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Register a death

A death must be registered within 5 days, unless a coroner is involved.

All deaths should be registered with the Registrar in the area where the death occurred.

If the death happened in Bedford Borough, but you live elsewhere, you can register the death by making a declaration to any Registrar of Births and Deaths in England or Wales.

They will forward the details of the death and any certificate fee to the correct registration district, who will record the event and issue a certificate by post. 

Book an appointment to register a death

Book an appointment to register a death or call us on 01234 718 028.

Appointments are 30 minutes long.

You may bring a friend or relative with you, if you're upset. The Registrar will understand.

Who can register a death

A death can be registered by:

  • a relative of the person who has died
  • a person present at the time of the death
  • the person who is arranging the funeral
  • the occupier of the house or institution where the person has died, if no-one else is available

What you need to bring

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you. If a Coroner is involved they may send the paperwork direct to us. We cannot register the death without the correct medical paperwork. If you are unsure, please contact us.

When you attend your appointment the Registrar will ask you for the following:

  • when and where the person died
  • their name and address
  • their date and place of birth
  • their occupation
  • your name and address 

If they were married or widowed or were in a civil partnership we will also need to know:

  • the full name and occupation of their wife/husband/civil partner
  • their wife/husband/civil partner’s date of birth
  • any names previously used, eg maiden name

Useful documents to take with you are the person's:

  • passport
  • council tax bill or utility bill
  • driving licence
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • birth certificate, deed poll document
  • NHS medical card

This will help the Registrar to make sure the record is correct but don't worry if you can't find some documents. We can register the death without them as long as you know the information.

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Registry address for appointments

Your confirmation email contains your:

  • booking reference number
  • what you need to bring
  • date, time and location of your appointment

Please enter through the Customer Service Centre entrance on Horne Lane and report to the information point. One of our colleagues will then guide you through to our waiting room.

Civil Registration Service
Bedford Borough Council
Old Town Hall
St Paul's Square
Bedford MK40 1SJ

Email:  civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk
Telephone:  01234 718028 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Death certificates

It is free to register a death and you will receive the following documents automatically and without charge:

  • a green form to be given to the funeral director (if the coroner has not already issued a cremation form)
  • a white BD8 form to be completed and sent by you, with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions
  • within 5 working days of the appointment you will be given a code to use the Tell us Once service

You will almost certainly require at least one death certificate in order to deal with the deceased's affairs. All certificates cost £11 each.

We recommend that you decide how many you require before attending your appointment. All payments must be made by debit or credit card.

Make a change to the record or certificate

Use GOV.UK's correct a death registration if you need to correct the information on a certificate. 

Certified copies of records: order online

You can order copies of death certificates online for a death which took place in Bedford Borough.

You can choose to collect the certified copy at Borough Hall in Bedford or have it posted to you.

Standard issue 

  • order online
  • available in 15 working days
  • collect from Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP or have it sent by Royal Mail second class post
  • standard service is £11 per certificate

Priority service

  • subject to availability
  • call 01234 718028 to arrange a priority service
  • priority certificate orders received by 3pm are available for collection from Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP from 4pm the next working day, or
  • sent by Royal Mail first class post
  • priority service fee is £35 per certificate

We can't guarantee postal delivery as we are reliant on the Royal Mail postage service. We accept no liability for loss, damage or failure of delivery of certificates.

Central Bedfordshire Council hold death certificates registered from 1 May 1999 to 31 March 2009. Contact the Central Bedfordshire Council Registration Service on 0300 300 8089 or life.events@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Register a stillbirth

If you need to register a stillbirth, do not book online. Please telephone 01234 718 028 and ask to speak to the registrar who can talk you through the process.

You can also email us on civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk

You have 42 days in which to register a stillbirth.

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