COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Please read our coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for further information on how our services are currently being affected.

Please also read the council advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Register a death

It is a legal requirement that all deaths should be registered as soon as possible but preferably within 5 days (unless the death has been reported to the coroner).

Following government advice, our office is currently closed to the public but new legislation means that deaths can now be registered over the telephone during the pandemic period.

Before making a booking, please be aware of the following.

  • In order to register, you must meet certain criteria and hold certain documentation. Please ensure you read all the government guidance.
  • Please ensure the hospital or GP surgery have sent us the medical cause of death certificate (MCCD) before making an appointment.
  • The green form for burial or cremation will be scanned directly to the burial or cremation ground AND a funeral director (if you wish). This must be to a secure email address and not to a generic account such as 'gmail', 'hotmail' or 'outlook'. We must know where you wish to bury or cremate your loved one when making the registration, but please check with your preferred burial or cremation ground before making an appointment.
  • You will be asked to fill a form with vital information for the registration. Please take your time and ensure that all spellings are correct. Correcting a registration costs £90 and takes at least 6 months AFTER the pandemic period.
  • It is free to register a death but certificates are charged at a national rate and payments will be taken at the time of booking below. Certificates will then be sent 1st class in the post.
  • Any additional certificate requests in the future will be considered after the pandemic period.
  • The ‘Tell Us Once’ service information will be sent separately via email at a later date.
  • Please ensure that you are available in a quiet place during your allocated appointment slot, with good telephone reception and a full battery. You can expect to be on the telephone for around 30 minutes but calls can take up to an hour.

Make a telephone appointment to register a death

Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a free service offered by the Government.

When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done at an obviously very difficult time for you and your family.

Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. It enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually.

Over 20 services can be notified and these include:

  • Local council - to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the Electoral Register.
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding Child Benefit and Tax Credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT).
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information for example: State Pension, Universal Credit.
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport.
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles.
  • Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records.

Please ask about using this service when you register. For more information, please visit the Tell Us Once website

Urgent burials

Tower Hamlets offers a service for those belonging to various faith groups who may need to bury on the same day.

During this particularly busy time, we are requesting that anybody who needs to register a death email register.office@towerhamlets.gov.uk to book an appointment or request an urgent issue of a burial document (informally known as the ‘green form’).

We cannot allow walk-in appointments for this until further notice. Death registrations and burials will be taking priority and we will do our very best to accommodate requests as quickly as possible.

As always, we also have the urgent burial certificate service available between 12 noon - 4pm on Saturdays and between 9am - 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

If you require the weekend service, please call 07946 390 834.

Please do not call this number if you are not in possession of the Medical Cause of Death Certificate issued by a GP or hospital doctor, unless you have been explicitly instructed by the hospital otherwise, as we will not be able to issue the burial notice without this.

Please be aware that you will still need to book an appointment to register the death even if an emergency burial certificate is issued.