How to Register a Death

The first priority for any family after a bereavement is to register the death at a local Registrar's Office. Registering the death is the official notification to the authorities that a death has occurred. It allows you to begin the various legal processes such as probate and it allows a funeral to be planned. It is necessary to make an appointment at the Registrar's Office and the number in Oxfordshire to do this is 0845 129 5900 or you can make an appointment on-line at

Below are the main items and questions you will be asked by the Registrar and paperwork you should take with you. The most important document you must have is "The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death". This will be given to you by the GP or by the hospital.

What you need to do

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.
If available (but don’t worry if not), also take the person’s:

  • Birth certificate
  • Council Tax bill
  • Driving licence
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Passport
  • Proof of address (eg utility bill)

You’ll need to tell the registrar:

  • The person’s full name at the time of death
  • Any names previously used, eg maiden name
  • The person’s date and place of birth
  • Their last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • Whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits


Documents you’ll get when you register a death:

  1. A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) - gives permission for burial or an application for cremation
  2. A Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) - you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits (the form will come with a pre-paid envelope so you know where to send it)