The hospital or coroner will let the Register Office know when a person dies. We will usually contact you to register the person's death.

If the person died outside of Sutton, you can contact us to pass on the person's information to the right register office.

You can follow a step-by-step on what to do when someone dies on GOV.UK.

Who can register a death

A relative must register the death.  A relative being a person related to the deceased by blood, marriage, civil partnership or by legal adoption.  Unfortunately, an unmarried partner is not recognised as a relative.   

If there are no relatives, you can only register if:

  • you were present at the death; 


  • you are the person making the funeral arrangements

Deaths that have been referred to the coroner

If the death has been referred to the coroner we must await further instruction from them. The coroner will keep you informed of the next steps.

You can read more about what to do after a death is reported to a coroner on GOV.UK

What you need to register a death

You'll need to have confirmation that either:

  • a medical certificate of the cause of death from the GP or hospital has been issued and the Medical Examiner team has confirmed with you.


  • the coroner’s paperwork has been issued and the Coroner service has confirmed with you

The document is always transferred directly to the Register Office by the GP, hospital, or coroner.  

Other useful documents to have

  • the person’s birth Certificate
  • their marriage or civil partnership certificate(s)
  • their NHS medical card

What the registrar will need to know

The registrar will need to ask you some questions about the person who has died. They will also ask about their spouse or civil partner if they had one.

Information about the person who’s died

  • date and place of death
  • first name, middle names (if they had any), and surname
  • any other names they were known as or had before, including maiden name
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation and whether they were retired or not
  • address

Information about the spouse or civil partner of the person

  • first name, middle names (if any), and surname
  • date of birth
  • if they are deceased or not
  • occupation and whether they are retired or not

What the registrar will give you after a death

  • a certificate for burial or cremation (called the green form) - this gives permission for the funeral director to make the necessary arrangements for the funeral 
  • a Tell Us Once unique reference number
  • certified copies of the death entry

Tell Us Once

The Tell Us Once service lets you tell most government organisations that a person has died in one go. 

When you register a death, a registrar will explain the process to you. 

You can read more about Tell Us Once on GOV.UK.

Out of hours emergency burial certificate service

An on-call service is available on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays between 9am and 10am. This service is for the issue of burial certificates required for a funeral that is to take place within 24 hours. The on-call registrar will issue the burial certificate if:

  • Confirmation that the burial is to take place within 24 hours can be provided
  • The Register Office has received the correctly completed Medical Certificate of cause of death from the doctor in medical attendance *please note all MCCD are now scrutinised by the Medical examiner team. The Medical Examiner Officer will discuss with you prior to forwarding the certificate to the Register Office.
  • If the death has been referred to the Coroner Service the burial certificate cannot be issued by a Registrar
  • You are qualified to register the death

To contact the Duty Registrar, please call the council’s out of hours emergency line: 07736338361 (9am-10am only)