Register a death
Please find all the information required to register a death with us during this difficult time.
Published: 18 January 2021
Last updated: 12 August 2021
Please be aware, we are currently experiencing intermittent problems with the national registration system.
On occasions, this is having an impact on our appointment times and our ability to print documents. As a result, you may wait longer to be seen, your appointment may take longer than usual, and we may need to send your certificates to you by post. We are very sorry for the inconvenience it may cause you. Please bear with us. We are doing everything we can to try to minimise the impact on you, our customers.
Following government advice, the Westminster Registration Service is no longer open for face-to-face registrations. However, we are still here to make the process of registering a death as simple as possible.
All deaths should be registered by telephone appointment. This is to help ensure the safety of you and our registrars.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for bereavement
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time and the unexpected loss of a loved one due to coronavirus can be particularly distressing. We would like to reassure you that we are here to support you and ensure, where possible, that your needs and wishes are met.
We recognise that there may be many questions about current procedures in relation to death. We have created a document where you can find information, guidance and advice on deaths, funerals and bereavement.
The information in this document will be regularly updated in line with the latest government advice.
Information and guidance on deaths, funerals and bereavement:
We are also committed to following London’s Funeral Standards:
The London Funeral Standards have been developed to provide those who have lost loved ones assurances that the marking of life will take place with respect, dignity and compassion and to do so while minimising the risk of spread of infection.
They have been developed under consideration for people of all faiths and beliefs and for those of none.
Support for bereavement and grief
The loss of a loved one is always difficult, but the pandemic has made it a particularly upsetting time for many. Support and advice is available for all those in need.
In addition to the support included in the Guidance on funerals during COVID-19 document above, we have some information to help parents/carers and children and young people cope with grief:
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a voluntary service. It enables you to report a death to a number of central and local government services securely and confidentially without having to inform them individually.
After you have registered the death with a registrar, you will be provided with a unique Tell Use Once reference number which will enable you to access the Tell Us Once service on gov.uk.
Watch a short video explaining the tell us once service.
Read a list of central and local government services on the attached PDF.
You will still be able to use the Tell Us Once service if you have been issued with a Coroners Fact of Death (interim certificate).
Please contact the Westminster Registration Service by email [email protected] or phone 0207 641 7500 and a Registrar will advise you.
Out of hours burials
Our out of hours on call service is for the issue of burial certificates required for a funeral that is to take place within 24 hours. The service is available on Saturdays and Sundays between 9am and 10am and on Bank Holidays between 9am and 11am. Please contact us on 020 7641 1310 between these hours.
The registrar on call will issue the burial certificate if:
- you can provide confirmation that the burial is to take place within 24 hours
- we have received the correctly completed MCCD from the doctor
- the death does not have to be referred to the coroner
- you are qualified to register the death
There is no basis in law for the mortuary or persons holding the body to require sight of the green Certificate for Burial or Cremation in order to release the body. The certificate is not intended for this purpose and will not be issued unless the criteria above are met.