Registering a death

Registering a death

Deaths in England, Wales & Northern Ireland by law should be notified to the registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages within 5 days.

Most registrars operate an appointment system, please telephone before you visit. To make an appointment, call 0344 800 8020 (Norfolk County Council), Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.

Alternatively, online bookings can be made via the Norfolk County Council website.

In some cases, e.g. Coroner referrals, registration may be delayed slightly.

A funeral cannot take place unless the Death has been registered

You should be able to pick up the medical certificate from the doctor or the hospital fairly quickly and then you can make an appointment.

Where do I go to register a death?

A death must be registered in the registration district where it occurred. A death which occurred in Norfolk may be registered at any of the registration offices in the county.

Alternatively, if this will be difficult for you, you can go to an office in a more convenient place in England or Wales. This is called registering by declaration

Registering by declaration will mean a delay in receiving a death certificate as the registration details will have to be passed (generally by post) to the registration office where the death occurred before they can then issue the death certificate.

Registrars Offices in our local area:

  • Kings Lynn – Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, Kings Lynn, PE30 5DQ.
  • Dereham – Breckland Business Centre, St Withburga Lane, Dereham, NR19 1FD
  • Norwich – Archive centre, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DQ.
  • Downham – 15 Paradise Road, Downham Market, PE38 9HS.
  • Fakenham – Fakenham Connect, Oak Street, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 9SR.
  • North Walsham – Kings Arms Street, North Walsham, NR28 9JX

You can find more information and book an appointment on the Norfolk County Council website, or call 0344 800 8020 (Norfolk County Council).

Who Can Register?

This can be a close relative of the deceased, someone present at the death or a person taking responsibility for the funeral (solicitor/friend/distant relative).

What Information is needed?

You must take with you the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. This is completed by the doctor who saw the deceased last. It is usually completed quickly after the death and the local doctors’ surgery should liaise with you over this.

It is helpful to take the following  but  NOT essential:

  • Birth and Marriage Certificates
  • Details of State Benefits
  • NHS Medical Card
  • National Insurance number of the deceased

What will the Registrar ask me?

  • Details of the deceased
  • Surname, Forename, Maiden Name (any other names)
  • Date & Place of Birth
  • Date & Place of Death
  • Usual Address
  • Marital Status
  • Occupation
  • Name, address, occupation of spouse or civil partner (if surviving) or name and occupation (if deceased)
  • National Insurance number

What will I get from the Registrar?

You will be able to purchase Certified Copies of the Death Certificate for £4 each, on the day (the cost will increase after this). You may need more than one copy for the following: any private investments or insurances, solicitor, bank accounts, share holdings and premium bonds.

Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Green form)
This is given to you by the registrar. It is essential for the funeral to take place and must be given to the funeral home that will either send it onto the Crematorium or relevant burial authority.

If a coroner is involved…

This process is altered by the coroners involvement. Sometimes there is no delay and you will be required to attend the registration office to purchase copies of the death certificate.

If an inquest is to be held and the death cannot be registered, the coroner will provide you with interim death certificates.