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Registering a death

When someone has died and their death is not subject to an investigation by the Coroner, you will need to make arrangements to register the death at your earliest opportunity, and no later than five days after the death has occurred.

Registering a death that happened in Sunderland

You can register a death if you are:

  • a relative of the deceased
  • the person arranging the funeral
  • someone who was present at the death
  • the occupier, matron or owner of a nursing home or the hospital administrator of the premises where the death occurred

If the death happened in Sunderland, you will need to register the death in person at Sunderland Civic Centre. Before attending to register, you will need to make an appointment. Death registration appointments will last approximately 30 minutes.

How to make a death registration appointment

A death registration appointment can be booked online.

Book an appointment to register a death

Alternatively, you can contact Life and family.

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What you need to bring to your appointment

When you attend your appointment, you must have a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by the doctor or hospital. You will also need to know the full name of the deceased, as well as their place and date of death.

It would be helpful if you could advise the Registrar of:

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

You should also take supporting documents that show your name and address and also the deceased's name and address. Such documents can include, passport, driving licence, utility or council tax bill.

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Bereavement Tell Us Once

When you attend an appointment to register a death, you can ask us to tell other government departments about the death so you don't have to contact them yourself.

Tell Us Once can contact the following organisations on your behalf:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits, for example Income Support
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove the person as the keeper for up to 5 vehicles
  • The local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, and to remove the person from the electoral register
  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes - to stop pension payments

What you will need

Before you can use the Tell Us Once service you will need specific information which is listed on the gov.uk website

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Register a death that happened outside of Sunderland

If the death occurred outside of Sunderland, it will need to be registered at the Register Office for the district in which the death occurred.

You can search for another Registration District in England or Wales. If is not convenient for you to travel to this district, you may prefer to register the death 'by declaration' at the Registration Officer in Sunderland.

Registration by declaration works by the Registrar recording details of the death in the form of a declaration and then sending it to the Registration District in which the death occurred. The receiving district will then register the death and issue you with the number of certified copy death certificates you require, as well as the documents that are necessary to arrange either the burial or cremation.

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Death abroad

If a death occurs abroad, or on a foreign ship or aircraft, you should register the death according to the local regulations of that country and obtain a death certificate. Also register the death with the British Consul so that a record of the death will be kept in the UK.

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Buying a certified copy death certificate

There is no 'original' certificate but you can purchase certified copies of the register entry from the Registrar during your registration appointment for £4.00 each.

Further Copies can be obtained after the death has been registered.

Fees for Changes to Initial Registration - Consideration by the Registrar General of a correction - £90.

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