Register a death

Bereavement guide

We know just how diffcult a time it can be when someone close to us dies. The feelings of shock, sadness, loss and bewilderment can take over our lives. It is also a time when there are so many things to be done, just when we feel least able to do them.

The Council’s Registration and Bereavement service has produced this bereavement guide to help you through this difficult time. It provides guidance, support and reassurance and will help you to access all the information you will need to help you through your bereavement.

Read our Bereavement guide for further information.

Who can register a death?

People who have a legal responsibility to register a death include:

  • A relative
  • A person present at the death
  • The occupier of the premises where the person died if he/she knew about it
  • The person responsible for arranging the funeral (this does not include the funeral director).

You should normally register a death within five days but this can be extended under certain circumstances.

You can register at the register office in the district where the death occurred, or you can go to any register office in England and Wales and make a declaration of the particulars required. However, if you make a declaration, there will be a slight delay in receiving certificates and paperwork.

Book an appointment

You will need an appointment to register a death. Our office hours can be found on our facilities and opening hours webpage.

What will the registrar ask me?

A registrar will talk to you privately and will ask you for:

  • the date and place of death
  • the full name of the deceased (and maiden surname if appropriate)
  • the date and place of birth
  • the occupation of the deceased and the full name and occupation of their spouse or civil partner
  • the deceased's usual home address
  • details of any public sector pension
  • the date of birth of the deceased's surviving spouse or civil partner
  • the NHS medical card number for the deceased if available
  • the medical certificate of cause of death from the doctor, if a coroner is not involved

When the registration is complete, the registrar will ask you to check that all the information is correct before signing the register. You should check the information carefully before signing. Once the register is signed the registrar will not always be able to correct any errors immediately and may have to apply to the Registrar General for authority to correct.

The registrar will then give you a "green form" which will allow you to arrange the funeral and a form for Social Security purposes (BD8). There is no charge for these forms.

Where the Coroner is involved a different procedure may apply.

Documents that you will need to bring with you

To help us to make sure we accurately record deaths it would be helpful if you could bring any of the following documents with you to the appointment:

To confirm the deceased person's details:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Proof of address (utility bill)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Any change of name documents or deeds
  • All birth and marriage or civil partnership certificates of the deceased

To confirm the identity of the person registering the death:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Proof of address (utility bill)

Not being able to provide these documents will not prevent you from registering the death. However, it would be helpful to provide them wherever possible so that we can make sure our records are accurate.

Death certificates

At the time of registration, you can purchase a certified copy of the entry in the register (death certificate) for £4 each. This cost rises to £7 immediately after the day of registration and then to £10 one month after the register has been filled and closed.

Therefore, you should consider how many certificates you might need early on in order to minimise the costs. Certificates are Crown Copyright and should not be photocopied for official purposes.

The following is a guide to your possible needs:

  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Funeral directors
  • Pension companies
  • Premium bonds and national savings
  • Life insurance/assurance
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Council tax
  • Probate and wills
  • Accountants
  • Inland Revenue
  • Shares
  • Travel bookings
  • Council housing

Registration of a Jewish or Muslim death

We recognise that in some faiths, burial has to take place within 24 hours of death.

To ensure that loved ones can be buried meeting the religious timescales, if the death occurred in the Caerphilly district, a Registrar is available 24 hours a day to register the death and issue appropriate paperwork for a funeral to take place. The number to call for urgent death registration in these circumstances is 07771 886895 or 07813 094234.

The following document has been prepared by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Local Government Association and endorsed by the Faith Communities Forum.

WLGA - Planning a Muslim burial?

Tell Us Once

When someone has died, there are many things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. One of these is contacting government departments and local council services who need to be told of the death.

'Tell Us Once' is a service where we help you give the information to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), they then pass it on to a number of other government departments and local authority services.

Bereaved families are offered this service at the register office following the registration of the death.

Further information is available on the Tell Us Once section.

Tell Us Once Privacy Statement

This service is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and you can be assured that any information you provide will only be used in accordance with this Privacy Statement. This statement explains how we will use and protect any information that you give us when you use this service.

Tell Us Once Privacy Statement (PDF)

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