Registering a death

Information about how and when to register a death.

An Open Book

Where and when can I register a death?

A death must be registered in the district in which it occurs within five days, unless the registrar extends that period, or if the coroner is involved.

Death registrations take place by appointment at three locations across the borough. It usually takes about 30 minutes to register a death.

Certain information and documentation are required to register a death. To find out how to register a death see the information below or contact the register office. Our staff will be happy to give you details and make your appointment.

For full information about contacting the Barnsley Registration Service follow this link

An appointment can be made as soon as the medical certificate of cause of death has been issued by a medical practitioner. The informant must bring the medical certificate of cause of death with them when they attend the register office.

Where the death occurs in Barnsley and you are unable to visit one of our offices, you can arrange to register the death by declaration at any other register office in England and Wales. The same information must be provided and the declaration will need to be signed. This declaration will be posted to the correct register office. For more information about this service please contact Barnsley register office.

Appointments outside normal office hours can sometimes be arranged.

Who can register a death?

Normally relatives of the deceased register deaths, but others can also do this when there are no relatives.

These can be:

  • a person present at the death
  • a person arranging the funeral (not the undertaker)
  • in certain circumstances others such as the administrator or the occupier of the place where the death took place.

What information is required to register a death?

The following information is required to enable a death to be registered:

The date and place of death

The full name and surname of the deceased (and maiden name where appropriate)

The date and place of birth of the deceased, occupation and the full names and occupation of her husband if the deceased was a married woman or widow

The deceased's usual address

If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership, the date of birth of the spouse or civil partner

Whether the deceased received a pension or allowance from public funds for example: civil service or army pension

Although not essential, the following information would also be useful:

The National Health Service number or the medical card itself of the deceased

Copies of the deceased's birth and marriage certificates

After the death has been registered, what will I receive from the registrar?

A green form will be issued by the registrar or, in some circumstances, by the coroner. This form should be taken to the funeral director to enable the funeral to be arranged.

A registration or notification of death form will also be issued specifically for social security purposes. This form should be completed and returned to any local Department of Social Security office as soon as possible.

It is sometimes necessary to obtain a death certificate from the registrar; this is a certified copy of the information held in the Register. There will be a charge for a certificate(s).

Death certificates will be required by banks, building societies and solicitors. A photocopy is not acceptable. The registrar will discuss with the informant the number of certificates that may be required to deal with the deceased affairs.

What happens if a death is referred to the coroner?

Coroners are officers appointed by the council to investigate any sudden or unexplained death. They can be asked to look into a death by either the doctor or registrar. They are independent of both local and central government and are required to act in accordance with laid down rules and procedures.

If a death is reported to the coroner he has a number of courses of action open to him:

He may decide no action is necessary and inform the registrar that the funeral can proceed as normal.

He may decide to hold a post-mortem examination.

He may decide to hold an inquest.

The coroner's officer will advise you of what to do next if either a post-mortem examination or an inquest is necessary.

When a body is to be taken out of England or Wales

If a body is to be taken out of England or Wales, notice must be given to the coroner for the area where the body is lying. There is no restriction on the removal of bodies within England and Wales but notice is necessary where the removal is to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, as well as abroad.

A form or notice may be obtained from a registrar or a coroner. Any certificate for burial or cremation already issued by the registrar or the coroner must be given to the coroner with the notice. The coroner will say when the removal of the body may take place. This will normally be after four clear days from when the coroner received notice but, if it is urgent, the person giving notice should speak to the coroner, since it may be possible to allow the removal sooner.

Follow this link for fees and charges to register a death

Our staff at the register office will be able to advise on any matter relating to the registration of death. Please contact Barnsley Register Office.

The following websites offer further information:

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