Register a death

On this page:

  • What you need to do when someone dies
  • What happens if the death is referred to the Coroner
  • Who can register a death
  • The appointment
  • What documents you will receive from the registrar
  • Tell us Once
  • Correct a death registration
  • Register a Stillbirth
  • Emergency out of hours services

What you need to do when someone dies

A death must be registered within five days from the date it occurred. This period can be extended if the Coroner is involved and in some other exceptional circumstances. The registration must take place in the district where the death occurred. 

We are undertaking all death registration appointments by telephone only.  

If the death occurred in the Wakefield District the Doctor will email us a copy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.  On receipt of the paperwork from the Doctor we will contact the next of kin to arrange an appointment.  If you are the next of kin and have not heard from us within 2 days of the date of death please telephone 0345 4 852 888 to check we have the paperwork and to schedule an appointment. If we have not received the paperwork you will need to contact the Doctor directly to ask them to forward this.

If the death occurred outside of the Wakefield District please contact the local register office to arrange an appointment with them directly. 


A death must be registered within five days from the date it occurred. This period can be extended if the Coroner is involved and in some other exceptional circumstances. The registration must take place in the district where the death occurred. 

We are undertaking all death registration appointments by telephone only.  

If the death occurred in the Wakefield District the Doctor will email us a copy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.  On receipt of the paperwork from the Doctor we will contact the next of kin to arrange an appointment.  If you are the next of kin and have not heard from us within 2 days of the date of death please telephone 0345 4 852 888 to check we have the paperwork and to schedule an appointment. If we have not received the paperwork you will need to contact the Doctor directly to ask them to forward this.

If the death occurred outside of the Wakefield District please contact the local register office to arrange an appointment with them directly. 

What happens if the death is referred to the coroner

In some cases a death will be referred to the Coroner for investigation. Once the Corners investigations are completed he/she will contact you and will provide written notification to the registrar for the registration to proceed.

Inquests – if an inquest is held the Coroner will inform the registrar once the inquest is over and the death will be registered.  You do not need an appointment to register.  You will need to contact us to purchase any death certificates.   

Coroner court diary;  https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/births-marriages-deaths/deaths/coroner/coroners-court-diary

Who can register a death

The primary responsibility for registering a death rests with the closest relative by blood or marriage.  If no relative is available to register, please contact us for advice.

The appointment

You will be given an appointment time and a registrar will contact you by telephone from a witheld number 10 minutes either side of this time.  If you have not been contacted within the time frame allocated please telephone 0345 4 852 888.  

The registrar will require certain information from you to register the death. This can be found here.

Documents relating to the deceased that may be helpful at the point of registration;

  • Passport and/ or Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Address i.e. utility bill
  • Deed Poll (if applicable)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Marriage and /or Civil Partnership Certificates – including any from previous relationships which are available 
What documents you will receive from the registrar

After the appointment we will email you to confirm the registration is complete, any certificates you have purchased will be sent 1st class in the post along with the DWP form BD8.  The email will contain a PDF document regarding the Tell Us Once service.

  • Death certificate (£11 each).  Additional copies of the death certificate can be purchased, should you need to produce a copy to a solicitor, private pension company, insurance company etc.
  • Form BD8, Certificate for Department of Work & Pensions
  • Form 9 (green form) - the forms required to proceed with the funeral arrangements will be sent electronically at the end of the day to the relevant Councils Bereavement Services Team. 
Tell us Once

Is a service offered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  Tell us Once will contact government and local council services on your behalf, following a death registration. The registrar will send you a document which contains a unique reference number so you can use the service online or by phone. For more information visist https://www.gov.uk/after-a-death/organisations-you-need-to-contact-and-tell-us-once .

Correct a death registration

If you notice a mistake in the registration after the appointment you can apply for a correction.  In some cases the correction will need approval from the General Register Office before the Registrar can change it.

You need to;

  • Contact us to discuss the type of correction needed and how to make application
  • Complete an application form stating what the error is and how it was made.    Documentary evidence showing the correct information will need to be produced in order for the correction to be authorised and you will need to return any certificates you previously purchased for destruction.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-form-to-correct-details-on-a---death-registration

It costs £75 or £90 to apply for a correction. If you wish to purchase a copy of the certificate after correction it costs £11 per copy.

Register a Stillbirth

When a child is stillborn, a doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth.  A stillbirth must be registered within 42 days, in the district in which it takes place.

We are undertaking still birth registration appointments by telephone only.  

On receipt of the paperwork from the Doctor we will contact you to arrange an appointment.  If you have not heard from us within 2 days of the date your baby was born please telephone 0345 4 852 888 to check we have the paperwork and to schedule an appointment. 

Who can register a stillbirth?

Parents married to each other

If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.

Parents not married to each other

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the stillbirth (or conception) information about the father may be entered in the register in the following circumstances:

  • If the mother and father are both present for the telephone appointment
  • Where the father is unable to to be present for the telephone appointment with the mother, the father makes a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother must provide to the registrar (please contact us for the relevant form)
  • Where the mother is unable to be present for the telephone appointment with the father the mother makes a statutory declaration acknowledging the fathers paternity which the father must produce to the registrar (please contact us for the relevant form)

If the parents of the child are unable to register the stillbirth please contact the register office for advice.

The appointment

You will be asked to confirm the following information during your appointment:

  • Details of when and where the stillbirth occurred
  • The child's full name (if you wish to name the child)

For the mother:

  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Maiden surname of the mother is, or has been married
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth or, if not employed at the time, the last occupation
  • Usual address
  • Date of marriage, if married to the baby's father at the time of the stillbirth.

For the father (where this information is to be entered in the register):

  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth, or if not employed at that time, the last occupation

What documents will you receive from the registrar?

  • Certificate of registration - A certificate of registration will be issued, free of charge and be sent to you by 1st class post
  • Certificate for burial or cremation - The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the stillborn child and this will be sent electronically at the end of the day to the relevant Councils Bereavement Services Team.  

How can I get help and support with bereavement?

You may find it helpful to seek help and support from your GP, community midwife or health visitor.

Support groups can also help if you have had a stillbirth.

The Stillbirth and neonatal death society (SANDS) provides support for anyone affected by the death of a baby. The charity runs a helpline, provides information and support literature and funds research into the causes of stillbirth.

Tel: 020 74365881

www.uk-sands.org

Emergency out of hours service

A service is available for anyone who needs to make urgent burial arrangements or who requires documentation to remove a body out of England.

This service is available between 9am and 10am each Sunday and Bank Holiday and can  be accessed by contacting Wakefield Council Contact Centre on 0845 8 506 506.   Helpful information is provided in our leaflet 'Guidance for Bereaved Families'


Contact us

Wakefield Register Office

Wakefield Town Hall
Wood Street
Wakefield
WF1 2HQ

0345 4 852 888