When should I register a death?
In England and Wales, you normally need to register the death within 5 days.
As soon as the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been issued to you by the General Practioner or hospital doctor you should:
You will need to take this certificate to the appointment and hand it to the Registrar.
What if the death was referred to the Coroner?
Around 60% of the deaths in Torbay are referred to the Coroner.
Once a death has been reported to the Coroner, the Registrar is unable to go ahead with the registration until the Coroner has decided whether any further investigation into the death is necessary. In the vast majority of cases no further investigation is necessary and the registration may be completed straightaway.
Who can register a death?
If the person died in a house or hospital, the death can be registered by:
- a relative
- someone present at the death
- an occupant of the house (if a private residence)
- the owner/manager/matron of the residential home or hospital administrator where the death occurred
- the person responsible for arranging the funeral (but not the Funeral Director)
Most deaths are registered by a relative. The registrar would normally only allow other people if there are no relatives available.
Where should I register a death?
It's best to go to the registry office in the area in which the person died, otherwise it may take longer to get the necessary documents and this could delay the funeral arrangements.
If the death occurred within the District of Torbay, you need to make an appointment with the Torbay Register Office.
If it is not convenient for you to register the death in the district where it occurred you may prefer to make a declaration of the death in another district.
How does registration by declaration work?
The registrar will record the details in the form of a declaration and send it to the registrar for the district where the death occurred. The registrar who receives the declaration will enter the information in the death register.
Certificates of the death, which can usually be ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration, as well as the document for the burial or cremation, will be posted by the registrar for the district where the death took place.
If a declaration is made, it may take a day or two longer for the document for burial or cremation to be issued. The family should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar so as to avoid any delay to the funeral.
What if the death did not occur in the Torbay District?
If the death occurred outside of Torbay and it is inconvenient for you to go to the district where the death took place, you may prefer to make a declaration of the death in Torbay. For more information call our helpline on 01803 207130.
What if the death occurred abroad?
The British Consul will support you by offering practical advice and help with funeral arrangements and other formalities such as inquests.
If the person died while on a package holiday, the tour operator will be able to contact funeral directors and British Consular staff for you.
For further information see Directgov: When someone dies abroad .
- Registrar Enquiries
- Tel: 01803 207130
- Fax: 01803 525388