Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships

How to Register a Death

When someone dies, it is a legal requirement that their death must be registered with the register office within 5 calendar days after they have died. It is best to use the register office in the area where the person died.

The doctor who treated the person during their last illness will usually issue a medical certificate of Cause of Death. You should give this certificate to the Registrar of Births and Deaths for the district where the person died.

If the death has been reported to the Coroner. The informant will need to wait until the registrar has a certificate from the Coroner. You will be told if this is the case.

Who can register the death

The following people can register a person’s death:

  • A relative.
  • Someone who was with the person when they died.
  • Someone who is arranging the funeral (but not a Funeral Director).
  • An administrator  from the hospital. 

It is possible for other people to register the death in certain circumstances. If you are unsure whether you can register, please telephone the Register Office and they will be able to advise you. Our contact details can be found in the contact information tab above.

The process to register a death on the Isle of Wight

If the person died on the Isle of Wight, you should register their death at the Isle of Wight Register Office. You will need to make an appointment within five calendar days of the death, our contact details can be found in the contact information tab above.

Please note: We are not open at weekends.

If you do not live on the Isle of Wight, or it would be difficult for you to attend the Isle of Wight office, you can take the information to any other Registrar of Births and Deaths in England or Wales. This is known as registering by declaration. The death will not be registered in the registers office you have attended, but the information will be taken and posted to the Isle of Wight Register Office. Once the information has been received the correct documents will be sent to you immediately.

Please be aware registering the death at a register office which is not local to the death may delay the process and could interfere with the funeral arrangements.

When should I register a death

You should usually register a death within 5 days. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Registrar may agree to delay this.

Once you have made your appointment at the Isle of Wight registers office you will need to bring the following documents, in order to register the death:

  • The medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor).

If you have them please also bring the deceased person’s: 

  • birth certificate;
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate;
  • NHS medical card.

The information the registrar will need

The Registrar will need the following information about the person who has died:

  • The date and place of their death.
  • Their full name - and any previous names they have used .
  • Their date of birth and where they were born (usually just the town and county).
  • Their occupation - if now retired, the last or main occupation before retirement.
  • Their last address.
  • Your full name and usual address.
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner

If the person who has died was a married woman, the Registrar will also need to know:

  • Her maiden surname.
  • Her husband’s full name.
  • Her husband’s occupation - if retired, the last or main occupation before retirement.

General Information

The Registrar will also ask if the person who has died was in receipt of any pension or allowance from Government or public funds e.g. Civil Service, Naval Base, Armed Forces etc. This will be required so that the Registrar can forward a Form 111 directly to the organisation, so that the pension payments can be adjusted/withdrawn.

The documents you will be issued

Once the death has been registered the Registrar will give you:

  • A white certificate (form BD8) with a pre-paid envelope which you need to fill out and return to the Department of Work and Pensions about the death.
  • A certificate for Burial or Cremation (green form) - this gives permission for burial or an application for cremation, the  Funeral Director will need this to arrange the funeral.
  • If the death has been reported to the Coroner, the Registrar may tell you that a burial or cremation certificate has already been issued directly to the Funeral Director.  If this is the case, you will not need the green form.

There is no charge for registering a death

The white form BD8 and the green form for the Funeral Director are the only free forms with which you will be issued.

However, you will need to pay for each copy of the death certificate that you may need for informing banks, building societies, insurance companies, solicitor etc. copy certificates are currently:

  • £4.00 each on the day of registration only 
  • £7.00 within a month of the registration date.
  • After the register has been archived, the charge increases to £10.00 per certificate.

You can buy the copy death certificates from the registrar's office, please pay by cash or card. Or you can use our online form found in the 'Do it online' tab above, to order copy death certificates.

'Tell Us Once' service

Following the death registration, the registrar is able to offer the 'Tell Us Once' service; this free service notifies both central and local government agencies on behalf of the informant/family. 'Tell Us Once' can notify services such as State Pension and other related benefits, HM Revenue and Customs, Identity and Passport Service, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Council Tax, Electoral Services, Libraries, Blue Badge etc. To make best use of this service, please bring any associated documents to the registration.