Register a death

All deaths must be registered within 5 days, unless a coroner is investigating the circumstances of the death. You must have a medical certificate of death from the doctor before you can register a death.

The people who can register a death are:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • a person who was present at the death
  • an administrator from the hospital where the person died
  • a person arranging the funeral with the funeral director.

All deaths must be registered with a registrar of births and deaths in the area that the death occurred.

When someone dies, the doctor issues a medical certificate of cause of death.

If the death happened in Kent or Bexley and you have the medical certificate, you can make an appointment at one of our local libraries using our online booking service.

Book an appointment

This service doesn't include Medway or the London Boroughs of Bromley or Greenwich.

If you need to cancel or rebook your appointment, call us on 03000 41 51 51.

I want to register a death but I don't live in Kent or Bexley

If the death happened in Kent or Bexley but you can't attend an appointment here, then you can give the details to any registrar in England and Wales. The details will be sent to Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives who will register the death. This is called registration by declaration.

I want to register a death that occurred outside of the county of Kent

A death can only be registered in the district that it occurred.  If the death happened outside the district of Kent or Bexley, you can give a death declaration with a Kent or Bexley office who will send the declaration to the registrar in the district where the death occurred.  That registration district will then complete the registration and issue the necessary paperwork.  Declarations can only be taken when the event occurred in England and Wales.

If you need any further information about registering a death call us on 03000 41 51 51.

How to register a death in another country or bring a body back to the UK

If the death occurred abroad or you wish to bring the body back to the UK, you must follow the advice as provided by Citizens Advice and the National Government.

Is there a fee?

The registration service is free of charge.

There is a charge for buying copies of the death certificate.

You will need to bring:

  • the medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor. If there has been a post mortem, the coroner will send this directly to the registrar
  • birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates if these are available
  • disabled parking 'Blue Badge' and concessionary bus pass if applicable
  • a method of payment for copies of the death certificate – cash, credit or debit card, cheque book. Any copies of death certificates will be charged at a rate of £11 per document.

The accuracy of the registration can be improved by bringing some extra identification documents with you. This might be a passport or driving licence.

What we need to know

We need to know some information about the person who has died and your relationship to them to be able to complete the death register.

Find out what you will be asked by the registrar.

What you will receive

After the registration entry is complete, the registrar will give you:

  • a certificate for burial or cremation (form 9) a green form to give to the funeral director. If the death has been referred to the coroner and the funeral is a cremation, the equivalent form will be sent by the coroner to your funeral director
  • a certificate of registration of death (BD8 form) a white form to be completed and sent by you, with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Support after registration

Kent Bereavement Advice Service offers practical advice and support after the death of a relative or friend. This service is provided by Kent Libraries, Registration & Archives in partnership with ITC.

Visit the Kent Bereavement Advice Service website.

You will need to produce a death certificate when you are arranging the finances of the person who has died.

You can buy copies of the death certificate for a small fee. These can be bought on the day of registration or after the registration process.

After someone dies you will need to notify many organisations and departments.

The Tell Us Once service can help you by telling most organisations on your behalf. Whilst your district council can provide you with support and advice for:

  • funeral arrangements, including local funeral directors, cremations, burial costs, cemetery plot fees and memorials
  • cemetery and burial ground records.