How to register a death
By law, a death must be registered within 5 days, unless a registrar agrees to extend this period, or if a coroner is involved. A death must also be registered in the district in which the death occurred. You can see the Peterborough registration district by referring to the Peterborough Unitary Authority area map.
Peterborough Unitary Authority area map (PDF, 764.04KB)
If you are unable to travel to Peterborough register office, it is possible to go to any other register office in England and Wales to make a declaration but this may delay funeral arrangements.
After a death, a doctor will issue a medical certificate showing the cause of death. The sealed envelope containing the medical certificate will usually be given to the next of kin, which must then be given to the registrar so the death can be registered.
You can find out more about when a death is reported to a coroner from GOV.UK. If you need to contact the coroner's office you can use the following details:
Senior Coroner's Office (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough)
Telephone: 0345 0451364
It is usual for a relative to register a death but if there are no relatives it is possible for someone else to register, such as:
- a person present at the death
- the person responsible for arranging and paying for the funeral.
Your private appointment will generally last for 45 minutes. It is useful to bring the deceased's birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable) and NHS medical card.
The registrar will ask for:
- date and place of death
- full name of the deceased, including maiden name where appropriate
- the deceased's date and place of birth
- the deceased's occupation, where appropriate
- if the deceased was married/widowed, the full names and occupation of the spouse
- the deceased's usual address
- the date of birth of the spouse, if the deceased was married
- if the deceased had been receiving any pensions from public funds.
You will be given the opportunity to check that the information is correct and you will be asked to sign the register to state that you agree with the information as recorded. Once signed, the register entry becomes a legal document and therefore it is an offence to give false information.
Any mistakes noticed after you have signed the register will require a lengthy correction process which may delay the corrected certificate being issued. See the paragraph below for how to correct a registration and the fees that will be charged.
At your appointment, two forms will be issued:
- certificate for burial or cremation, sometimes called the green form. This is the certificate to take to the funeral director so that arrangements can be made for the funeral to take place
- certificate of registration of death, sometimes called form BD8, for Department of Work and Pensions purposes.
You will be able to purchase certified copies of the death certificate at £4 per certificate. These are needed for the following:
- probate or letters of administration
- bank and building society accounts
- life insurance policies covering the deceased
- dealing with stocks and shares owned by the deceased
- applying for a tax rebate
After the registration you can order more death certificates at a cost of £7 per certificate or £10 if the register has been archived.
When someone has died there are lots of things that need to be done at a time when you least feel like doing them. At your appointment to register the death, the registrar will offer you the Tell Us Once service which helps you notify government departments and local council services of the death. This is a free service.
To make sure the right information is given to the people we contact for you, please bring:
- details of any benefits or services they were receiving
- their driving licence and passport and, if applicable, blue badge.
The national insurance number of the deceased and their spouse would be useful but is not essential.
The organisations that can be contacted for you include, the Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, Identity & Passport Service and Local Authority services such as Council Tax, Adult Social Care and Housing Benefit.
After the death has been registered, if you need to make any corrections please contact us. The process for correction is lengthy and may need to be authorised by the Registrar General which will add to the delay in the corrected certificate being issued. You may also be required to make a statutory declaration.
There are fees payable for the consideration of the correction and for any corrected certificates requested. The following national fees apply:
- Corrections which we are able to authorise locally: £75.00
- Corrections which we need to refer to the Registrar General: £90.00
In addition, you will also need to pay again for any certificates you require with the corrected information and, if it is required by the Registrar General, you may also need to pay for a statutory declaration.
For more information, please visit the Gov.uk website.
- Arrange a funeral (burial)
- Arrange a funeral (cremation)
- Help with funeral payments
- Wills, probate and inheritance
- Coroner Investigations: A short guide