Registering a death
Changes implemented to the Government IT system used to register deaths has introduced system instability. This means that your appointment may take longer than usual or the registrar may need to complete a manual registration. Unfortunately, in some cases we may be unable to issue a certificate at the time of registration. You may also have to wait longer than usual for an appointment due to appointments having to be extended to cope with the IT instability.
We are sorry for any inconvenience or distress that this may cause. The General Register Office is currently unable to provide a timescale for when the system will be restored to a reliable and stable state.
COVID-19 guidance for death registration appointments
- All death registrations are by telephone appointment only.
- Deaths must be registered within 5 calendar days unless the death needs to be reported to the coroner.
- If the coroner is involved, the death cannot be registered until he has given written authority to the registration service.
- Arrangements are in place with all hospitals and GP surgeries across Cheshire East for the transmission of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death (MCCD) to the Register Office.
- The MCCD will need to be checked by the Registration Service and, if required, the coroner contacted.
- Allow a day after the MCCD has been sent to us by the doctor to make a death registration appointment.
- You must then phone 0300 123 5019 to make an appointment.
- You should receive an email confirming your appointment with information about the details you should have to hand at the appointment time.
- The Registrar will telephone you at the appointment time and the registration interview will be completed by phone.
- You will be able to purchase certificates during the interview and these will be posted to you as soon as possible.
- Arrangements are also in place for the transmission of the 'green' to the appropriate person.
How to register a death
A death can only be registered once we have the Medical Cause of Death Certificate from the doctor, or in the case of a death reported to the coroner, confirmation from the coroner's office that the appropriate certificates have been issued by his office.
A death must be registered within 5 calendar days. This period can be extended in exceptional circumstances and if the coroner is involved.
The registration must take place in the district where the death happened.
If there is an inquest, or the death has to be referred to the coroner, the coroner's officer will advise you of how the case is progressing.
For information on deaths that happen abroad, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
Where to register a death
We have an appointment system - call the Registration Service 0300 123 5019 to make an appointment. Currently, all registrations are by telephone and the registrar will phone you at the appointment time.
People who can register the death:
- a relative of the deceased
- a person who was present at the death
- the person who is arranging the funeral
- the occupier of the establishment where the death took place
Information the registrar will need about the death:
- the date and place of death
- their full name and any other names they are known by or have been known by (the maiden name of a woman who has been married)
- their date and place of birth
- their occupation (if married, widowed or a civil partner, the full name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner)
- their usual address
- date of birth of surviving spouse or civil partner
- whether they were in receipt of any public sector pension, e.g. civil service, teacher, armed forces (reference number if known)
- their NHS number or medical card, if available
To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded in the register, it would be helpful if you have available supporting documentation (for example, passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates). This will reduce the need for corrections to the entry in the future and the inconvenience and potential costs involved. There is an additional fee for any change that needs to be made to a death entry.
Do not worry if any of these documents are not available as the registrar can still register the death.
The registration also records information about the person registering:
- your relationship to the deceased
- your full name
- your usual address
- All information is given to the best of your knowledge
Certificates that are issued:
- A certificate for burial or cremation, known as the green form, which the funeral director will need.
- A certificate for the Benefits Agency. You will need to complete this and send it to off to cancel the deceased's state pension and any other state allowances.
- Death certificates. You may need certified copies of the death entry for other purposes (dealing with the will, probate, bank accounts, insurance and so on). There is a small charge for these certificates.
After the information has been entered into the death register, the registrar will issue the necessary forms and certificates.
Tell Us Once
When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done. One of these is contacting the government departments and local council services that need to be told. Cheshire East Registration Service is now providing a service which will make things easier. Once the death has been registered, the registrar can give the relevant information to the Department for Work and Pensions and they can then pass on this information to a number of other government departments, public sector pension providers and local council services.
The Tell Us Once service has produced a short video to explain how the Tell Us Once service works. It lasts for less than three minutes.
For further information contact the Register Office or see Gov.UK.
For information on Bereavement Services, see Cheshire East Bereavement Services.