You should register the death within 5 days unless the coroner has requested a post mortem or an inquest. 

Book an appointment to register a death

You can book an appointment to register a death by telephone during COVID-19. Certificates will be sent out by post.

If you recently registered a death and were only able to purchase a maximum of 2 certificates, you can purchase more copies online.

Who should register the death

A relative should register the death.

If a relative can't register the death, you can do it if you:

  • were there at the time of death
  • are a senior administrator from the hospital (if the person died in hospital)
  • are the manager of the carehome where the person died
  • are the occupier of the building where the person died
  • are in charge of making funeral arrangements
  • if no one else is available, the funeral director may register the death

What you'll need

Please make sure the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) has been sent to us by the surgery or hospital.

If the coroner has ordered a post-mortem no medical certificate will be issued, and the coroner will advise you when the death can be registered.

To make sure we have the correct information for your appointment we recommend you have access to the deceased’s:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
  • medical card or NHS number
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)

You'll need to tell the registrar:

  • the person's full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, eg maiden name
  • the person's date and place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits

Tell Us Once service

The full Tell Us Once service is currently suspended due to COVID-19 but we can help families to complete this themselves. Contact us for more information.

We can notify government departments and local councils about the death for you through our Tell Us Once service. This includes those dealing with state benefits, housing/council tax benefits, passports and driving licences. Find out more about Tell Us Once and what documents you'll need to bring to use the Tell Us Once service.

A video about reporting a death using the Tell Us Once service

Documents you'll receive after the appointment

The Certificate of Burial or Cremation (green form) will normally be sent directly to the funeral directors.

Death certificates cost £11 each and can be paid for during your appointment and will be posted to you.

If the death occurred outside of Dorset

Please telephone the registration service in the area where the death occurred.

Privacy Notice

For more information about how we handle your personal data see the Registration Service Privacy Notice.

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