Register a death

Register a death


Book an appointment

All deaths must be registered in person at a register office, unless subject to Coroner's Inquest.

Before booking your appointment to register a death, you must:

  • Confirm the hospital or medical practice has sent the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to the Registrar. 
  • Read all of these guide pages, to be sure you have everything needed to register.

Who should register?

A death is usually registered by a relative by blood or marriage of the deceased, but other people who can register include:

  • A person present at the death.
  • The owner or manager of the residential home where the death occurred.
  • The person responsible for organising the funeral.

If you are unsure who should register, call us on 0345 60 80 198.


Where should I register the death?

Book online to register any death which occurred in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove).

If the death occurred outside of East Sussex, it should be registered with the local registration service to where it happened.

If the death occurred overseas, the process of registration is different. For advice visit Register a death (gov.uk).


What do I need to register a death?

If the Coroner’s office is involved, for example if the death was sudden or unexpected, they will advise you of when/if you need to register.

Usually the doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You must check they have sent it directly to us before you book your registration appointment.

When you register, it may be useful to bring the deceased’s:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill
  • Birth and marriage certificates

However, if these are unavailable we can still register without them.


What will the registrar ask me?

The registrar needs the following information about the deceased:
Details required Guidance notes
Date of death The date you understand the death took place on
Place of death The name of the hospital or nursing home, the name or number of the house, the name of the street and town.
If the death took place in an ambulance, car or some other place without a recognised address,  you would need to provide further details. Advice will be given by the registrar.
Name and surname the name the deceased was known by at the time of his or her death. You should also provide any other names the
deceased was currently or previously known by.
Sex Male or Female
Maiden surname of woman who has married If the deceased was a woman, this is the surname in which she contracted her first marriage.
Date of birth This should be given as accurately as possible, however if exact date is not known please provide approximate date.
Place of birth The town and county (or London borough). If they were born outside of the UK, only the country needs to be provided.
Occupation The deceased’s most recent or main occupation. You should also tell the registrar if the deceased was retired.
Marital status If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership at
the time of their death and the names of their spouse or civil partner (including if they are deceased)
Usual address Including the name or number of the house, name of the street, town and county.

Tell Us Once

After registering the death, you can access Tell Us Once, a free Government service.

This allows you to notify local and central government about a death, in one simple step.

Agencies that can be notified through the scheme include those responsible for,

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credits
  • Council tax
  • Housing benefit
  • Other state benefits
  • The electoral register
  • Disabled blue badges
  • Bus passes
  • Driving licences

The Registrar will give you a unique reference number. This will enable you to access Tell Us Once (gov.uk).

To use Tell Us Once, you should have the deceased’s;

  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Driving licence number (if applicable)
  • Vehicle registration number (if applicable)
  • Passport number (if applicable)

You will also need:

  • Details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example:

    • State Pension

    • Universal Credit

  • Details of any local council services they were

    receiving, for example:

    • Adult Social Services

    • Blue Badge

    • Bus Pass

  • Name and address of the next of kin
  • Name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Contact details of the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’ (if applicable)
  • Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into

Before you give their details, you will need permission from:

  • The next of kin
  • The executor or administrator (if applicable)
  • Anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died

Agencies informed by Tell Us Once may contact the bereaved family as necessary.

Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, please contact Benefits (gov.uk) or the relevant department for advice.

Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death.

Tell Us Once cannot arrange for redirection of post.


What happens next?

After you have registered, you can buy death certificates.

These are needed for notifying banks, insurance, probate and other services. These are charged for at the statutory fee of £11 each.

Authorisation for burial or cremation will be issued directly to the funeral director of your choosing.


Urgent death registrations

East Sussex Register Offices are open between 9am and 5pm daily, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

Telephone 0345 60 80 198 during these hours or book online for an appointment to register a death.

In the event of an emergency which cannot wait until we are next open, telephone 01273 33 70 40.

  • This telephone line is only monitored outside of office hours.
  • We cannot authorise a burial or cremation until the doctor or coroner has certified the death.
  • If your call goes to voicemail, please leave your name and phone number. The Registrar on duty will call you back as soon as possible.

Perjury warning

Any person who knowingly and wilfully gives false information to a registrar for the purposes of the registration of a death is liable to prosecution for perjury.


Privacy Notice

To book your appointment and to register a death you will need to share some personal information with us.

Please refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data.

or telephone: 0345 60 80 198 for an appointment to register a death.

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