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Death - registering

This section will guide you through the process of registering a death, where you need to go and what information will be required.

Tell us once

We also provide a service called tell us once to help you tell the people who need to know about the death, including government departments and local council services. This can be done when you register the death. Before you make your appointment, look at our tell us once page. If you take up this service, an extra ten minutes will be added to your appointment time.

Book an appointment to register a death online

Use our online booking system to make an appointment quickly and easily 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When booking, you can say if you would like to make use of the tell us once service.

When and where to register a death

The death must normally be registered in the registration district where it occurred within five days, unless the coroner is conducting an investigation. If the person died in North Yorkshire, you may visit any registration office in the county to register the death. If the death occurred outside North Yorkshire, for example in the City of York or Leeds, you can make a 'declaration' of the death at one of our offices. This will result in a short delay in receiving any death certificates required to organise a funeral.

Many deaths are now referred to the coroner. In these cases the death cannot be registered until the coroner agrees.

  • If there is no inquest: the coroner will send a form to the registrar informing them that the death can now be registered.  You should be told by the coroner's office whether or not a medical certificate of cause of death is also needed from the doctor. You can then make an appointment to register the death.
  • If there is to be an inquest: After the inquest is concluded the coroner will send a form to the registrar. The registrar will then register the death based on the coroners findings. This is done without you needing to visit the registration office. However, you will need to contact the office if you require copies of the death certificate.

Information needed

You will need to bring a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by a doctor. If the death has been referred to the coroner, the coroner's officer will advise you. It is useful to have the birth certificate or passport of the deceased but it is not essential. You must, however, be able to give the date and place of birth of the person who died. The medical card showing the person's NHS number is also useful. If the person who died had a blue badge, bus pass or library card please bring them with you so that the registrar may return them on your behalf.

The registrar will ask for details about the person who has died. It is very important that the information registered is accurate.

You will need to know:

  • The place and date of death;
  • The full name of the person who has died. This should be the name they used at the time of their death;
  • Any other names they may have been known as; for example they may have changed their name by deed poll;
  • Their date and place of birth (town and county if possible);
  • What their job was and whether they were retired; and
  • Their usual address.

If the person who has died was married, in a civil partnership or widowed, you will also need to know:

  • What a woman's surname was before she was first married; and
  • The full name and occupation of the wife, husband or civil partner.

Copies of the death certificate

Registering a death is free. However, there is a fee payable for copies of the death certificate. You will need these when you are sorting out the finances of the person who has died. Please ask for any extra certificates during the registration so that they can be given to you at the time.

Information to bring to register a death

pdf icon Although not bringing this information won't stop you from registering a death, it will help us if you can bring it along [225kb].

Death - registering - frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 30 September 2015