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

From 1 May 2024, Dorchester Registration Office will be located at County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester DT1 1XJ.

Book an appointment to register a death

Where to register a death

You can register a death 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 care home where the person died
  • are the occupier of the building where the person died
  • are in charge of making funeral arrangements

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 (for example, utility bill)
  • 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, for example, 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

Tell Us Once service

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

At your appointment we will give you a unique reference number which you can use to notify the relevant organisations in one go online or by telephone. Contact us for more information.

View 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 £12.50 each and can be paid for during your appointment.

If the death occurred outside of Dorset

If you are a Dorset Council resident you can make a declaration in one of our offices. The registration will then be completed by the registrars in the area where the death occurred. You may need to contact them to order death certificates.

Privacy Notice

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