Registering a death

A Doctor Referral Form to the Coroner should be used by Doctors completing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, where discussion is required with the Coroner's Office, or making a report of a death where the Coroner has a statutory duty to investigate. Doctor referrals can no longer be made by phone.

Unless the Coroner is involved, you must register the death within five days. 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.

Booking an appointment to register a death

Appointments to register a death will take place by telephone until further notice. Please use the online form below to book an appointment with the registrar if the death occurred in Cambridgeshire.

  • Our staff will contact you if your appointment needs to be re-scheduled
  • No cash payments, payment by debit / credit card only
  • You can still order copy certificates on-line, these will be posted out

 We regret that we are currently unable to register deaths that took place outside of the Cambridgeshire registration district 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.

During your appointment

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 afterwards

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 have 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.