Registering a death

Where possible, a death should be registered within 5 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.

Registering a death during the Coronavirus pandemic

  • The provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 have now been commenced by regulation.
  • From Monday 30 March 2020 and for the duration of the crisis, deaths will be registered by telephone appointment.
  • 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 can be sent to the registrar directly at registeroffice@richmond.gov.uk
  • The green certificate for burial or cremation will be transmitted electronically to the Funeral Director, crematorium or cemetery office.
  • There will be no requirement for customers to attend our office in person. The office will be closed to the public.
  • We are in the process of making the necessary changes to our website. Please continue to make an appointment in the usual way and await the registrar’s call at the scheduled appointment time.

Who 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
  • The Funeral Director (under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020)

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.

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.

Corrections

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.

Updated: 30 March 2020