Registering 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.


Registering a death online

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 search for your local registration office online


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 appointment.

More information about the Coroner


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
  • Probate
  • 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.


2. Tell Us Once

When someone dies it can be a stressful and upsetting time. Details of the death need to be passed to different central and local government departments. Tell Us Once is a free service which makes things a little easier.

The Tell Us Once team will notify all participating government departments and organisations of the death. This includes council housing, adult services, income support, libraries, driver and vehicle licensing agencies and passport services. This will save you numerous calls and letters to each individual department.


How does it work?

When you register the death, we will notify the Tell Us Once Service. We will send you a letter with a reference number and instructions on how to use the service.

It is not essential to do this straight away, but it's advisable to do this within a week of receiving the instructions.

You'll need to gather the information detailed below then go online or call 0800 085 7308.

  • You'll need to answer questions relating to the organisations the deceased had contact with
  • Tell Us Once will then notify those departments and they will amend their records. 


What you will need

The information you'll need when you go online or call:

  • Tell Us Once reference number
  • Death certificate information
  • Deceased's National Insurance Number
  • Deceased's surviving husband, wife or civil partners’ National Insurance number or date of birth
  • Next of kin's name, address and telephone number
  • Information about any benefits and services the deceased may have been receiving (e.g. state pension, income support, housing benefit, library card etc)
  • Name and address of the person dealing with the deceased's estate (if different to next of kin)
  • Driving Licence (if held), or Driver Number if licence not available
  • Passport (if held) or passport number if passport not available


Participating organisations

Local Councils

(If the deceased lived in Buckinghamshire or in a participating council area)

  • Housing Benefit Office
  • Council Tax Payments and Benefits Office
  • Council Housing
  • Libraries
  • Blue Badge
  • Adult Social Care
  • Children's Services
  • Collection of payments for Council Services e.g. assisted bin collection

HM Passport Office

  • Passport Cancellation

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

  • Driving Licence Cancellation

Department for Work and Pensions

  • Pension, Disability and Carers Services
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Overseas Health Team

Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

  • War Pensions Scheme

HM Revenue and Customs

  • Personal Taxation


Further information on Tell Us Once can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Tell Us Once privacy statement


3. Corrections to Death Registrations

If you need to make a correction to a death registration, please contact us  for advice on what to do next.  We will let you know whether you need to use the link below and complete a correction application form, which should be then sent to us with supporting documentation.


Correct a Death registration 

5. Registering a stillbirth

A stillbirth needs to be registered in the district in which it took place and within 42 days.

Stillbirths are now registered by phone, you do not need to come into one of our offices.  If you need to register a stillbirth which occurred in Buckinghamshire, please telephone 01296 383005. One of our Registrars will call you to complete the registration. We will treat you with sensitivity and sympathy and do our utmost to minimise distress.

Who can register a stillbirth?

  • the mother or father
  • a person present at the stillbirth

We will need to know:

  • the date and place of stillbirth
  • the name that you have chosen for your baby
  • the parents' full names
  • the date and place of birth, the occupation and the home address for each parent
  • date of marriage for the parents, if applicable
  • A full certificate of stillbirth will also be offered to you for a small fee.

You will be given a certificate of registration.  A full certificate of stillbirth will also be offered to you for a small fee.

We will send the “Green Form” to the funeral director, this authorises them to proceed with the funeral.

6. Bereavement Guide

Our Bereavement Guide gives advice and will help guide you through the legal formalities.