Register a death

A death must be registered within five days unless the Coroner is involved.

For information on stillbirth registration, please visit our register a stillbirth page.

Who can register a death?

The person who registers the death is called the informant.

A relative should register the death.  A relative is someone who is related to the deceased by blood, marriage, civil partnership, legal adoption or surrogacy.

Unfortunately, if you are not married to, or have not formed a legal civil partnership with the deceased, you are not recognised as a relative.   

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

  • you were present at the death
  • you are in charge of making funeral arrangements

How do I register a death?

A death must be registered in the district where it took place. You can check your local Register Office on GOV.UK.

If the death took place in Bedford Borough, it must be registered in person, by appointment with a Registrar (Monday to Friday) at: 

Bedford Register Office
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP

Step 1 – Medical certificate of cause of death

The GP, hospital or coroner uploads the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) to the Registrar’s online system. You can help by providing the GP or hospital with your email address and asking them to include it when they upload the MCCD.

Appointments to register a death cannot be booked until we have received and reviewed the MCCD.

Step 2 – Online pre-registration form

The informant (the person who will register the death) should complete the pre-registration form below. This form provides the Registrars with your contact details, if they have not been provided by the hospital or GP, together with the details of the deceased.

Complete the death pre-registration form

If you need support to complete the online pre-registration form, and don't have any family or friends who can help, please contact us

Step 3 – Book an appointment to register a death 

Once we have checked the pre-registration form and received the electronic copy of the MCCD from the GP or hospital (and Coroner's paperwork if relevant), we will send the informant an email to invite them to book an appointment to register the death.

If you choose an appointment at Bedford Register Office, you can buy copies of the death certificate online whilst you book the appointment to register the death.

Step 4 – Confirmation of the registration appointment

Once you have booked the appointment, we will send you a confirmation email which will explain what information you will need to give to the registrar at the appointment.

More information about registering a death

We have pulled together answers to the most frequently asked questions about the death registration process. To see the answer to a question, please click on the question heading or the + symbol.

Frequently asked questions about death registration

What information will I need to provide at the death registration appointment?

  • The deceased's full name, including any middle names.
  • The date and place of death (full address).
  • Their ‘condition’ (married, civil partner, widow / widower, surviving civil partner, single or divorced).
  • Maiden surname (if applicable).
  • Any other names they were known by or used.
  • Their legal gender.
  • Their date and place of birth (town and county / London borough or county of birth or, if born outside of the UK, the country of birth).
  • Their last full-time occupation (job role and industry) and if they were retired.
  • Their full usual address.
  • Their National Health Service (NHS) number if you have this.
  • If they were married or in a civil partnership, their spouse’s full name, date of birth and last job title.
  • Your relationship to the deceased - if you are not related by blood, marriage, civil partnership or adoption please read informant's relationship to the deceased section at the top of this page. 
  • Your full name and address.
  • The funeral director's details (name and contact details).
  • The name and location of the burial ground / crematorium and if the deceased will be buried or cremated.


How much does it cost to register a death?

There is no cost to register a death.

Copies of the death certificate cost £12.50 each. You can order and pay for copies of the death certificate online when you book your appointment to register the death.

Will I be given any documents at the end of the registration?

The registrar will issue a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (known as the green form) for you to give to the funeral director when you to make the funeral arrangements. 

If you have purchased any copies of the death certificate in advance these will be issued to you during the appointment. The death certificate is a legal document. The person registering the death (the informant) is responsible for making sure that all the information supplied to the registrar is correct.

You will also be given a unique reference number to access the Tell Us Once service

When can I make the funeral arrangements?

You can start to make arrangements for the funeral, but you should not confirm them until after the death has been registered. At your appointment we will ask if the deceased is to be buried or cremated and who will be dealing with the funeral arrangements. This information will be included on the paperwork we issue.

If you are arranging for the body to be taken out of England, please contact the Coroner.

Why do I need copies of the death certificate and where / how do I buy them?

You may need copies of the death certificate for:

  • Dealing with the will
  • Bank and building society accounts
  • Insurance companies
  • Tax rebates

If you choose to register the death at Bedford Register Office (at Borough Hall, Bedford), you can buy copies of the death certificate online whilst you book the appointment to register the death.

If you choose to register the death at the Register Office in Ampthill, you cannot buy copies of the death certificate online in advance.

You can also buy copies of the death certificate whilst at your appointment either in Bedford or in Ampthill. 

Copies of the death certificate cost £11 each.

What if I don’t speak or understand English?

If English is not your first language you will need to bring an interpreter with you to your registration appointment. The interpreter does not have to be a professional, they can be a family member or a friend.

What if I can’t get to Bedford to register the death?

A death registration must be completed in person, but we understand it is not always possible for the informant to get to Bedford for the appointment. You can make an appointment at a register office closer to where you live where you can complete a declaration with the registrar, who will then send us all the information we need to be able to complete the death registration in Bedford Borough. 

You will be able to order death certificates directly from us, which will be posted to you once we have completed the death registration. 

I need to register a death in another part of the UK – can you help?

Deaths that occurred outside Bedford Borough cannot be registered by our Registrars. However, you can book a ‘declaration’ appointment with us. At a declaration appointment, we take all the information from you and send it to the Registrars where the death occurred, and then they will complete the death registration. Before your declaration appointment with us, you must contact the Registrar in the place where the death occurred. This is so that you can order copies of the death certificate, and so that they can issue the ‘green’ form.

What if the death is referred to a Coroner or involves an inquest?

If the death was referred to the coroner, they will send us the documents we need directly.

In the event of an Inquest you do not need to make an appointment with us. The death will be registered using the coroner’s paperwork, after which you can order certified copies of the death certificates from our website.

Can I order a copy of a death certificate after registration?

Yes, you can order more copies of the death certificate please from our website. We will process your order within 15 working days and post the copy certificate(s) to you (second class mail).

Can I change the details on a death certificate?

You can find out about applying for a formal correction on a death certificate by visiting A fee is charged for corrections.