How do I register a death

A lot of people get all concerned about registration of a death, but really its quite simple. It only takes a few minutes to do, and the staff who do it with you are all very well trained, and very helpful, so you will have no problems if you follow a few very simple rules.

Register a death in Kent

All deaths must be registered with a Registrar of Births and Deaths in the area where the death occurred. They should be registered within five days unless a Coroner is investigating the circumstances of the death.

Registration

What do I need to do first?

When someone dies, a Doctor issues the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (sometimes called the MCD or MCCD). If the death occurred in Kent and you have this certificate , you can make an appointment to register the death using Kent County Council’s (KCC) online service here. Alternatively call KCC’s contact centre on 08458 247 400.

Please note: Kent does not include the Medway Towns (Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester, Strood) or the London Boroughs of Bexley or Bromley. Any deaths occurring in these areas must be registered there. If you are unsure where you need to register please call 08458 247 400 for advice.

Who can register a death?

  • A relative
  • A person present at the death
  • Someone who lives in the house where the person died.
  • A person arranging the funeral with the funeral director.
  • A responsible person from the hospital or home where the person died.

What do I need to bring to register a death?


  • The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by a Doctor (MCD or MCCD) (if there has been a post mortem the Coroner will send this directly to the Registrar).
  • If they are available – birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates, which confirm the details to be entered into the death registrar.
  • Disabled parking ‘Blue Badge’ if the deceased had one.
  • A method of payment for copies of the death certificate (i.e cash or credit/debit card)

What happens when  I see the Registrar?


The Registrar will ask you to confirm the following information:- Its not a grilling, just a few questions. Nice and easy.
  • The date and place of death.
  • The full name that the person who died was using at the time of their death.
  • Details of any other names that they might have been known by.
  • The date and place of birth.
  • The occupation and whether or not they were retired.
  • The current home address.
  • If the person who died was a married woman or widow, her maiden surname (what her surname was before she was married) and the full name and occupation of her husband.
  • In the case of a man, the name and occupation of his wife.
  • In the case of a couple who have registered their civil partnership, the partner’s name and occupation.
  •  Your full name and address and your relationship to the person who has died.
The following confidential information will also be required for government statistics:-
  •  Was the person who died single, married, widowed, divorced, a civil partner, surviving civil partner or former civil partner?
  • Is their spouse or civil partner still alive? If so, what is their date of birth?
  • How long did they stay in hospital or in another establishment (a hospice for example)?
  • Was the person under 75?
  • What industry did they work in and what position did they hold?
  • Did they get a pension paid from government funds? This includes the civil service, teachers, armed forces and war widows. This does not include the state pension or pension credits.
  • The person’s NHS number found on their medical card (if available).
Once the registration has been completed you will be asked to sign the entry. It is important that the information recorded is as accurate as possible as the correction of errors discovered after the register has been signed will certainly cause inconvenience to rectify, and possibly delay the funeral service for example if the name is wrong. Take your time when you check. 

The Registrar will now give you:

  • A green form to give which I require for the funeral service to take place. If the death has been referred to the Coroner and the funeral is a cremation, the equivalent form will be sent by the Coroner directly to me.
  • A white BD8 form, to be completed and sent by you, with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions. This is an excellent form, easy to use and comes with an addressed envelope. Use this to cancel the pension payments, its the easy way to do it.

Do I have to pay a fee?


No, registration of a death is free of charge. However, certified copies of the death entry (death certificate) can be purchased for a small fee. £3.50 2012. You will need to produce a death certificate when you are sorting out the finances of the person who has died (for example with banks, building societies and insurance companies).

I want to register a death but I don’t live in Kent.


If the death occurred in Kent and you do not live in Kent it is possible to give the details to any Registrar in England or Wales. This is known as registering by declaration. The registrar to whom the declaration is given does not register the death, but will send the information to the Kent Libraries and Registration Service, where it will be registered. You may also order death certificates. A charge is made for this and you will need to have a cheque  and cheque card or postal order with you when you give the declaration. The Registrar will send the order and cheque/postal order to us.
Once the death has been registered you will be sent:
  • Any certifies copies of the death entry hat you have ordered and paid for.
  • A green form to give to the funeral director. If the death has been referred to the Coroner and the funeral is a cremation the equivalent form will be sent by the Coroner to your funeral director.
  • A white BD8 form to be completed by you and sent with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions.
These arrangements also apply if you live in Kent but need to register a death occurring elsewhere in England or Wales but do not wish to travel to where the death occurred. If you are unsure where you need to register please call 08458 247 400 for advice.

The Coroner


Where a death occurs in the following circumstances it will be referred to the Coroner:
  • The death is sudden and unexpected.
  • The cause of death is industrially related.
  • The cause of death is unknown.
  • There are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
  • where a Doctor has explained that he/she is unable to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCD or MCCD).

For more information on the role of the Coroner visit http://www.kent.gov.uk/community_and_living/births,_deaths_and_ceremonies.aspx or call 08458 247 400.