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Register a death

Deaths referred to the coroner

Sometimes a death will be referred to the Coroner's Office, but usually only if:

  • The cause of death is unknown
  • The cause of death is unnatural; or
  • The deceased was in state detention, for example police custody, at the time of their death.

The police, hospital bereavement services, individual GPs and hospice doctors will refer a death to the Coroner when necessary. They will provide the Coroner with information about the death, the identity of the deceased and their next of kin (if known).

A member of the Coroner's staff will contact the deceased's next of kin in the days following the referral to:

  • Update them as to the Coroner's enquiries
  • Discuss any concerns they may have in relation to the cause of death; and
  • Offer guidance through the Coronial process

In certain cases a doctor may be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and, following the Coroner making initial enquiries, no further investigations will be required and the relevant paperwork will be issued to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the area where the deceased died and the death can be registered.

However, if a doctor cannot say what the likely cause of death was or did not treat the deceased during their last illness, the Coroner will decide as to what investigations, such as a post mortem examination or Coroner's Inquest, are needed and the next of kin will be updated.

For more information please visit:

Who can register a death?

The person who registers the death is formally known as the 'the informant'. Only relatives or certain other individuals are qualified by law to register a death. This will also depend on where the death occurred.

Most deaths are registered by a family member. If a family member can't register the death, it can be registered by one of the following people:

  • Someone who was present at the death.
  • The person's executor or other legal representative.
  • An owner or occupier of the part of the building where the death took place if they were aware of the death.
  • The person arranging the funeral
  • The funeral director.

What documents will I need?


When registering a death, you'll need to take the following documents with you to the appointment:

  • Medical certificate of the cause of death (signed by a doctor)

And, if available, identification belonging to the person who has died, for example:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • NHS medical card
  • Utility bill

You should also bring along documents which will prove your identity as well such as;

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill 
  • Bank statement


You will need to tell the registrar:

  • The person's full name at time of death
  • Any names previously used, including maiden surname
  • The person's date and place of birth (town and county if born in the UK and country if born abroad)
  • Their last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving spouse or civil partner
  • If they were getting a state pension or any other state benefit

Please check carefully before signing the register to ensure the information recorded in the death register is correct. If any mistakes are made, you will need to apply to the General Register Office (GRO) for any amendments. The amendments, if allowed by the GRO, will be added onto the record as a note in the margin - the original records will not be altered. The GRO charges a fee of £90 for consideration of corrections. 

If English is not your first language and help is needed, a relative or friend may act as an interpreter - please let us know if this is the case so that we allow extra time for the appointment.

What documents will I receive?

After a death has been registered, the registrar will issue:

  • A certificate for burial or cremation (green form), giving permission for the body to be buried or to apply for the body to be cremated
  • Certified copies of the death registration (death certificate) - please note there is a fee of £11 per copy of certificate
  • A certificate of registration of death (form BD8), issued for the Department of Works and Pensions  
  • Tell Us Once registration form, quoting a unique reference number to use if you would like to use the Tell Us Once service

Order copy certificates

You can buy copies of certificates for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships which took place in St.Helens.


Type of service

CostAvailabilityPostageAdditional Information

Service available between 10.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Friday

Additional postage fees apply

One certificate posted out 2nd-class postage on or before 15 working days

*Multiple certificates attract multiple fees

We recommend you purchase secure postage using 1st class, signed-for delivery for any certificate being posted

This is charged at an additional £3.00 and ensures your certificate is tracked and traced through to delivery. 

Special delivery:

£10.00, weight up to 500g (UK return addresses only - a special signed-for service).

Priority£35.00Service available between 10.00am and 3.00pm, Monday to Friday

One certificate posted out 1st-class postage before the next working day

*Multiple certificates attract multiple fees

As above
Overseas   Prices vary dependent upon destination



St Helens Register Office is not liable for any certificates lost or delayed in the post.

The Register Office service point is currently based at Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF.

Telephone: 01744 676789




Make an appointment

Appointment times are between the hours of 9.00am and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

To make an appointment please contact us on 01744 676789 

GP surgeries will send any paperwork relating to the death, by email to our Register Office and this will include the details of the next of kin.

Please note that your requested appointment time may change, if we haven't received the 'certificate of cause of death'.

You will be contacted by our Registrars team to rearrange your appointment, should this be the case

Anyone who has collected a medical certificate of cause of death from a GP should write their name and phone number on the envelope, post it in the letterbox outside Wesley House and await contact from a registrar. Alternatively, please post it to us at Register Office, Wesley House, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HF.



Dealing with a death