UK Death Certificate Information

Death certificates can be essential records for proving entitlement to estate claims and probate enquiries. They are also highly useful when carrying out genealogical research and you are looking for the next family history line of enquiry (named informants are often close family members).

Where can I request a death certificate from?

We supply replacement death certificates, taken for the archived version stored at the time of registration.  Any death certificate within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be re-issued, as well as deaths that took place overseas but were registered with the appropriate UK authority within the country where the death occurred. These would include Armed Forces, Consular, High Commission or Embassy registrations.

Please bear in mind that death registration with the British authorities is not compulsory when overseas, and a duplicate certificate can only be issued if the death certificate has been deposited with either the Embassy or Consulate within the country where the person died, or at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London.

When are UK death certificates available from?

Our death records are limited to the beginning of civil registration within each country. For England and Wales this dates back to July 1st 1837, for Scotland it is January 1st 1855 and for Northern Ireland it is July 1st 1864. We can supply a death certificate up to the present day, unless the death has yet to be registered in the event that an inquest is called for. In these cases, an Interim Death Certificate can be issued from the Coroner’s Office if this is required. Where a death is referred to inquest, these hearings can take many months or even years before the death can be officially recorded, and therefore a certificate issued. 

Can I request anyone's death certificate?

Under UK law, death certificates are known as Public Records which means that any person can apply for a copy of any certificate, providing that they know the details of the death that is required. Death certificates issued by Vital Certificates are frequently used as evidence to assist with estate and pension claims, property purchases or for family history or genealogy research.

Please note that where we believe an application to be connected with an attempt to obtain information for the purposes of identity fraud, the application may be rejected and details passed to the police authorities.