Register a death
1. Registering a death
This page will help you with the legal procedures at this time of loss.
You must register a death within 5 days unless the Coroner is investigating. Registering a death is free and you need to contact the Register Office in the district where the death occurred. Deaths are now registered by phone, you do not need to come into one of our offices.
If you need to register a death which occurred in Buckinghamshire, please complete our online form. One of our Registrars will contact you at the time you have booked, to complete the registration over the phone. You can order death certificates from the Registrar who calls you. Alternatively, you can order certificates when prompted whilst you are completing the online form. If you do this, please return to the booking process to finish making your appointment. Otherwise, the appointment will not be made.
If you do not have access to complete the online form, telephone 01296 382 581 and one of our customer service advisors will complete it with you.
Charges for certificates can be found on our Fees page.
If the death occurred at Milton Keynes Hospital you will need to make an appointment to register the death at Milton Keynes Register Office
If the death occurred at Wexham Park Hospital you will need to make an appointment to register the death at Slough Register Office.
If the death occurred at the John Radcliffe Hospital you will need to make an appointment to register the death in an Oxfordshire Registration Office
If the death occurred elsewhere, you can find your local registration office here
Who can register the death?
- A relative e.g. husband, wife or civil partner, brother or sister
- A person who was present at the death
- The occupier of the premises where the death occurred if he/she knew about it
- The person arranging the funeral (this does not include the funeral director)
If the doctor has referred the death to the Coroner, the Registrar will need written authorisation from the Coroner that no further investigations are necessary and the death can be registered. You will only be able to register the death once this paperwork has been received by the Registrar. Please tell us if the Coroner has been involved when you request a death registration.
The Death Registration
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), which is issued by the doctor, is now sent directly to the Register Office. The Registrar will use this and the information you give us to complete the registration.
After you have submitted the online form to request a death registration, please gather the following information. You will need it to hand when the Registrar calls you:
- The deceased's medical card showing their NHS number, if available
- Documents showing the correct spellings for the deceased’s details e.g. UK passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates and your passport, photo driving licence, proof of address e.g. utility bill. We can still register the death without these documents, but they can help to ensure accuracy.
We will need to know:
- The deceased’s full name and surname (and any other names used)
- Maiden surname for women
- Date and place of death
- Date and place of birth
- Occupation and usual address
- The name, occupation, and date of birth of the deceased’s spouse or civil partner, if the deceased was married or in a civil partnership or widowed
Once the registration is complete, we will send you the following documents by post:
- The death certificate(s) which you have ordered
- Tell Us Once instructions, plus the reference number which you will need (see below)
- A form BD8 for you to send to the Department of Social Security
We will also send the “Green Form” to the funeral director, this authorises them to proceed with the funeral.
In some cases, we have to refer the death to the Coroner. If this happens, registration will have to be delayed until the Coroner has confirmed the cause of death.
You may need copies of the death certificate for:
- Dealing with the Will
- Bank and building society accounts
- Insurance companies
- Tax rebates
- Stocks, shares and premium bonds
- A solicitor
- Company pensions
If you need emergency help outside normal office hours e.g. If a burial has to be carried out within 24 hours for religious reasons, contact Thames Valley Police on 101. Alternatively, you can visit the police station in either Aylesbury or High Wycombe.
Last updated: 4 December 2020