A death must be registered within five working days. This period can be extended in exceptional circumstances and if the coroner is involved.
A death can only be registered once you have the Medical Cause of Death Certificate from the doctor, or in the case of a death reported to the coroner, confirmation from the coroner's office that the relevant paperwork has been issued to us.
If there is an inquest, or the death has to be referred to the coroner, the coroner's officer or registrar will advise you.
Book an appointment
If the death occurs in Oxfordshire
If the death occurred in Oxfordshire, it can be registered in any one of the registration offices in the county.
Alternatively, you can contact us.
If the death occurs in an Oxford hospital
If the death occurred at one of the Oxford hospitals, the bereavement officers may be able to book an appointment for you to register the death at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Registration by declaration
(If you live outside Oxfordshire or if the death occurred outside Oxfordshire)
If it is not convenient for you to register the death in Oxfordshire, as you live some distance away, you may prefer to make a declaration of the death at your local registration office in another district. Staff from your local registration office will be able to offer you advice on the procedure for this.
If the death occurred outside Oxfordshire and it is inconvenient for you to go to the district where the death took place, you may prefer to make a declaration of the death in Oxfordshire. For more information you can contact us..
As explained below, registration by declaration does result in a delay in the issue of the document needed for the funeral arrangements.
How registration by declaration works
The registrar will record the details in the form of a declaration and send it to the registrar for the district where the death occurred. The registrar who receives the declaration will enter the information in the death register.
Certificates of the death, which can usually be ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration, as well as the document for the burial or cremation, will be posted by the registrar for the district where the death took place (some districts are unable to accept cheques, in which case alternative methods of payment will be suggested).
If a declaration is made, it may take a day or two longer depending on the postal service for the document for burial or cremation to be issued. The family should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar so as to avoid any delay to the funeral.
Deaths that happen abroad
If you require information on deaths that happen abroad, please visit the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
Who can register the death
- a relative of the deceased
- someone who was present at the death
- the person who is arranging the funeral
- the occupier of the establishment where the death took place.
The information you will need to give the registrar
About the deceased
- The date and place of death
- Their full name and any other names they are known by or have been known by (including the maiden name of a woman who has been married)
- Their date and place of birth
- Their occupation (if married, widowed or a civil partner, the full name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner)
- Their usual address
- Date of birth of surviving spouse or civil partner
- Whether they were in receipt of any public sector pension, e.g. civil service, teacher, armed forces (reference number if known).
- Their NHS number or medical card, if available
About the person registering
- Your relationship to the deceased
- Your full name
- Your usual address
All information is given to the best of your knowledge.
Please be aware that if a mistake is made in the death entry there will be a fee to pay to have the information corrected.
How long the appointment will last
The meeting with the Registrar will take approximately 30 minutes.
The certificates that are issued
After the information has been recorded in the death register, the registrar will issue the necessary forms and certificates:
- A certificate for burial or cremation, known as the green form, which the funeral director will need (in some cases, the coroner will issue this form)
- Death certificates. You may need certified copies of the death entry for other purposes (dealing with the will, probate, bank accounts, insurance and so on). There is a small charge for these certificates, and this fee increases after the day of registration.
- A certificate for the Benefits Agency
When someone has died, just Tell Us Once
We can help you tell the people who need to know.
This service means that you can tell us once when registering the death, and then we will tell a number of central and local government departments for you.
This free, optional service will be offered to you at the end of the death registration appointment. If you choose to use the service, it should take ten minutes to complete with the registrar (if you are not the next of kin, you can still use the service if you have the permission of the next of kin to act on their behalf).
What to bring
To make sure the right information is given to the people we contact for you, it would help if you can bring along the following information about the person who has died:
- their national insurance number
- their driving licence, if they had one and Vehicle Registration Number(s) for ANY vehicle owned by the deceased
- their passport, if they had one
- their blue badge, if they had one
- their concessionary bus pass, if they had one
If you choose not to take up Tell Us Once at the end of the death registration appointment you can use the service within 28 days of your appointment by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions on their website www.gov.uk/tell-us-once quoting the reference number given to you by the Registrar.