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Registration of deaths

Where possible, a death should be registered within five days in the district in which the death occurred. This is so that the necessary forms and certificates can be issued to allow you to arrange the funeral, and deal with the deceased’s estate.

Who can register the death

The following individuals can register the death:

  • A relative
  • A person who was present at the death
  • The occupier of the premises where the death occurred. The informant must either be the Senior Resident Officer or Matron of the establishment where the death occurred
  • The person arranging the funeral. A person arranging the funeral should only register a death if there are no relatives available

If the death took place within the Borough

The death must be registered at Richmond Register Office. We will be able to issue certificates upon completion of the registration. We will also be able to provide further copy certificates at a later date, as the record of the death will remain at this office.

How to register a death

When registering a death you must follow the be aware of the following:

  • Customers now need to attend our office in person and only by appointment
  • No more than two persons will be allowed access to the building
  • There will be no requirement for relatives to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the hospital, care home or GP. A scan of the signed certificate will be sent to the registrar directly at
  • The green certificate for burial or cremation will be transmitted electronically to the Funeral Director, crematorium or cemetery office
  • Please contact us on 020 8891 7188 to confirm that we have received the Medical Cause of Death Certificate and book a telephone appointment. We will only be able to register once we have the necessary paperwork
  • Please do not attend the office without an appointment as we must receive the necessary paperwork from the hospital or GP to register and we would have no choice but to turn you away

Information for the bereaved

If the death took place outside the Borough

The death must be registered with the register office for that borough.

Alternatively you can 'make a declaration' at the Richmond Register Office. The Registrar taking the declaration will send it to the relevant register office, along with your payment for any certificates. Please ask the receiving office how payment should be made for certificates. We are unable to issue any paperwork. Please be advised that it make take up to 10 days to receive the paperwork from the registering office, and this may delay the funeral arrangements.

If a Coroner is involved

If the doctor has referred the death to the Coroner, the Registrar will require written authorisation from the Coroner that no further investigations are necessary and the death can be registered. You will only be able to register the death once this paperwork has been received by the Registrar.

If the Coroner has been involved, you will not be able to use the online form to book your appointment as the Register Office need to confirm that the required paperwork has been received from the Coroner's Office. Please telephone us on 020 8891 7188.

The role of the Coroner

Registering a neonatal death

For babies who die after birth, even if they live for a very short time, both birth and death must be registered. Your doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of death, and the death should be registered within 5 days. You may also be able to register your baby’s birth during the same appointment.

Birth and death certificates, can be issued after the registration, together with paperwork to allow a funeral to take place.

Contact Registration Services for further advice and information.

Registering a stillbirth

There is a legal requirement to register a stillbirth, and your doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate which must be taken to the Registrar. A certificate can be issued after the registration, together with paperwork to allow a funeral to take place. If you have given your baby a name, this can also be recorded in the register entry and on the certificate.

Contact Registration Services for further advice and information.

Same day faith burials

If your relative has died on a weekend or public holiday, and you intend to bury them on the same day for faith reasons, please contact us on 020 8891 1411 and we will put you in touch with a Registrar.

Please note, the out of hours service is not guaranteed.


It may cost up to £90 to correct a mistake in a death registration.

It is your responsibility to provide accurate information at the registration and check the record carefully. Your signature is your confirmation that the entry is correct.

Tell Us Once service

Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. It enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually.

After you have registered the death the Registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number so you can access the service online.

The DWP's video has more information about the Tell Us Once service.

A sign language version of the video is also available.

Updated: 18 June 2024

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