How to register a death

Find out how to register a death in Suffolk.

From 25 March 2022, most deaths need to be registered in person at one of our register office service points. Telephone registrations, which were possible under the Government’s pandemic emergency legislation, have been discontinued.

Before you start

  • Registrars need documentation from a medical practitioner and/or a Coroner before they can register a death.
  • Any relative of the deceased can register a death, it does not need to be the next of kin.
  • You do not need to wait for the registration to be completed before contacting your chosen funeral director.
  • There is a legal requirement that deaths that do not involve the coroner are registered within 5 days.
  • There is no charge to register a death, but a statutory fee applies for death certificates and any future correction needed to the entry.
  • We can only register deaths that have occurred in the County of Suffolk.

Stage 1

To register a death we need:

  • a completed Medical Certificate Confirming cause of Death (MCCD). This is issued by either a GP or a hospital doctor/consultant. It will usually be sent to us electronically when it has been completed. In some cases you may be asked to collect it from the doctors surgery or the hospital.

or:

  • a form of Confirmation from the Coroner that they have concluded their enquiries. This is also known as a Form 100A if there has not been a post mortem, or a Form 100B if there has been a post mortem. Coroner documentation is sent to us electronically – there is no need for you to collect it.
  • Some situations require a Coroner confirmation form and a MCCD.

Relatives should be informed by the certifying doctor and/or the coroner when the necessary documentation has been issued. They should also give you a unique reference number which you should keep safely as it may be needed to make the appointment.

Stage 2

When you have confirmation that the documents required in Stage 1 have been sent to the Registrar you can arrange an appointment. Appointments last approximately 40 minutes.

You can book an appointment with our online form.

Book an appointment to register a death

Alternatively, please call any of our service points to make an appointment: Contact a register office

Stage 3 – Preparing for your appointment

When you attend the registration appointment you will be asked for the following information about the deceased:

  • Their full name and any other names they were known by or used
  • Their date and place of birth and death
  • Their usual address
  • Their last occupation
  • Whether they were in receipt of any public sector pension, e.g. civil service, teacher, armed forces.

And if applicable:

  • Their maiden name
  • The name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse, or legal civil partner.

It would be helpful to bring their:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage / Civil Partnership certificate.

Please do not worry if you do not have any of these documents- you can still attend the appointment.

Stage 4 – The appointment

Registration appointments are held in private rooms so information can be given in confidence. Please allow 40 minutes for the appointment. There is space for up to 2 people to attend the appointment.

When the registration entry has been prepared, the registrar will ask you to check the content carefully before signing. This stage is very important because any error discovered afterwards will be subject to a statutory correction fee of £75/£90 and could possibly mean a delay to the funeral.

You will be given:

  • a TUO unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service
  • any death certificates required. Death certificates are £11 each.
  • a government pension notification form (if applicable).

With your permission, the Registrar will notify your funeral director that the registration is complete and send an authorisation form to the crematorium or burial authority to enable them to proceed with the burial or cremation. This document is often referred to as the ‘green form'. Alternatively, you can choose to take the form away with you and deliver to the relevant people yourself.

If you need further death certificates in the future, you can apply for a copy of a death certificate here.
Each certificate costs £11 including standard postage where applicable.

Tell Us Once service

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

Watch this video of how the Tell Us Once service works.

How can I use the service?

As part of your death registration appointment you will be issued with a unique reference number. This important number enables you to notify various local and national government agencies using a simple online form or one telephone call. You will find more information on GOV.UK.

Who can complete the online form or make the telephone call?

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.

What happens if I lose the reference number or it isn’t recognised?

Please take every care to keep the reference number safe to prevent delay in using the Tell Us Once service. If you lose the reference number you will need to contact the registration office who provided you with the reference number.

You will also need to contact the registration office if the Tell Us Once system shows that the reference number is not recognised. The office will be able to provide you with a new reference number but are unlikely to be able to provide this immediately, although they will try to do this as soon as they can.

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.

Can I use this service if the Coroner has been involved?

Yes. The Coroner's Officer will contact you and ask if you would like to use the Tell Us Once System when the Coroner opens an Inquest or Investigation.

They'll pass your details through to the registrars who'll generate a unique reference number which'll be sent to you separately with full details to access the service.

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

If the death occurred outside of Suffolk, you may make a ‘declaration of the death’ at one of our Suffolk offices if you, the informant, are a Suffolk resident. The paperwork will be sent to the district where the death occurred.

The receiving district will produce all death certificates and paperwork for the funeral director including the ‘Green Form’. This is a slower method of registering a death, but does save travelling to the area where the death occurred.

Appointments to register a death in this way cannot be booked online, so please call one of our offices to arrange.

If you prefer to attend a register office in the area where the death occurred, you can find a register office at GOV.UK