How to register a death
During the Coronavirus Pandemic
As a result of the current pandemic situation, there have been many changes to the processes involved with registering a death. This page is correct at the time of writing during April 2020, but you may find that any printed literature that you receive from other sources may be out of date and therefore confusing and contradictory.
If you have any queries, or you need any help to register, please do let us know, as we are currently able to do this on your behalf if you feel unable to.
Norfolk and Suffolk
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is sent to the Registrar by the Doctor – you, as the family, don’t forward it on.
The family don’t receive The Registrars Certificate for Burial or Cremation (The Green), it is either forwarded directly to the crematorium or to us if it is a Churchyard burial.
The person registering needs to call Norfolk County Council on 0344 800 8020. They will then book a time slot and advise on what will be needed. Families can purchase copies of an entry over the phone (payment by debit/credit card only) and they will then be sent via post.
For more information: Norfolk Registration Office – Coronavirus
The person registering needs to call the Suffolk Registration Service on 0345 6072060 – (Option 1) to Register a Death.
Families need to complete an online ‘pre-registration’ form found here: Suffolk Pre-Registration Form
After this has been completed a registrar will call to finalise the Registration. An email will also be sent with a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once Service.
The Copy of an Entry can only be ordered after the Registration has taken place. This can be found here: Suffolk – Apply for Copy of Death Certificate
In A Non Pandemic Situation
The information below relates to when we are not in a pandemic situation. Please refer to the above situation during this time.
All deaths have to be registered by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, in the county where the death has occurred.
Unless the Coroner is involved, registration should take place within five days. Rosedale Funeral Home will guide you through the process. We will let you know which registrar you need to visit and, if necessary, make an appointment for you. If you have any difficulties with transport or you would prefer not to go alone, please let us know and we may be able to arrange a courtesy car.
The Registrar will ask you for certain information and it may be helpful for you to jot this down before you go:
- the deceased’s date of birth and place of birth
- their full name
- their occupation or former occupation
- if applicable, their maiden name
- the name and date of birth of a surviving spouse
The registrar will need to see the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death in order to register the death. They will also provide a form for you to send to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) with any pension or allowance books and will give you information about the ‘Tell Us Once‘ scheme that enables you to cancel other documents such as a driving licence, blue badge for disabled parking or passport. You may also be given a green certificate that you will need to pass to us to enable the burial or cremation to proceed. For more information on the ‘Tell Us Once’ Scheme, click here.
You will be given the opportunity to purchase copies of the entry in the register, more commonly referred to as the Death Certificate, for a small charge and we do advise that you do this as you will need copies for banks, insurance companies etc.
When the Coroner is involved
The Coroner is responsible for the investigation of violent, unnatural or sudden deaths, deaths of unknown cause and deaths in custody.
If a death has been reported to the Coroner, there may be a post-mortem or inquest. In this case there will be no Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and you won’t be able to register the death until the Coroner gives permission to proceed. The time that this takes can vary and you may have to delay your plans for the funeral. Under these circumstances, Rosedale will keep you informed at every stage of the proceedings and can advise on any possible delays.
An appointment can be made with any Norfolk or Suffolk Registrar by contacting the central booking line on 0344 800 8020 or via the online booking system at www.norfolk.gov.uk/registrationservices or www.suffolk.gov.uk/births-deaths-and-ceremonies/how-to-register-a-death.