Registering a death

Book an appointment to register a death in West Sussex. You are legally required to do this within 5 days.

1 Book an appointment

If the death occurred in West Sussex, you can book an appointment to register at any of our Registration Offices.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) registration update

In line with the General Registrar’s instructions for implementation of Coronavirus (emergency) Act 2020, all registration appointments will now be conducted by telephone. Please book your appointment as normal following the link below, but do not attend the Registration Office.

Whilst we will do our best to contact you during the allotted half hour, this may not be possible, so please bear with us and you will get a call that day.

If you have the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) from the doctor, please drop it in to one of our offices in Crawley, Chichester, Haywards Heath or Worthing prior to your telephone appointment.

For further advice or to book an appointment, you can phone 01243 642122. Where possible, please book your telephone appointment by using our online service in the first instance as we are experiencing high call volumes.

Book your appointment online (external link)

You must have the medical cause of death certificate from the doctor before you can register a death. If the death is referred to the coroner they will issue the medical paperwork directly to the registrar. The coroner's officer will usually contact you when the paperwork has been completed so you can make an appointment to register the death.

At your appointment the registrar will give you details of the Tell Us Once service. This service lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. 

2 Who can register a death

You can register the death if you’re:

  • a relative
  • someone present at the death
  • an administrator from the hospital
  • the person making arrangements with the funeral directors.
Book your appointment online (external link)

3 What you need to do

Take the medical certificate showing the cause of death (signed by a doctor) with you.

If available, also take the person’s:

  • birth certificate
  • Council Tax bill
  • driving licence
  • marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • National Health Service (NHS) number/medical card - this is a unique 10-digit code issued to every person who uses the NHS for medical care. The number is displayed in the 3-3-4 format on medical cards and documents. We do not require the NI number used to identify what tax code the person is on in the UK.
  • passport
  • proof of address (for example, a utility bill).

What you’ll need to tell the registrar

The details the registrar will need to know about the deceased are:

  • their full name at the time of death
  • any names previously used, for example, maiden name
  • their date and place of birth
  • their last address
  • their occupation
  • the full name, date of birth and occupation of any surviving or late spouse or civil partner
  • whether they were getting a State Pension or any other benefits.

You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address (such as a utility bill dated within the last three months), but you can still register a death without them.

Documents you’ll get when you register a death

  • Certificate for Burial or Cremation (the ‘green form’) - gives permission for burial or an application for cremation.
  • Tell Us Once (TUO) reference number, allowing you to complete the process online or by phone.

Find more information on GOV.UK.

Book your appointment online (external link)

4 Deaths outside of West Sussex (registration by declaration)

If the death occurred outside West Sussex you may still register the death, by declaration, at any of our registration offices.

We will take the required information and forward it to the correct registration district on your behalf. If you choose this option, please be aware you will not be issued with any documents immediately; they will be posted to you within a few days from the relevant registration district.

It is important to note that this could delay the funeral arrangements.

Book your appointment online (external link)

5 Tell Us Once

When someone has died, their death needs to be registered with the registrar. Once this is done other organisations and government departments need to be informed.

The Tell Us Once service makes this easier for you. You only need to provide the details to the Department for Work and Pensions once and they will notify the organisations that need to know. 

How does it work?

When you register a death the registrar adds the details of the deceased to the Tell Us Once national database. Once the details have been added, you will be given a reference number and can complete the process online or by phone. 

Access the Tell Us Once service online (external link)

Alternatively you can phone 0800 0857308. 

The organisations that Tell Us Once will notify are available on GOV.UK.

Last updated:
30 November 2020
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