Register Offices

  • Crewe : 0300 123 5019 Contact details
    Municipal Buildings, Earle St, Crewe CW1 2BJ
  • Macclesfield: 0300 123 5019 Contact details
    Town Hall Extension, Market Place, Macclesfield SK10 1EA
  • Chester: 0300 123 7037
  • Northwich: 0300 123 7037
  • Stoke-on-Trent: 01782 235260 More information
    Register Office, Hanley Town Hall, Albion Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent  ST1 1QQ
    Tel: 01782 235260  Out of hours tel no: Stoke-on-call – 01782 234234
    Email register.office@stoke.gov.uk
  • Staffordshire: 0300 111 8001
NB You can register a death at whichever office is most convenient for you, but ring in advance to make an appointment, and to check what documents you need to take. If you go to an office which is not the district in which your loved one died, there will be a delay while the certificates are posted to you – but you certainly do NOT need to travel hundreds of miles back to one office if you live on the other side of the country. (Perhaps another relative who is more local could register the death on your behalf?)

What is the one piece of information I definitely need to give to the Registrar?

You need the medical certificate of cause of death which was issued by the doctor treating the person who has died. The registrar will need to refer to it when making the registration. NB If the Coroner’s Office has been involved, they may send this information direct to the register office – phone them to check if this has been done.

What other documents should I bring to the registration appointment?

To help ensure the accuracy of the information recorded it would be useful but not essential if you bring supporting documentation with you as follows:

For the deceased

  • Passport
  • Proof of address (utility bill etc)
  • NHS medical card
  • All marriage/civil partnership certificates
  • Birth certificate
  • Change of name documents

For the informant

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Proof of address (utility bill etc.)

Do not worry if any of these documents are not available as the registrar can still proceed to register the death.

The registrar will ask you for the following information

  • date and place of death.
  • name and surname of the deceased
  • maiden surname if the deceased was a women who had married
  • date and place of birth of the deceased (a birth certificate would be helpful).
  • occupation
  • name and occupation of her spouse, if she was married or widowed.
  • name and occupation of civil partner, where the deceased was in a civil partnership or was a surviving civil partner
  • usual address
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a state pension
  • if the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of the surviving spouse or civil partner.

If the register office offers the Tell Us Once service, they will give you a personal code and a phone number to call.  The Tell Us Once service means that you can contact a number of government agencies with just one phone call – more info here.  You will need the deceased’s National Insurance number. (If you cannot locate this from payslips etc, find it here)

You will not be asked about the cause of death, as the registrar will take this information from the doctor’s medical certificate.

It is vital that all the information recorded in the death register is completely correct as mistakes can take quite a bit of time and trouble to put right.  This is why the person registering the death should check the information very carefully before signing the entry.

What certificates are issued?

When you register a death you will be given:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as the green form) – allows the funeral to take place.  In some circumstances a Coroner may issue an alternative certificate allowing the burial or cremation to take place.
  • A Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8/344) – for Social Security purposes.  Please read the back of the form.  If any information applies, please complete the form and return it to your local Social Security office.

You can purchase additional death certificates that you may need for banks, building societies, solicitors, pension claims and insurance claims.

When can a death be registered?

  • A death must be registered within five days of its occurrence unless the registrar says this period may be extended.
  • You need to make an appointment with the Registrar to register a death.
  • In circumstances where a coroner has been informed or has an involvement it may be necessary to wait for the coroner to issue documents to the registrar before an appointment can be made.

Where can I register a death?

  • You can register at the register office for the district in which the death occurred. In this case the certificates you require will be given to you at the time of registration.
  • You can also go to any other register office in England and Wales to make a declaration of the particulars required for registration. Any certificates you require will be sent to you by post. This may cause delay in organising the funeral.
  • You may be able to book an appointment to register the death of someone who has died at a hospital with a Registrar who may be based there in a Bereavement Office. Ask the hospital staff if this is possible.
  • The Bereavement Office at the Royal Stoke University Hospital is located on the ground floor of the Main Building, Newcastle Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6QG

Who can register a death?

If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an occupant of the house/official from the hospital, if that’s where the death occurred
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

Deaths taking place anywhere else can be registered by:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • the person who found the body
  • the person in charge of the body
  • the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

The majority of deaths are registered by a relative of the deceased.  The registrar would normally allow one of the other people listed above to register the death only if there are no relatives available to do it.

Why is a coroner sometimes involved?

Some circumstances require the registrar to report a death to the coroner before the death can be registered.  Examples include:

  • where there is no doctor who can issue a medical certificate of cause of death;
  • where the person was not seen by the doctor issuing the medical certificate after he or she had died, or during the 14 days before the death;
  • where the cause of death is unknown;
  • where the cause of death is believed to be unnatural or suspicious;
  • where the death happened during an operation or before recovery from an anesthetic;
  • where the death is due to industrial disease or industrial poisoning;

The coroner must then decide whether there should be further investigation into the death – and the registrar can’t register the death until the coroner notifies him/her of their decision.

He may decide to:

  • Hold a post-mortem examination, in which case the cause of death will be notified directly to the registrar instead of a medical certificate being issued.
  • Hold an inquest.  In these circumstances the Coroner’s Office or the Registrar will advise you what to do.