper, which should be brought to us in order that the funeral arrangements can proceed, please check the details on this form as this is where we now take the dates of death and the spelling of the deceased’s name from.

A certificate of registration of death (form DB8)
This is for the sole purposes of cancelling any Social Security payments, pensions or allowances.