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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.

Medical Certificates with cause of death will be emailed direct to Registration Services from GP surgeries and / or hospitals.

Who can register a death

  • 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

Registering a death that happened in Sunderland

If the death happened in Sunderland, you will need to make an appointment to register the death.  This appointment will be conducted face to face with a registrar which will last up to 15 minutes.  Certified copy certificates of the register entry can be purchased from the Registrar at your appointment for £11 each.

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

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.

If is not convenient for you to travel, 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 death certificates and the documents that are necessary to arrange either the burial or cremation.

How to make a death registration appointment

Book an appointment to register a death online

Alternatively, you can contact Life and family.

What you need to bring to the appointment

During your appointment, you must be sure that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death issued by the doctor or hospital has been emailed to the Register Office. If your loved one has passed away at Sunderland Royal Hospital, you will have received a telephone call from their Bereavement Office to tell you to book an appointment to Register.

You will be asked for the following:

  • full name of deceased and any names previously used names
  • 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

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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