How to register a death

If you need to make an appointment to register a death please contact 01823 282 251 or email somersetregistrations@somerset.gov.uk.

Registering a death

When someone dies, the death must be registered within five days.

If you’re registering a death from outside the district, information will be sent to the office in the area where the person died. That district will then issue the certificates. This is called registering by declaration and you should allow more time for the burial or cremation documents to reach you.

After the death registration has been completed, you may also like to tell us about the council or government services the deceased used so we can cancel these services on your behalf.  If you wish to give us this information, you will need to bring as many of the following documents belonging to the deceased as possible with you to the appointment:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • National Insurance Number
  • Blue Badge
  • concessionary bus pass
  • public sector pensions

If you do not have this information handy, or you do not wish to provide this information during the registration appointment, you can choose to use a dedicated telephone service at a later date.  The registrar will provide you with a unique reference number and details of who to call.

What you’ll need to register a death

To register a death, you’ll need to bring the cause of death certificate that was issued by the doctor treating the person who has died.

If a death has been reported to the coroner we’ll need documents from them before we can register the death.

To register the death, we’ll need to ask you:

  • date and place of death
  • full name,  date and place of birth, last occupation and usual address of the deceased person
  • whether the deceased person received any pension or benefits

If the deceased person was widowed we’ll need to know the full name and last occupation of their spouse. If they were still married we’ll also need to know the date of birth of their surviving spouse.

Once the registration is complete we’ll give you a form to allow burial or cremation, unless the coroner has already issued one.

You can buy as many copies of the death certificate as you need. The cost of a death certificate is £11.

Please note that if you request a correction to a registration, it will be subject to a non-refundable fee. We cannot guarantee the request will be approved. 

The fee payable will be £75, but may increase to £90 if the correction needs to be authorised by the General Register Office. It’s therefore very important that the document is carefully checked before you register. 

Who should register a death

Most deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased.

If the death occurred in a house, hospital or elderly people home and there are no relatives available, we would normally allow one of the following people to register the death:

  • someone who was present at the death
  • the occupier or manager of the premises where the person died
  • an official from the hospital where the person died
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors

If the death occurred somewhere else and there are no relatives available, we would normally accept one of the following people to register the death:

  • someone who was present at the death
  • the person who found the deceased’s body
  • the person in charge of the deceased’s body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors
Registration service

At the moment, we are only taking appointments to register a death. If you need to register a death please call or email us.

Disclaimer

The information provided about births, deaths and marriage is for guidance only and is not a full expression of the law.