Register a death
Customer update on coronavirus
Death registrations are now being carried out by telephone appointment only.
Deaths should be registered in the district in which the death occurred. We register deaths that occur in Bracknell Forest.
By law, a death needs to be registered within 5 days - this includes weekends and bank holidays. This doesn't apply if a coroner is investigating the circumstances leading to the death.
Before you can register a death, the registrar will need a medical certificate. This will be sent directly from the doctor to the registrar.
If a post-mortem is required, the coroner will send the paperwork directly to the register office. The coroner’s office will let you know this has been done so that you can arrange an appointment to register the death.
In some cases after post-mortem the coroner can start an inquest into the death. This might happen if the cause of death is sudden or unexpected or found to be not of natural causes.
For more information, see GOV.UK - what to do when someone dies.
If you are not able to get to the district of death, you can make a declaration at any register office in England or Wales. They will complete the declaration and send the documents to the register office in the district where the death occurred.
However, you will have to wait for that district to register the death, before you can get a certificate for cremation or burial (green form) or death certificate. This could cause delays in dealing with the deceased's funeral arrangements and estate.
Tell us once
When you book an appointment, you can ask to use the free tell us once service.
Using tell us once means the register office can help you to tell all the government departments and local council services on your behalf.
You can use this service if you are next of kin or the person dealing with the deceased's estate. If you are neither of these, you can still use the service if you have their written permission to provide their details and act on their behalf.
For more information about tell us once see GOV.UK - Tell us once.
Who can register a death
The following people may register a death (in order of preference):
- a relative of the deceased (normally by blood or marriage, for example husband, wife, daughter, son, cousin, son-in-law)
- a person present at the death
- the occupier of the premises where the death occurred (if they knew about it)
- the person who is arranging the funeral (this does not include the funeral director)
Book a telephone appointment
An telephone appointment is required to register a death. Please contact Customer Services on 01344 352000 to make an appointment.
If you need to register a death on religious grounds during a weekend or bank holiday, please call Forestcare on 01344 786500.
If you will need any special assistance at your appointment, please tell us at the time of booking the appointment.
Death certificate fees
Death certificates are £11 each and can be paid for in advance to save you time at the appointment.
You will need certificates to sort out the person’s affairs. Most families buy 5 or 6 copies.
The register office is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm (excluding bank holidays).
At the appointment
If there is a post-mortem by the coroner, the coroner will issue the relevant documentation directly to the register office and will advise you of this.
At your appointment, the registrar will ask you these questions to get the information needed for the registration:
- full name and surname at the time of death
- any names previously used, for example maiden name
- 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
- whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits
- their NHS number (if you have it)
If available please have ready the deceased's:
- birth certificate
- council tax bill
- driving licence
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS medical card
- proof of address (for example a utility bill)
The registrar will then read out the death registration document for you to check. The certificate for cremation or burial is sent directly to the funeral director.
At your appointment you can pay for death certificates which will be posted to you.
If you use tell us once, you will receive a letter which details your reference number and the departments you have asked us to notify.
Extra items you may need for tell us once
If you are using tell us once, you may need the following information.
- National Insurance number
- driving licence (if valid)
- UK passport (if valid)
- blue badge parking pass
- details of public sector pensions (for example civil service/teacher/armed forces)
We may also ask you for information about:
- their next of kin
- their next of kin NI number
- the person dealing with their estate
If you are not the next of kin or the person dealing with the estate, you must get agreement from them if you are going to provide us with information about them.
After the appointment
If you have used tell us once, the government departments may contact you to confirm the relevant processing has been completed. If you have not heard from a department within 28 days, you can contact the tell us once service who will follow up matters on your behalf.
Due to the secure nature in which your information is treated, the register office will not be informed of any correspondence between you and the department. We are not able to contact other departments for you once the appointment is complete.
Arranging a funeral
You can find information about arranging a funeral on our Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium webpages.
The death notification service
The death notification service is a free, online service that allows you to tell participating banks and building societies of a death.
To find out more, visit the death notification service website.
We are committed to making sure your information is protected. Our privacy statement tells you how we will use and protect the information you provide when you use the service.
Please remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that all organisations that pay you a benefit/credit or provide a service to you, have correct and up to date information about you.