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How Do You Get a Death Certificate When Someone Dies?

Preparing for Death

After someone dies, you need to get some copies of their death certificate, if you are dealing with their estate or arranging their funeral. It's a good idea to get a few copies, so that you can give one to different organisations such as banks, the pension service or a funeral director.

You can get a death certificate in different ways, depending on whether the death has already been registered or not. If you have not registered the death, you need to do so.

How to get a death certificate when you register a death

You can buy copies of the certificate when you register a death. You just need to attend the registry office that is closest to where the person died. You will be given a green certificate that is needed for the burial or cremation. You will also be given as many copies of the death certificate as you pay for. It helps to work out how many copies you need before you register the death.

Currently, you can expect to pay the following amounts for each copy of a certificate, depending on where you are in the UK:

  • £11 in England and Wales.
  • £8 in Northern Ireland.
  • £10 in Scotland.

The cost of buying a copy of a death certificate can increase after the death is registered. So, it makes sense to get all the copies you need at this point.

How to get a death certificate online, by telephone or by post

If the death has been registered, you can still get copies of the certificate, online, by telephone or by post. The process varies, depending on where you are.

England and Wales

You can order a death certificate online. You will need to pay £11 for each copy. If you want to use the next day service, you will have to pay £35. If you do not have the General Register Office (GRO) number, you will also need to pay a £3 search fee.

If you do not want to use the online service, you can phone the General Register Office on 0300 123 1837 or use the postal application form.

Northern Island

If you want to order a death certificate in Northern Island, you can do so online here. If you prefer, you can call the General Register Office on 0300 200 7890 or use the postal application form.

You will pay £15 for one copy and £8 each for additional copies; as long as you order them at the same time. You will pay £20 for a copy of a death certificate if you use the priority service.

Scotland

You can order a copy of a death certificate in Scotland online. You can also call the General Register Office on 0131 314 4411 to order copies, or complete the postal request form.

You will pay £12 for each copy of the death certificate. If you use the next day service you will pay £27.

Anyone can apply for a copy of a death certificate. However, only specific people can register a death. The person who registers a death is normally a close relative of the deceased.

What information is provided on a death certificate?

When you get a copy of a certificate, you are normally able to see the following information.

  • Place and time of the registration.

  • Place and time of death.

  • Name, maiden name (where applicable) age and sex of the deceased.

  • Address of the deceased.

  • Occupation of the deceased.

  • Cause of death.

  • Name of the person who registered the death.

  • Name of the registrar.

Once you have a certificate, you can use it to help arrange a funeral or deal with an estate. You can also use a death certificate if you are researching your family tree.

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