When to register a death

Appointment booking 

Due to essential maintenance, our appointment booking system to register a death will not be available until 2pm on Friday 2 June 2023.

Delays in making an appointment to register a death

There may be delays in when you're able to make an appointment to register a death.

This is because there could be delays in the Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) being sent to the register office, due to the junior doctors strike.

You must register a death within five days of it happening. This includes weekends and bank holidays. 

Before you book an appointment check with  the GP, hospital doctor or bereavement office that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD)  has been sent to Bristol Register Office.

If the death has been reported to the coroner

If the death has been reported to the coroner, you won't be able to register the death until the coroner has completed their investigation.

You can find out about when a death is reported to the coroner Go to https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death/when-a-death-is-reported-to-a-coroner (opens new window) on GOV.UK and on the Avon Coroner Go to https://www.avon-coroner.com/ (opens new window) website.

Who can register the death

You can register the death if:

  • you're a relative
  • you were there at the time of death
  • you found the body
  • you're an administrator at the hospital, hospice or care home where the person died
  • you're in charge of making funeral arrangements

If more than one appointment is booked by different informants to register the same death, the registration will be completed at the first scheduled booking regardless of when other appointments were made. All other appointments will be cancelled.

Where to register

You should register the death at the local register office for the area where the death happened. You can check which council covers the area where the death happened Go to https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council (opens new window) on GOV.UK.

Death happened in Bristol

You need to  make an appointment to visit one of our  register offices to register a death.  You can  register a death in Bristol at either the Bristol or Southmead Register Office.

If you register a death at the Bristol Register Office you can purchase and collect certificates at your appointment.

If you register a death at the Southmead Register Office you can purchase certificates at your appointment and they will be posted to you or you can collect them from the Bristol Register Office in Corn Street the following working day.

or call  0117 922 2800 to make an appointment.

Bristol Register Office

The Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1JG.
The entrance is on Broad Street.
Access guide on the AccessAble website Go to http://www.disabledgo.com/access-guide/bristol-city-council/bristol-register-office (opens new window).

Southmead Register Office

Southmead Hospital, Brunel Building, Bristol, BS10 5NB.
The office is on level 1 by gate 12.

Out of hours

If you need to arrange a burial quickly due to cultural or religious reasons, call our out of hours service on 0117 922 2050. You must have the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) before you call us.

If the death has been reported to the coroner, you won't be able to register the death until the coroner has completed their investigation.

If you can't get to Bristol or Southmead Register Office

If you can't register the death at Bristol Register Office, you can go to another register office in England or Wales and they'll send the details to us. This is called making a declaration.

Find a register office Go to https://www.gov.uk/register-offices (opens new window) on GOV.UK.

Once we have the details and have registered the death, you'll be able to buy copies of the death certificate at any time.

Death happened outside Bristol

In England or Wales

If the death happened in England or Wales, but outside Bristol and you can't get to the nearest register office to register the death, you can  normally book an appointment at one of our register offices. We'll take all the details of the death and pass them onto the right office. This is called making a declaration'.

Call us on 0117 922 2800 to make an appointment.

Outside England or Wales

If the death happened:

What to bring to the appointment

You must bring the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) and if you have it:

  • the birth certificate, passport and driving licence for the person who died
  • their council tax bill
  • their Blue Badge, if they had one
  • their marriage or civil partnership certificate, if any

What information we need to know

We'll need this information about the person who died, if you have it:

  • their full name and any previous names
  • their job
  • their address
  • their NHS number
  • date and place of birth
  • date and place of death
  • details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, such as State Pension
  • the full name, job and date of birth of their spouse or partner if they were married or in a civil partnership

We'll also need your name and address.

What documents you'll get

The registrar will keep the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) and give you a:

  • Certificate for Burial or Cremation, sometimes called the green form, which will allow you to arrange the burial or cremation
  • form to send to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) so they can deal with the person's pension and other benefits

You'll also be able to buy death certificates which you'll need when you tell organisations, such as banks or insurance companies, that the person has died. Certificates cost £11 each.

Once the death has been registered, you can buy copies of the death certificate at any time.

Correcting a mistake on a death certificate

When registering a death, you must check the register page carefully and tell the registrar about anything that's incorrect.

If you notice a mistake after your appointment, we might not be able to correct it. If we can correct it, you'll be charged a fee of £75 or £90, depending on what needs to be changed.

Tell Us Once service

The Tell Us Once service Go to https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death/organisations-you-need-to-contact-and-tell-us-once (opens new window) on GOV.UK lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. We'll give you a reference number when you register the death so you can use the service.