Register a death
In response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and following advice from Government, all non-essential face to face registration and ceremonial services have been suspended until further notice. We are sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this will cause and will rebook as soon as possible. The safety of our customers, community and staff is our first priority, and our principal focus is to ensure we are able to continue the essential work of registering deaths during the crisis.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
Registering a death during the Coronavirus pandemic:
The provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 have now been commenced by regulation. From Monday 30 March 2020 and for the duration of the pandemic period, deaths will be registered by telephone appointment.
There will be no requirement for relatives to collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death from the hospital, care home or GP. A scan of the signed certificate can be sent to the registrar directly at email@example.com.
The green certificate for burial or cremation will be transmitted electronically to the Funeral Director, crematorium or cemetery office.
There will be no requirement for customers to attend our office in person. The office will be closed to the public. Please continue to make an appointment in the usual way and await the registrar’s call at the scheduled appointment time.
Deaths in Wandsworth
If the death took place in the London Borough of Wandsworth it has to be registered at Wandsworth Register Office. Telephone appointments are available Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm.
You will need to book an appointment. If the death was referred to the Coroner please contact the Register Office first on 020 8871 6120 to ensure the necessary paperwork has been received.
You are legally required to register a death within five days. The death must be registered at the register office in the borough where the death took place.
If there is an investigation into the death, with the Coroner involved, the death may be registered outside of the five days. If the investigation leads to an inquest then the registration will take place once the inquest has been held. The Coroner will contact the family to let them know when they are able to obtain death certificates from the register office.
Deaths outside of Wandsworth
If the death took place outside of the London Borough of Wandsworth, a declaration can be completed and sent to the register office for that area. You will not be issued with a death certificate or burial or cremation certificate at the declaration. Your documents will be posted to you after the registration has been completed by that office. Please contact the receiving office to ask how payments can be made for certificates.
Who can register a death
Qualified informants can register a death. A qualified informant can be:
- A relative
- A person who was present at the death
- The occupier of the premises where the death occurred. The informant must either be the Senior Resident Officer or Matron of the establishment where the death occurred
- The person arranging the funeral (not the funeral director). A person arranging the funeral should only register a death if there are no relatives available
- If the informant does not speak or understand English, they need to bring someone who can translate for them.
- The Funeral Director (under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020).
£11 per certificate (statutory fee).
Certificates can be applied for online following the registration.
What we will need
- Medical certificate of cause of death - issued by the certifying Doctor.
- Coroners post mortem form - issued from the Coroner.
If available, please have the following to refer to in relation to the deceased:
- Passports or birth certificates
- Marriage or civil partnership certificates (if applicable)
Information we will need
Details of the deceased:
- Date and place of death
- First name, middle names (if applicable), and surname
- Any other names the deceased was otherwise or previously known by
- Maiden name (if applicable)
- Date and place of birth
- Occupation and whether retired or not
Details of the spouse/civil partner of deceased:
- First name, middle names (if applicable), and surname
- If deceased or not
- If retired or not
- Date of birth
Documents we will issue
- Green certificate for burial or cremation - separate procedures apply where the death has been referred to the Coroner.
- Form for the Department of Work and Pensions
- Unique number to access the Tell Us Once service
- Death certificate
Out of hours Emergency Burial Certificate Service
Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic we are unable to guarantee the availability of the weekend on-call service. We will continue to do our best to provide this additional service while staffing levels allow.
An on-call service is available on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays between 9am and 11am. This service is for the issue of burial certificates required for a funeral that is to take place within 24 hours.
The on-call registrar will issue the burial certificate if:
- You can provide confirmation that the burial is to take place within 24 hours
- You have a correctly completed medical certificate of cause of death from the doctor
- The death does not have to be referred to the coroner
- You are qualified to register the death
There is no basis in law for the mortuary or persons holding the body to require sight of the green Certificate for Burial or Cremation in order to release the body. The certificate is not intended for this purpose and will not be issued unless the criteria above are met.
Council switchboard emergency line: 020 8871 6000