How to register a death

Information about registering a death and how to book an appointment.

Deaths must be registered within 5 days of the death. If a post-mortem is carried out, the death must be registered within 7 days.

A member of the family should ideally register the death. If this is not possible, it should be done by either:

  • the person who was present at the death
  • the person organising the funeral (not the funeral director)
  • the occupier of the premises in which the death occurred

Deaths can be registered through an appointment at one of our register offices.

Before you book an appointment

You can book online an appointment to register a death by calling one of our offices directly or you can book online quickly and easily.

  • There is a legal requirement to register a death within five days starting from the day after the death.
  • You cannot to book an appointment online after five days from the day after the death. Please call our offices to make an appointment.

Please be aware that some of the available appointments in the Ipswich office are upstairs, and there is no lift, so if you require an appointment in a downstairs room in Ipswich, you will need to call us to make your appointment. All other offices are ground floor only or accessible via a lift.

If you are visiting Sudbury Register Office, please allow plenty of time as there are major road closures in the Sudbury area.

Book an appointment online

For more information about registering a death in Suffolk you can find more details below.

You may wish to read about the Tell Us Once initiative, where we inform other government agencies and departments of a death so you don't have to contact them all individually.

If you have any queries about registering a death, you can contact a register office.

Information you will need

To register a death you will need the:

  • medical certificate with the cause of death - signed by the doctor
  • date and place of the death
  • full names of the deceased and any previous names - including maiden names (with marriage certificate for evidence)
  • usual home address and post code
  • date and place of birth of the deceased - please bring a birth certificate, if available
  • occupation of the deceased
  • full name, date of birth and occupation of the spouse (for a married or widowed woman) or civil partner
  • National Health Service number, medical card or Serco letter from the Health Authority

Tell us Once

What is 'Tell us Once'?

Tell us Once is a new government initiative which aims to ease the burden of notifying multiple local and central government departments that someone has died.

How can I use the service?

The service may be offered to you as part of your death registration appointment.   This will mean that you can just 'Tell Us Once' and we will, with your permission, share the information with departments and agencies on your behalf. You will need to be the 'next of kin' or the person dealing with the deceased's estate to use this service or have their permission to do so. 

Who can be notified?

The information can be shared with a number of central and local government departments, including:

  • the local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
  • Benefit Office
  • Adult and Children’s Services
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Identity and Passport Service
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

What documents will I need to take to the registrar?

  • Deceased's National Insurance number
  • Deceased's surviving husband, wife or civil partner's National Insurance Number
  • Next of kin's name, address and telephone number
  • Information about any benefits and services the deceased may have been receiving, for example: state pension, income support, housing benefit, blue badge
  • Name and address of the person dealing with the deceased's estate
  • Driving licence (if held)
  • Passport (if held)
  • Blue badge (if held) 

If you are unable to locate any of this information in time for your appointment you will still be able to use the service later by telephone. The registrar will give you a unique reference number and a telephone number to call.

Is the use of the service compulsory?

No, it is entirely optional.

How secure is the service?

The information you give will be treated securely and confidentially. The organisations who are contacted will use the information to update records, to end services, benefits and credits as appropriate. Information will only be used as the law allows and will not be given to any department or organisation unless you have given your consent for them to be contacted.

Documents you will receive

If a post-mortem is not being held you will receive the following documents from a registrar:

  • a certificate for burial or cremation (the green form), giving permission for the burial or cremation to take place
  • a certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for Social Security purposes, if the deceased was on a state pension or benefits

Death certificates are available to purchase at the registration at £4 per copy. This price for copies of a death certificate increases after registration.


Deaths involving post-mortems

If the death has been reported to the Coroner, the Registrar cannot register the death until the Coroner's enquiries are complete.

You will be advised by the Coroner's officers when registration can take place.

If an inquest is to be held, you will not need to attend an appointment to register the death.

Deaths outside of Suffolk

You can register the details of a death that occurred outside of Suffolk by declaration at your local Register Office.

This information is then sent to the correct registration office for the death to be registered.

You will not receive any paperwork at this appointment - it will be sent to you through the post.

This will cause a delay of up to 5 working days.

Privacy notice

You can read the Suffolk Register Office privacy notice.