Registering a death

After a death occurs a Doctor will sign a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death provided that Doctor is sure of the cause of death and that the cause is natural. Where the Doctor cannot be sure of the cause of death or where the death may be due to unnatural circumstances; the Doctor will inform the Coroner who may then take over proceedings.

You will need to collect this Cause of Death Certificate before you can attend the registrar.

To make an appointment with The Registrar call 0300 041 5151.

Registration in Kent takes place in various Library Buildings.

When Does The Death Need To Be Registered?

Normally within 5 days unless the Coroner is investigating the circumstances relating to the death. This 5 day period may be extended to 14 days in certain circumstances. If you cannot register within 5 days you must at least call the Registrar’s number and inform them of the death.

Who Must Register The Death?

People with legal responsibility to register include:

  • A relative
  • A person present at the death
  • The occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he/she knew of it happening
  • The person arranging the funeral. This does NOT mean the funeral director.

See also the list on the Notice to Informants attached to the Doctor’s medical certificate of cause of death.

What Documents Do I Bring To The Register Office?

  • 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.
  • The deceased person’s birth certificate or passport (if available) can be helpful.
  • The deceased person’s medical card (don’t worry if this is not available).

What Questions Will The Registrar Ask Me?

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 name if the person who has died was a married woman.
  • The occupation and, if the deceased person was a married woman or widow, the full name of her husband.
  • The usual address.
  • If the person who died was married, the date of birth of the surviving spouse.
  • Whether the person who has died was receiving a pension from public funds.

The Registrar will enter all these details in a computer and will then give you the opportunity to check that 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?

A ‘Green Form’ which enables you to arrange the funeral – This is the document you must pass on to the Funeral Director as soon as is convenient. (If the Coroner is involved different procedures may apply).

You will also be given a form for Social Security purposes.

Certified copies of the entry (“death certificates”) can also be obtained upon payment of the statutory fee. These are the forms required by banks, insurance companies etc. as proof that a person has died. We advise you to obtain a few extra copies in case they are needed later by any organisations which you hadn’t taken into consideration.