Registering a death
All deaths must be registered with a Registrar of Births and Deaths in the area where the death occurred. They should be registered within 5 days unless a coroner is investigating the circumstances of the death.
Please note: Deaths that occurred at Darent Valley Hospital may now be registered either by The Kent Registration Service or Bexley Register Office. For an appointment at Bexley Register Office please call 0300 333 5430.
What do I need to do first?
When someone dies, a doctor issues a medical certificate of cause of death. If the death occurred in Kent or Bexley and you have this certificate, you will need to call 0300 333 5430 to make an appointment to register the death. Alternatively, you can make an appointment using our online booking service.
Who can register a death?
- A relative
- A person present at the death
- Someone who lives in the house where the person died
- A person arranging the funeral with the funeral director
- A responsible person from the hospital or home where the person died
What do I need to bring?
- The medical certificate of cause of death issued by a doctor (if there has been a post mortem the coroner will send this directly to the Registrar)
- If they are available - birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificates, which confirm the details to be entered into the death register
- Disabled parking 'Blue Badge' if the deceased had one
- A method of payment for copies of the death certificate (i.e. cash, credit/debit card, cheque book)
Where do I register?
The Bexley Register Office
What happens when I see the Registrar?
The Registrar will ask you to confirm the following information:
- The date and place of death
- The full name that the person who died was using at the time of their death
- Details of any other names they might have been known by
- The date and place of birth
- The occupation and whether or not they were retired
- The current home address
- If the person who died was a married woman or widow, her maiden surname (what her surname was before she was married) and the full name and occupation of her husband
- In the case of a man, the name and occupation of his wife
- In the case of a couple who have registered their civil partnership, the partner's name and occupation
- Your full name and address and your relationship to the person who has died
The following confidential information will also be required for government statistics:
- Was the person who died single, married, widowed, divorced, a civil partner, surviving civil partner or former civil partner?
- Is their spouse or civil partner still alive? If so, what is their date of birth?
- How long did they stay in hospital or in another establishment (a hospice for example)?
- Was the person under 75?
- What industry did they work in and what position did they hold?
- Did they get a pension paid from government funds? This includes the civil service, teachers, armed forces and war widows. This does not include the state pension or pension credits
- The person's NHS number found on their medical card (if available)
Once the registration has been completed you will be asked to sign the entry. It is important that the information recorded is as accurate as possible as the correction of errors discovered after the register has been signed may cause delay and inconvenience.
The Registrar will then give you:
- A green form to give to the funeral director. If the death has been referred to the coroner and the funeral is a cremation, the equivalent form will be sent by the coroner to your funeral director
- A white BD8 form, to be completed and sent by you, with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions
Do I have to pay a fee?
No. The service is free of charge. However, certified copies of the death entry (death certificate) can be purchased for a small fee. You will need to produce a death certificate when you are sorting out the finances of the person who has died (for example with banks, building societies and insurance companies).
I want to register the death but I don't live in Kent or Bexley
If the death occurred in Kent or Bexley and you do not live in Kent or Bexley, it is possible to give the details to any Registrar in England or Wales. This is known as registering by declaration. The Registrar to whom the declaration is given does not register the death, but will send the information to the Kent Libraries and Registration Service, where it will be registered. You may also order death certificates. A charge is made for these and you will need to have a cheque book with you when you give the declaration. The Registrar will send the order and cheque to us.
Once the death has been registered you will be sent:
- Any certified copies of the death entry that you have ordered and paid for
- A green form to give to the funeral director. If the death has been referred to the coroner and the funeral is a cremation, the equivalent form will be sent by the coroner, to your funeral director
- A white BD8 form, to be completed by you, and sent with any benefit or pension details to the Department of Work and Pensions
These arrangements also apply if you live in Kent or Bexley but need to register a death occurring elsewhere in England or Wales but do not wish to travel to where the death occurred.
If you are unsure where you need to register please call 0300 333 5430 for advice.
'In memoriam' Certificate
Special Kentish 'In memoriam' certificates are available from the Registrar.
- Registration Services Full details for Registration Services