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Registering a Death

Deaths must be registered within 5 days. Unless a coroner is involved.

All deaths must be registered with the Registrar of Births and Deaths in the area where the death occurred.


You can book an appointment to register a death online, or by calling us on 01234 718 028.


If you need to register a stillbirth please do not book online, please call us on 01234 718 028 and speak to a Registrar who can talk you through the process. You can also e-mail us on civil.registration@bedford.gov.uk. You have 42 days in which to register a stillbirth.


If the coroner has been involved, please contact us by calling 01234 718 028.


If the death occurred in Bedford Borough, but you cannot attend the Register Office in Bedford, 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 to the correct registration district, who will record the event. If you wish to purchase any death certificates you will need to call the Register Office where the death will be registered and order them. Please note this can cause delays with funeral arrangements therefore we advise you to register the death in the area where the death occurred if possible.


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 (i.e. the person instructing the funeral director)
  • the occupier of the house or institution where the person has died (if no-one else is available)


You may bring a friend or relative with you, please do not worry about the registration, if you are upset the registrar will understand.


What you need to bring

The medical certificate of cause of death issued by the doctor or hospital. We cannot register the death without seeing this.


When you attend your appointment the registrar will ask you for the following information;


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


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
  • their wife/husband's date of birth of the surviving spouse
  • if they were female, their maiden name
  • if they were in a civil partnership we will need to know the name, date of birth, and occupation of their civil partner.


If you can bring any documents with you that confirm the above information it will help the Registrar to ensure the accuracy of the record. Please do not worry if you cannot find some documents, we can register the death without them as long as you know the information.

e.g. passports, council tax bill/utility bill, driving licences, marriage/civil partnership certificate, birth certificates, deed poll documents, NHS medical card, your passport/driving licence and proof of your address as the informant.


Details of our Privacy Policy can be downloaded as a Word document.


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 48 hours 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 £4 at the time of the appointment, the cost does increase if ordered after this time. We therefore recommend that you decide how many you require before attending your appointment.


Appointments are 30 minutes long.


If you have any queries or concerns please call us on 01234 718 028 and speak to a Registrar who can discuss them with you.


For information and advice about Cremation, Cemeteries, memorials and monuments, or for help and advice regarding financial support towards the cost of a funeral please visit Bedford Borough Council's Bereavement Services page.


If you are interested in arranging a Civil Funeral please visit our Celebratory Ceremonies page.

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