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Registering a death

Death registration appointments will take place at the Register Office.

How to book a death registration appointment

You can book a death registration appointment online or by calling us on 020 8314 9268.

It's a legal requirement to register a death within five days (unless it's referred to the coroner). The five days includes weekends and bank holidays. 

How to get the death certificate

The death certificate will be issued to you at the end of the registration appointment.

If you can't speak English

We can arrange for an interpreter to be present at the appointment if needed, but please note this may delay the registration. Alternatively it may be quicker if you bring a friend or relative along to translate for you.

Registering a stillbirth or neonatal death

If you need to register a stillbirth or neonatal death:

  • book an appointment to register a death
  • select stillbirth or neonatal death
  • enter your information

and we will call you to arrange an appointment to register the death.

Cost of a death certificate

Death certificates cost £12.50 each.

Ordering a copy death certificate

If you require a copy death certificate urgently you can order online or over the phone on 020 8690 2128. 

The medical certificate cause of death (MCCD)

We will need the medical certificate issued by the doctor or hospital. We cannot register the death if we do not have the medical certificate cause of death (MCCD).

If the death occurred in Lewisham Hospital this will be sent to us directly from the hospital.

If the death was referred to the coroner the relevant paperwork will be sent directly from the Coroner's office to the register office.

If the death occurred at home and you are in possession of the original MCCD please bring this with you to the appointment.

If the MCCD is being issued by the GP's office, they will email it to us at register.office@lewisham.gov.uk.

Details we will need for your appointment

You need to make sure that all information - including spellings and dates - is correct. Any corrections needed after the registration is done may delay the funeral process and will cost £99.

Details of the person who has died

  • full legal name (including middle names)
  • have they been known by any other names (include name changes and/or maiden name)
  • date of death
  • place of death
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • were they retired when they died
  • occupation of the deceased or their occupation before they retired
  • their usual address
  • marital status

Details of their spouse (if relevant)

  • name
  • occupation
  • address

Details of the person registering the death

  • name
  • address
  • relationship to the person who has died

Details of the funeral directors

  • name of funeral directors
  • funeral directors telephone number
  • funeral directors email address

Supporting documentation

To help you ensure that the information recorded is accurate it may be useful for you to have some supporting documents for the person who has died, including:

  • passport
  • proof of address (utility bill etc.)
  • birth certificate
  • change of name deed (if applicable)
  • marriage certificate (if applicable) / civil partnership certificate (if applicable)

Tell Us Once service

By using Tell Us Once you will only need to report a death once. The service will tell central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually. Tell Us Once is a free service offered by the Government.

Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. Watch a short information video explaining the Tell Us Once service on YouTube. 

The following services can be notified when using Tell Us Once:

  • the local council - to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the Electoral Register
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding Child Benefit and Tax Credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information for example: State Pension, Universal Credit
  • the passport office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles
  • public sector or armed forces pension schemes - to update pension records

How to use Tell Us Once

After you have registered the death the Registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number. You can then access the Tell Us Once service on the Government’s website.

If you have been issued with a Coroners Fact of Death (Interim Death Certificate) you may still be able to use the service and the Registrar will advise you how to do so.

You will need to have access to the relevant information listed below about the person before using Tell Us Once:

  • date of birth
  • address of the deceased
  • National Insurance number
  • driving licence number
  • vehicle registration number
  • passport number

You will also need:

  • details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example State Pension, Universal Credit
  • details of any local council services they were receiving, for example Adult Social Services, Blue Badge, travel pass
  • the name and address of their next of kin
  • the name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • the name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
  • details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into

You should be aware that:

  • permission is required from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator and anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died, before you give their details
  • there is no need to follow-up contact after you have used Tell Us Once unless you don’t receive a confirmation for over a month
  • once the various agencies informed by Tell Us Once have received notification of the death, they will make any further contact if necessary with the bereaved family
  • Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, therefore you will need to visit the Government’s website for advice on claim to benefit, or contact the relevant department
  • Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death and cannot arrange for redirection of post
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