Registering a death

Register Offices are currently ONLY open for pre-booked death appointments, and some birth appointments.

  • Our staff will contact you if your appointment needs to be re-scheduled
  • Do not turn up without an appointment under any circumstances
  • No cash payments, payment by debit / credit card only (we can ring someone during your appointment to take payment by phone if you don’t own one)
  • You can still order copy certificates on-line, as these are all posted out
  • Only the qualified informant should attend.

Anyone who is displaying symptoms should not attend Registration appointments and instead heed Government advice to self isolate at home for 14 days. 

Unless the Coroner is involved, you must register the death within five days at any of our offices in Cambridgeshire (which may not be your closest). You must ideally be a member of the family. If this is not possible it should be someone who was present at the death, the person instructing the funeral director or the occupier of the premises in which the death occurred.

Please use the online form below to book an appointment to register a death with the registrar if the death occurred in Cambridgeshire. If the death occurred outside Cambridgeshire, you can still register the death by declaration which means we take the information from you and send the paperwork to the relevant county who will issue the paperwork. This will cause a delay to the arrangements. Please telephone 0345 045 1363 to make an appointment to register a death by declaration.

Please ensure you read and answer the questions carefully to ensure we are able to complete the appointment as wrong information may result in you having to re-book.

All offices operate on an appointment basis. Please be prompt for your appointment. If you are more than five minutes late you may have to make another appointment. Please remember to bring your debit / credit card to pay for the certificates you require. Reception services are only available in Cambridge.

What the registrar will need to know

When registering a death you will need to take the following:

  • medical certificate of the cause of death signed by a doctor (If the death has been referred to the coroner, please do not make an appointment until you have been told by the Coroner's Office that you can do so. In some instances, you will still need the medical certificate from the doctor, and you will be informed if this applies. Please check the documentation required carefully so that the registration can go ahead).
  • It will be helpful to take along some documents with you to confirm the details you are giving to the registrar. Please bring any of the following: passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, utility bills, change of name deeds and NHS medical card for the person who has died; and your own passport, driving licence or utility bill. Please don't worry if you can't find documents or forget to bring them, the registration can still go ahead.

You will need to tell the registrar

  • the person's full name at time of death and any names previously used, including maiden surname
  • the person's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • if they were getting a state pension or any other state benefit

Documents you will receive

If a post-mortem is not being held, the registrar will give you a certificate for burial or cremation (called the 'green form'), giving permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated.

In all cases, the registrar will give you a certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for social security purposes if the person was on a state pension or benefits (read the information on the back, complete and return it, if it applies).

Death certificates cost £11.00 each, please take your debit/credit card with you for payment. The registrar will also give you a booklet called 'What to do after a death' (with advice on wills, funerals and financial help). If you need to apply for certificates at any stage after attending your appointment please see our certificates and family history webpage.

Any correction requested to a death entry will have to be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of £75 or £90 (dependent on whether the correction can be done locally or has to be referred to General Register Office). Any correction application must be made in the district where the event occurred. We therefore request that you check the register page very carefully before signing to avoid the need to make corrections.

Tell Us Once

The council offers local residents help to notify central or local government when they have had a family bereavement. You can find more about Tell Us Once on the GOV.UK website. The registrar will give you a unique reference number so that you can tell different government departments and agencies about the death either online or by phone.

Registering a death out of hours

An emergency “out of hours” service is available in exceptional circumstances, such as where the burial is actually taking place before the next working day, provided the legal requirements to register can be met. Please note that registration is not required for a body to be released from a mortuary nor for funeral rites and ceremonies (without the actual burial) to take place.

If you need to contact the council when the Contact Centre is closed (open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday, excluding bank holidays), then please telephone Cambridgeshire Constabulary on 101.

Body donation

Body donations are highly valued by staff and students at medical schools. A donated body can be used for a number of purposes, which may include:

  • Anatomical examination - teaching students or healthcare professionals about the structure and function of the human body
  • Research - scientific studies to improve the understanding of the human body
  • Education and training - training healthcare professionals on surgical techniques

Further information can be found from the Human Tissue Authority.

Moving a body

There is no restriction on moving a body within England and Wales, but you need to tell the coroner for the district if you want to move a body to Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, or overseas. To do this you will need to fill out a form, which you can get from a coroner.

You will need to give the completed form to the coroner, along with any certificate for burial or cremation. The coroner will let you know when the body can be moved - usually after four days. However, in urgent situations, the whole process can usually be fast-tracked.

If somebody dies abroad, there is no need to register here. You can obtain information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.