Register a death

Register a death


Register by phone

Death registrations are made by telephone interview.

Book online or telephone 0345 60 80 198 for an appointment to register a death.

  • The registrar will call you from a withheld number up to 30 minutes either side of your appointment time.
  • The appointment will last around 20 minutes.
  • You should be in a quiet, private location with the deceased’s details to hand.

Who should register?

A death is usually registered by a relative by blood or marriage of the deceased, but other people who can register include:

  • A person present at the death.
  • The owner or manager of the residential home where the death occurred.
  • The person responsible for organising the funeral.
  • The funeral director.

If you are unsure who should register, call us on 0345 60 80 198.


Where should I register the death?

Book online to register any death which occurred in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove).

If the death occurred outside of East Sussex, it should be registered with the local registration service to where it happened.

If the death occurred overseas, the process of registration is different. For advice visit the 
Register the death  (gov.uk) guide to deaths abroad.


What do I need to register a death?

If the Coroner’s office is involved, for example if the death was sudden or unexpected, they will advise you of when/if you need to register.

Usually the doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, please check they have sent it directly to us before you book your registration appointment.

The registrar will ask for the following information about the deceased:

  • Place and date of death.
  • Full name, including maiden name (if applicable) and any previous names.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Occupation.
  • Home address.
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse or civil partner (if applicable).

It is useful to have supporting documents with you when we call, such as the deceased’s:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Utility bill
  • Birth and marriage certificates

However, if these are unavailable we can still register without them.


Tell Us Once

After registering the death, you can access Tell Us Once, a free Government service.

This allows you to notify local and central government about a death, in one simple step.

Agencies that can be notified through the scheme include those responsible for,

  • State benefits such as:
    • Income Support
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Pension Credits
    • Council tax
    • Housing benefit
  • The electoral register
  • Disabled blue badges
  • Bus passes
  • Driving licences

After you have registered the death, the Registrar will give you a unique reference number.
This will enable you to access Tell Us Once (gov.uk).

To use Tell Us Once, you should have the deceased’s;

  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Driving licence number (if applicable)
  • Vehicle registration number (if applicable)
  • Passport number (if applicable)

You will also need:

  • Details of any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, for example:

    • State Pension

    • Universal Credit

  • Details of any local council services they were

    receiving, for example:

    • Adult Social Services

    • Blue Badge

    • Bus Pass

  • Name and address of the next of kin
  • Name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Contact details of the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’ (if applicable)
  • Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into

Before you give their details, you will need permission from:

  • The next of kin
  • The executor or administrator (if applicable)
  • Anyone who was claiming benefits or entitlements jointly with the person who died

Agencies informed by Tell Us Once may contact the bereaved family as necessary.

Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, please contact Benefits (gov.uk) or the relevant department for advice.

Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death.

Tell Us Once cannot arrange for redirection of post.


What happens next?

After you have registered, you can buy death certificates.

These are needed for notifying banks, insurance, probate and other services. These are charged for at the statutory fee of £11 each.

Authorisation for burial or cremation will be issued directly to the funeral director of your choosing.


Urgent death registrations

East Sussex Register Offices are open between 9am and 5pm daily, excluding weekends and bank holidays.

Telephone 0345 60 80 198 during these hours or book online for an appointment to register a death.

In the event of an emergency which cannot wait until we are next open, telephone 01273 33 70 40.

  • this telephone line is only monitored outside of office hours
  • we cannot authorise a burial or cremation until the doctor or coroner has certified the death
  • if your call goes to voicemail, please leave your name and phone number. The Registrar on duty will call you back as soon as possible.

Perjury warning

Any person who knowingly and wilfully gives false information to a registrar for the purposes of the registration of a death is liable to prosecution for perjury.


Privacy Notice

To book your appointment and to register a death you will need to share some personal information with us.

Please refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data.

or telephone: 0345 60 80 198 for an appointment to register a death.

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