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Council Services:

Register a death

By law, a death in England or Wales must be registered within five days in the district in which it takes place.

You can go to any registration office in England and Wales to give details about a death, but they will be forwarded to the district where the death occurred and registered there. The registration officer will complete the registration from the information you have supplied.

This procedure can sometimes delay the issuing of the document which allows the funeral to go ahead. Relatives are advised to discuss arrangements with their funeral director and the registration officer to help avoid such delays, if possible.


You can also book an appointment by calling 01522 782244 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am and 4pm on Saturdays.

Call us if you are booking online and cannot find an appointment within five days of the date of death.

At the appointment, the person registering the death must provide the following information:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and surname of the deceased
  • Maiden surname, if the deceased was a woman who had been married
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Name and occupation of husband/wife/civil partner, where the deceased was a married man/woman or widower/widow/surviving civil partner
  • Usual address
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of the surviving widow/widower/civil partner

The doctor treating the deceased will issue a medical certificate of cause of death which will be given to the deceased's relatives.

If the death was sudden or the doctor treating the deceased is unavailable it may not be possible for a medical certificate of cause of death to be issued. If so, the death will have to be reported to the coroner and may lead to a delay in registering the death.

It's important that the information recorded in the death register is accurate as correcting errors can cause problems.

When registering the death, you should check the information in the register carefully before the entry is signed. To assist the accuracy of the registration, the following documents for the deceased will help:

  • All marriage/civil partnership certificates
  • Birth certificate
  • Deed Poll
  • Proof of address (eg utility bill, driving licence, NHS medical card, passport)

You will also need to provide your own passport and proof of address.

Who can register a death?

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased. The registration officer would normally only allow another person to register the death if there are no relatives available. Who can register a death depends on where the death occurred.

Deaths in a house, hospital, etc:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • someone present at the death
  • the occupier of the house or hospital, if he/she knew of the death
  • another person living at the house, if he/she knew of the death
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

Deaths elsewhere:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • someone present at the death
  • someone who found the body
  • a person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

An executor or funeral director cannot register a death on behalf of a client.

If English is not the first language of the person registering the death, it's helpful for someone to accompany the person to the registration officer's office to act as interpreter, however, the person must register the death personally. The helper/interpreter cannot register the death.

Tell Us Once

It may be useful to bring other documents relating to the deceased to help with our Tell Us Once service, where we can confidentially inform other local and national Government departments of the death so that you don't need to.

Reporting a death to the coroner

If the death has not already been reported, the registration officer will report it to the coroner if:

  • there's no doctor who can issue a medical certificate of cause of death
  • the deceased was not seen by the doctor, issuing the medical certificate, after death nor within 14 days before death
  • the cause of death is unknown
  • the cause of death is believed to be unnatural or suspicious
  • the death occurred during an operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
  • the death is due to industrial disease or poisoning

Find out more information about the Lincolnshire Coroners Service.

What certificates will be issued?

Death certificate

One or more certificates may be bought at a cost £4 each at the time of registration, or £10 at any time afterwards. The certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register.

Certificate for burial or cremation

The registration officer will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the body. This is normally given to the funeral director by the relative who is making the arrangements.  A funeral cannot go ahead until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium.

It's possible for a certificate for the burial of the deceased's body to be issued before registration, but only possible if the death does not need to be reported to the coroner.  If a death has been reported to the coroner, he or she may issue a certificate for burial or cremation.

Certificate for social security benefits

A certificate for sending to the Department of Work and Pensions will be issued by the registration officer to the person registering the death or another applicant. Details of the death are given on one side of the form, while the other side is an application for claim forms.

For any queries about the registering process, call 01522 782244 or email

Bereavement Guide

Lincolnshire County Council’s registration service has produced a guide to help you through the difficulty of losing a loved one.


Need an appointment?

For your convenience, you can book an appointment at any registration office in Lincolnshire online.


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Last updated: 27 February 2017

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