Register a death

Information on where and when to register a death, how soon it should be done, who can do it, what information is needed, what happens, how much does it cost, don't speak much English, ordering and cost of a copy certificate and what a coroner is and why a death is reported to a coroner.

COVID-19 Update

To protect the health and safety of the public and staff nationally, emergency legislation has been approved by the government to allow telephone death registrations. The hospital or surgery who has dealt with the death your loved one, will email the necessary document to our office and make you aware that they have done so.

You can then contact the county registration service on (01482) 393600, our office hours are, Mon-Thursday 9am - 4.30pm, Fri 9am - 4pm to make a telephone appointment. 

A death must be registered in the district in which it occurred and should be registered within five days unless the coroner is involved. However, details of the death may be given to any registrar who will then forward them on to the relevant registration office. This registration by declaration may cause a delay to the funeral arrangements as the burial or cremation forms will have to be posted out by the registering office.

Deaths that happened in the East Riding of Yorkshire can be registered at any of the registration offices in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  Find out how to register a death that occurred outside of the East Riding

You can make an appointment to register a death:


Use our online booking system to make an appointment at your chosen registration office:

Make an appointment to register a death


If you are unable to book an appointment online, please contact your local registration office

Quick burials and out of hours contact

An out of hours service is available if you require a burial or cremation certificate only (providing that the Coroner is not involved). These are often for religious purposes where a quick burial or cremation is required. The registration will then be carried out during office hours. Please call the out of hours number for urgent inquiries only on 07876 444759.

What happens next?

Appointments take approximately 45 minutes. To register a death you will need to supply the registrar with certain key pieces of information,  find out what information is needed to register a death.

The death occurred outside the East Riding, where should I register the death?

A death must be registered in the district in which it occurred. However you can register by declaration from another district. For example, this would allow you to register a death that occurred in London through an East Riding registrar.

To register a death by declaration, you need to make an appointment at your local registration office as detailed above, and bring the required documents to your appointment. The registrar will then forward this information onto the registering district i.e. London. Once the registration has been completed the registering district will post out the death certificate and burial or cremation certificate to you. 

Please note: This may be a more convenient option but can take longer to process which may cause a delay to the funeral arrangements. 

How soon should a death be registered?

A death must be registered within five days unless the coroner is involved, the appointment takes about 45 minutes. 

If the coroner is involved it can take between 1 day and one year to register. Find out what a coroner does and why they would be involved. 

Who can register a death?

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone who was present at the death
  • someone who was living in the house
  • an official person from the hospital
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

If the death happened anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone who was present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.

What information is needed at the registration?

The following information will be required:

  • A medical certificate of death issued by a doctor (unless there has been a coroner's post-mortem)
  • When and where the death happened
  • Full name and address of the person who has died (the deceased)
  • Maiden name if the deceased was a married women
  • Full name and occupation of husband/wife or civil partner of the deceased
  • Date and place of birth of the deceased
  • Occupation of the deceased
  • You will also be asked if the deceased was receiving any pensions from any government department
  • If possible, either the medical card or the national health service (NHS) number of the deceased.

The General Register Office recommends that all persons attending a register office for the purpose of registering a death, bring with them a form of ID and proof of address for themselves and for the person who has died the following documentation is recommended, if available, deceased's birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, death certificate of late spouse of civil partner, proof of address in the form of a utility bill, bank statement, council tax bill or driving licence.

What identification do I need to bring with me?

 The General Register Office recommends that all persons attending a register office for the purpose of registering a death, bring with them:

Person(s) registering the death:

  • A form of identification (e.g. Passport or Driving Licence)
  • Proof of address (e.g. Utility bill or bank statement). 

For the deceased

If the following documents are available, please bring them with you:

  • A form of identification (e.g. Passport or Driving Licence)
  • Proof of address (e.g. Utility bill or bank statement)
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Death certificate of late spouse of civil partner (if applicable). 

What happens during the registration?

All death registrations will be carried out in private interview rooms. The registrar will enter details onto the computer and print out the register page based on information given by a legally qualified informant. It is very important that this is accurate as the register is a historical legal record. If any corrections are required, there is a formal procedure to follow which is time-consuming and currently costs up to £100. The onus is on the informant to provide evidence so the correction can be made.

To avoid this informants are asked:

  • to BRING documents to the appointment which confirm important details about the deceased and themselves

  • to CHECK the draft very carefully before signing the register

  • to TELL the registrar before signing the register if something is incorrect

If you discover an error after the register has been signed, you should refer to www.gov.uk/correcting-a-death-registration for information as to how to correct it and for confirmation of the fee which will apply.  

A green form will be issued by the registrar or, in some circumstances another form may be issued by the coroner. This form should be taken to the funeral director to enable the funeral to be arranged.

A registration or notification of death form will also be issued for social security purposes. This form should be completed and returned to any local Department of Work and Pensions as soon as possible. It is sometimes necessary to obtain a copy death certificate from the registrar; this is a certified copy of the information held in the register. 

The registration usually takes about 45 minutes.

How much does it cost to registera death?

There is no charge for registering a death. Forms will be given to you free of charge for use by the funeral director and the Department of Work and Pensions. You may purchase copies of the register entry in the form of a death certificate. They cost £11.00 each.

What is a coroner? 

The coroner is a doctor/lawyer who has responsibility for investigating deaths occurring in particular situations. A coroner can arrange for a post-mortem examination of the body. A judicial investigation is often conducted which is a legal inquiry into the causes and circumstances of a death.

A coroner is responsible for:

  • investigating human deaths
  • determining a cause of death
  • issuing death certificates
  • maintaining death records
  • responding to deaths in mass disasters
  • identifying unknown dead
  • other functions depending on local laws.

Why would a death be reported to a coroner?

There are a number of reasons why a death might have to be reported to the coroner. It may be because:

  • there was no doctor treating the deceased during the last illness and therefore there is no doctor who is legally qualified to issue a medical certificate of the cause of death
  • the doctor certifying the death has not seen the deceased after the death or within 14 days of the death the death was the result of an accident, injury, self neglect
  • the death occurred during an operation or was the result of an industrial disease related to the deceased's occupation.

In all these circumstances the registrar is legally required to report the death to the coroner in order to properly establish the cause of death. The registrar 
cannot register until the coroner has notified the registrar.

What if the person registering the death does not speak much English?

It's helpful for someone to come with the person to the registration office to act as interpreter, however, the person must register the death personally. The helper/interpreter cannot register the death.

Who else do I need to tell about the death?

Our Tell us Once service allows us to share information about the death with other government and local council services at the same time as completing the registration. 

This can be done face to face during the registration appointment, or over the telephone at a more convenient time. When someone has died, their death must be registered with the registrar. Once that’s done several other organisations may have to be contacted and given the same information. We can help by giving the information to the Department for Work and Pensions and they can pass on this information to a number of other government departments and local council services on your behalf. 

If you wish to use this service please bring to the registration, the deceased’s:

  • National insurance number 
  • Passport
  • Passport for any surviving spouse (if applicable)
  • Driving licence 
  • Blue badge.

If you wish to use this service please bring to the registration national insurance numbers for the deceased and any surviving spouse, if applicable and any passports, driving licence or blue badge that belonged to the deceased.

The Tell Us Once service is accessible online in addition to the face-to-face and telephone options.

How muchdoes it cost for a copy certificate?

Death certificates are available at a cost of £11 each.

You may need several depending on how complicated the deceased person’s affairs were. Photocopies will not be accepted by institutions.

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