How to register

Every death in England and Wales must be registered within 5 working days.

This should be done in the Registration District where the death took place. For a death that occurred within the Bolton Metropolitan Borough, this should be at Bolton Register Office or one of its outstations by appointment.

How to make an appointment

To make an appointment please contact Access Bolton by phone, Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 6.00pm and on Saturdays from  9.00am to 1.00pm. Appointments are available at Bolton Town Hall, Mere Hall and at The Royal Bolton Hospital but must be booked through Access Bolton. Following a Bank Holiday the phone lines will open the next working day from 8.00am.

You may also give registration details of a death at any Register Office in England and Wales. This is done by making a declaration of the details, which are then sent to the registrar in the district of death.The death is then registered by the appropriate registrar and all certificates and forms are sent to you through the post.

Who can register?

The preferred informant for a death is always a relative of the deceased, however if there are no relatives the following are also qualified to give the information to the Registrar:
  • someone who was present at the death
  • the occupier of the building where the death occurred (eg the Hospital Administrator or the Matron of a Nursing Home)
  • anyone living in the building where the death occurred, if he/she has knowledge of the happening of the death and the required information
  • the person who is making the funeral arrangements

What information is needed?

The Registrar will need a certificate of cause of death, which is usually issued by the doctor who was treating the deceased during the last illness i.e. the GP or doctor at the hospital. If the coroner is involved at all the registrar will need additional documentation directly from the Coroners office. This can be co ordinated over the telephone if you point this out when booking your appointment.

At the appointment the Registrar will then ask you to confirm the following details about the deceased

  • Their date and place of death
  • Their full name and any other names ever used
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their occupation
  • Their usual address
  • Their marital status and the date of birth of any surviving spouse
    (For a married person or someone in a civil partnership their husband/wife or civil partners full name and occupation)
  • Details of any pension from a Government Pension Scheme e.g. Military, Civil Service, Teachers Pensions Agency.

In some circumstances you will also be requested to provide more information about the occupations given, which is for statistical purposes. You are not obliged to give this information but it is useful for statistical analysis.

The Registrar will ask you to check all the information you have given to ensure that it is correct before it is entered into the register. It is difficult to correct mistakes once the details are in the register.

Supporting documents for the registration of deaths

To assist the Registrar in recording accurate information it would be helpful if informants were able to supply the following documents.

Supporting documents for the deceased:

Proof of name

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • NHS medical card

Proof of change of name

  • Deed Poll

Marital status

  • All marriage/civil partnership certificates

Proof of address

  • Utility bill

Supporting documents for the informant:

  • Passport or driving licence
  • Utility bill

The production of the above documentation is voluntary and is requested by the registrar to ensure that the information recorded is accurate. The absence of supporting documents will not prevent the appointment being made. 

Forms and certificates

You will be issued with a form for the Benefits Agency and, unless it has been issued by the coroner, a form for the undertaker. These are both free of charge.

Certified copies of the entry in the register - death certificates - are available for a set fee.

You may purchase as many as you need and further copies are always available from the Register Office but the fee increases once the register is closed. Death certificates can be bought online or by downloading an application form which should be sent to the address on the right.

The Coroner

When a death occurs in the following circumstances it will be referred to the Coroner:

  • The death is sudden and unexpected
  • The Cause of Death is industrially related
  • The cause of death is unknown
  • There are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death
  • When a doctor has explained that he/she is unable to issue a medical certificate of cause of death

Deaths reported to the Coroner

The coroner will investigate the circumstances of the death and do one of the following:

  • Issue a certificate allowing the death to be registered
  • Arrange a post mortem and when it is complete issue a cause of death certificate allowing the death to be registered
  • Arrange a post mortem and hold an inquest. The coroner will then arrange for the death to be registered after the inquest has taken place

Bolton Council

Town Hall

Victoria Square

Bolton

BL1 1RU

Telephone 01204 331185

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