Register a death

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This information will guide you through the process of registering a death. If someone close to you has died we appreciate that this will be very emotional time for you. Our team at the Register Office will help you at this very difficult time.


How to register a death

If someone close to you has died you have a legal duty to register the death within five days.

The first thing to do is obtain the medical certificate from the GP or the hospital. If the Coroner is involved, the Coroner's Officers will guide you.

By law, at present, a death must be registered in the district where it occurred.  

Contact the Register Office to make an appointment to register a death.


People who can register a death

A death can be registered by one of the following people:

  • A relative of the deceased.
  • A person present at the death.
  • If the death occurred in a Nursing Home/Hospital and no relatives are available then the death could be registered by a Senior member of staff of the establishment.

  • The person who is making the funeral arrangements (but not the Funeral Director).


Fees for registering a death

There is no fee to register a death.


Documents and other information required to register a death

The following documents must be presented when registering a death:

  • Either a medical certificate (issued by a GP or hospital Doctor) or a Coroner's certificate.
  • Full name of the deceased (and maiden name if relevant). Any other names used or change of name.
  • Date and place of death.
  • Occupation (even if retired).
  • If the deceased was a married woman, the name and occupation of her husband or civil partner.
  • Date of birth of a surviving husband, wife or civil partner.
  • The usual address.
  • The medical card (if available).

When attending to register you will be asked questions regarding names, dates and addresses which will feed into the register entry.  To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded it would be useful if you could bring supporting documentation with you (e.g. passport, driving license, utility bill, birth and marriage certificates). 

Do not worry if any of these documents are not available as the registrar can still proceed to register the death.

You will receive two Statutory forms free of charge – the certificate for Burial or Cremation (unless the Coroner has already issued one), and a form BD8 for the DWP, which relates to state Pensions and Benefits.  Death certificates, which are full copies of the entry in the register, will cost £11.00 per certificate. 


Register a death by declaration

If it is not convenient for you to register a death at Stockton Register Office you can attend any other register office in England or Wales and provide the Registrar with the necessary details. This is called registering a death by declaration.

To register a death by declaration you should first make an appointment with the Register Office, stating that you wish to make an appointment 'register a death by declaration'.

The local Registrar will liaise with Stockton Borough Registrars regarding the whereabouts of the medical certificate - issued by the medical staff attending to the deceased (if the Coroner is involved, it will be the Coroner's Certificate).

After the 'death by declaration' appointment we will then send you the following documents by post:

  • A form to allow burial or cremation. If the Coroner is involved, this may be sent directly to your funeral director.
  • A form to notify Department of Works and Pensions/JobCentre Plus (BD8).
  • Death certificates, which are full copies of the entry in the register, will cost £11 per certificate.

Please be aware that it will take a day or two longer to register by declaration because the documents will be sent by post. This should be taken into account when making funeral arrangements.

Contact the Register Office to make an appointment to register a death by declaration.


Register a stillbirth

If your baby was stillborn, our staff at the Register Office are here to help and guide you through this difficult time. You may feel you want to contact us immediately, but please be aware that legally you have 42 days to record your baby's details.

If the baby's natural parents were married to each other at the time of the birth, then either of you can register your baby.

If the baby’s mother and natural father are not married, the father must be present at the registration if his details are to be shown in the stillbirth register.

Before you can register your baby you need to obtain the stillbirth certificate from the doctor or midwife. You will need to bring this with you when you record your baby's details.

Contact the Register Office to register a stillbirth.


'Tell Us Once' service

A scheme that allows people to 'tell us once' when registering deaths will help make the process quicker and easier.

When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them.  One of these is contacting government departments and local Council Services.

If you decide to use this service we will be able to tell the following organisations:

Adult Services Blue Badges
Care Call/Telecare services Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit plus Working Tax Credits
Children's Services Collection of payment for council services
Council Tax Department for Work and Pensions 
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Electoral services
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Housing Benefit Office
Identity and Passport Service Jobcentre Plus
Libraries Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency 
Overseas Health Team Pension, Disability and Carers Service
Personal Taxation Public Sector Pensions and Armed Forces Pension Schemes
Universal Credit War Pensions Scheme

To make sure the right information is given to any organisations we contact for you and so that you get the most out of the service it will help if you can bring along with you the following information about the person who has died:

  • Their National Insurance number and date of birth.
  • Details of any benefits or services they were receiving.
  • Their death certificate.
  • Their driving licence or driving licence number.
  • Their passport or passport number and town/country of birth.
  • Blue badge
  • Bus pass
  • National Insurance number and/or date of birth of spouse.

If you are the next of kin (closest relative by blood or marriage to the deceased), your entitlement to benefits may change, so please have your own National Insurance number and/or date of birth with you when you contact us.

The 'tell us once' service is automatically offered when you make an appointment to register a death at Stockton Register Office.


Help with funeral arrangements

Our Bereavement Services team manages the burial service for cemeteries at Durham Road, Oxbridge Lane, Thornaby, Billingham and Egglescliffe.

We are also able to provide advice, information and guidance on a range of issues relating to burials, cemeteries, funerals and many other related issues.

Find out more about the Bereavement Services team and how they can assist with funeral arrangements.



Personal information collected from you in order to register an event is required by law. Further information on data held by the registration service and a full list of the organisations with whom registration data is shared, the purpose and the lawful basis for sharing the data can be found on our privacy notices page. Alternatively, officers at the Register Office will be able to provide the information, please contact 01642 527720.