How to register a death

Find out how to register a death in Suffolk and the process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Coronavirus Act (2020) permits us to register deaths by telephone to avoid relatives having to visit us.  Please complete a pre-registration of a death and a registrar will contact you once we have all of the information we require.

Proceed to pre-register a death

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.

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

Please contact the Registration Service of the area where the death occurred. You can search for your nearest Registration Service at GOV.UK.