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You must register a death within five days unless a coroner is conducting an investigation into the circumstances.
The Bristol Registration District comprises the local authority area of Bristol City Council. Deaths occurring in the Bristol Registration District may be registered at either of the following offices by appointment only:
The Old Council House (Main Office) – Entrance on Broad Street
The Register Office
The Old Council House, Corn Street
Bristol BS1 1JG
Tel for an appointment: 0117 922 2800
8.30am to 6pm
(closed on Wednesday between 2.30pm -4pm)
9am to 4pm – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – by appointment only.
10am to 4pm. Wednesday (Evening appointments 5pm to 7pm)
Saturday – by appointment only.
Southmead Hospital (Branch Office)
Monks Park Lodge
Bristol BS10 5NB
Tel for an appointment: 0117 922 2800
8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
9am to 3.30pm. Monday to Friday – by appointment only.
A death must be registered in the registration district where it occurred. Before the registrar can take any information from you, the registrar must see the medical certificate issued by the doctor or by a coroner, if there has been a post mortem.
If it is difficult for you to travel to the right register office to register the death, you can go to a registrar office in a more convenient place in England or Wales. They will note the information needed to register the death and send it to the registrar in the right district for you who will then post you all the certificates you require including the one for the funeral director. This may cause delays for you in organising the funeral. Before you go to a register office outside the area where the death took place you should tell the funeral director who is arranging the burial or cremation and the registrar for the district where the death took place.
If there are any problems the registrar may not be able to take the information straight away.
People who can legally register a death include, in order of preference:
- A relative present at the death
- A relative present during the last illness
- A relative living in the registration district
- A person present at the death
- The occupier of the premises, if aware of the death happening
- The person arranging the funeral (not the undertaker)
Others may be qualified in specific circumstances. Consult a registrar for details.
You will be seen in private and asked questions about the person who has died. The registrar will enter the details onto a computer. You will be asked to check the information on the register page carefully and sign that it is correct.
You will be asked for the following information:
- The date and place of death
- The full names and surname of the person who has died
- Any maiden surname, if applicable
- The date and place of birth of the person who has died
- The occupation and address of the person who has died
- If the person who has died was married, the full names and occupation of their spouse or late spouse
- Your name and address
- If the person who has died was still married, the date of birth of their surviving spouse
You will be asked for a medical certificate of the cause of death from the doctor and/or notification from the coroner.
You should give the registrar the deceased's birth certificate and, if possible, any information on any pension or allowance received by the them from public funds, their NHS medical card and, if applicable, their disabled person's parking badge (Blue Badge).
The registrar will give you an authority which allows you to make arrangements for the burial or cremation. You will also receive a certificate for social security purposes. If the death has been referred to a coroner, different procedures may apply. Certified copies of the death entry (Death Certificate) are often needed when dealing with the estate of the person who has died and can be purchased from the registrar. You may need certified copies for the following purposes, among others:
- Probate or letters of administration
- Bank and building society accounts
- Life insurance policies covering the deceased
- Dealing with stocks and shares owned by the deceased
- Applying for a tax rebate
If you would like to take advantage of the "Tell Us Once" scheme whereby you can notify local authority/ government departments of a death at the time of registration, please download the Tell Us Once document for further information.
Registration of a death, including the document to enable you to arrange the burial or cremation is free of charge. However, certified copies of the register entry cost £4 at the time of registration, £7 for a period of four to six weeks later and from then on £10. These fees are set by Parliament and are reviewed regularly.