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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.

Registering a death by declaration

If it is not possible for you to attend a Registration Office in the district where the death occurred, you may register the death 'by Declaration' at any Registration Office in England and Wales. You will be asked to provide the necessary information and to sign a declaration, which will be posted to the relevant Registration Office in the district where the death occurred. Please note, using the 'by Declaration' procedure could delay your receipt of death certificates and the forms you will need to proceed with the funeral.

Registering a death in Lincolnshire

You may register a death which occurred in Lincolnshire at any of our Registration Offices throughout the county. Our offices are located in Boston, Bourne, Gainsborough, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, Long Sutton, Louth, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford. Office opening times may vary.


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 will be asked to provide the following information regarding the deceased:

  • Date and place of death
  • Name and surname
  • Any previously used names 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 name, address and relationship to the deceased of the person registering the death is also recorded.


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

If the death was unexpected 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 been reported to the coroner who will issue a replacement document.

It is important that the information recorded in the death register is correct before the entry is signed as errors can be time consuming and expensive to correct. To assist the accuracy of the registration, it would be useful if you would bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • Marriage/civil partnership certificates for the deceased (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate of the deceased
  • Any legal name change documents relating to the deceased eg Deed Poll (if applicable)
  • Proof of identify of the deceased (eg driving licence, passport)
  • NHS Medical Card of the deceased, if this can be located
  • Proof of address and identify for the person registering the death (eg driving licence, bank statement, passport).

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 to the Coroner, the registration officer will need to make a report 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 on the day of the registration, and £10 at any time afterwards. The certificate is a certified copy of the entry in the death register and will be referred to as an original certificate.

Certificate for burial or cremation

The registration officer will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the body (the green form). 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 for 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 to register a Birth or Death online.


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Last updated: 21 December 2017

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