How to get a death certificate

Losing a loved one can be quite overwhelming, but it's the belief that they are in a better place that keeps many of us going. During this sorrowful time, there are certain documents that need to be in place.

One of these documents is a certified copy of the death certificate. A death certificate has quite a range of uses including facilitating funeral arrangements, notifying businesses as well as closing down the accounts of the deceased.

It also plays a considerable role in settling the estate of the deceased. How then do you obtain a death certificate? This post will offer you insight into how to get a death certificate and how much a death certificate costs.

Steps behind getting a death certificate

The first process is to register the death of the deceased. This needs to be done at the registry office located closest to the place of death.

After registering the death, you will be offered three documents: the certificate of registration of the death, the green certificate, which permits burial or cremation, and a copy of the death certificate, which is usually provided for a fee.

How to obtain a death certificate

There are three ways of obtaining a certified copy of a death certificate in the UK. You can either get it through the phone, online or via post. The good news is that this process is not cumbersome once the death has been registered. This process varies depending on your location.


In Wales, you can order copies of the death certificate online. This is done from the General Register Office. You need an e-mail address, postal address, and details of the death registration. You can also order the certificate via phone by calling 0300 123 1837. Lastly, by filling in a form, you can order the certificate via post.

How much is a death certificate in Wales?

There are two different charges depending on the level of urgency. The standard rate is currently £11 which allows you to get the copies of the death certificate after 14 working days.

In case you need the certificate urgently, maybe to aid in settling the estates of the deceased, it will cost £23.40. The copies will be sent within 24 hours.

Northern Ireland

Similarly, you can order copies of the death certificate online from the General Register Office in Northern Ireland. If you choose to do it over the phone, the number to call is 0300 200 7890. The third option is via post.

How much is a death certificate in Northern Ireland?

These certificates are generally posted in the first five working days. The first issue costs £15. In case you need additional copies, you will have to part with £8. If you opt for next day delivery, it costs £20 per copy.


In Scotland, if you choose to obtain the death certificate online, you will have to place an order to the National Records of Scotland, after which the copies are availed after 15 working days. You can also order the certificates via phone by calling 0131 314 4411.

Lastly, you can obtain copies via post by sending the form to the address indicated.

How much is a death certificate in Scotland?

The regular rate in Scotland is £12. However, if you need standard delivery, it costs £27. Standard delivery guarantees next day delivery.


In England, the process of obtaining a copy of the death certificate is pretty much the same. You can order the death certificate online using the index reference of the General Register Office. This is applicable for deaths dated 1837 onward.

In case you do not have a reference number, you will be required to offer enough information to identify the death. You can also order the certificate via telephone from the General Register office. If you are unable to reach the office, you can visit the local register office.

You can also order the death certificate by post. You will first download and complete the death certificate forms and then send them alongside the correct payment which is normally through cheque or postal order. The forms are sent to the general register office.

Remember, you need an ID card and a residential proof before ordering a death certificate in England.

How much is a death certificate in England?

The standard fee is £9.25. This price also applies for each additional copy. However, for a priority service certificate, you will have to part with £23.40.

Even though death certificates slightly differ depending on the location, the following remain the same:

  • Place and time of registration of the death.
  • The registrar’s name
  • Details of the spouse
  • Cause of death
  • Details of the parents (child)
  • Details of the deceased

You should not have a hard time getting a death certificate for your loved one. Once you are done with the first step, which is the registration of the death, the rest is straightforward.