Register a death
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, cancel or amend a death registration appointment.
Where to register the death
You can register a death in the Dorset Council area at one of our register offices.
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
What to bring to the appointment
Bring the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.
If the coroner has ordered a post-mortem these details will be sent to the registrar.
To make sure we have the correct information, we recommend you bring the person's:
- birth certificate
- proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
- medical card or NHS number
- marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (e.g. a utility bill) but you can still register a death without them.
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
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.
Documents you'll be given at the appointment
When you register a death you'll get:
- Certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form) which allows the funeral to go ahead
- a Certificate of Registration of Death (form BD8) - you may need to fill this out and return it if the person was getting a State Pension or benefits
- you can also buy copies of the death certificate, which you will need for dealing with bank accounts, savings accounts, investments and private pensions. These cost £11 each at the appointment but you can buy more copies of the Death Certificate later
If the death occurred outside of Dorset
You should register the death in the district where it occurred. If this is not convenient, you can still make an appointment at a Dorset Council register office, where you can make a 'declaration'. We'll send the details to the district where the death occurred and the death will be registered there. They'll send you the green form, BD8 form and death certificates. This process takes longer and may delay the funeral.
For more information about how we handle your personal data read the Registration Service Privacy Notice.