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How and where do I register a death?

Any death that takes place in Scotland should be registered within 8 days by the Registrar. Registration can be made at any Registration Office in Scotland (pdf). Contact your local Registrar for further information and to make an appointment.  

Rather than face to face appointments, registrations must now be completed by phone. Please contact your local registrar on 01546 605521 or fill in our online form to arrange a remote appointment. 

Out of office hours and on weekends you will be asked to leave a message with the following information; 

  • Full Name of Deceased 
  • Address of Deceased 
  • Place of Death 
  • Date of Birth 
  • Where they were born 
  • Were they married in Scotland 
  • Name of Informant 

Our on duty registrar will return your call once they are available to progress with the registration. 

Due to the introduction of legislation in May 2015 arrangements for death registrations have changed.  Medical Certificates of Causes of Deaths (MCCDs) may be subject to a random review check.  This means that when you attend at a registration office to register a death the Registrar might not be in a position to supply you with all the documentation you require to finalise the date for funerals.  Please contact your local Registrar as soon as possible for further information.

You can use our 'Tell Us Once'service to let us notify all agencies about a death after your registration.

Who can register a death in Scotland?

  • Any relative of the deceased, or
  • Any person present when the person died, or
  • The deceased's executor or other legal representative, or
  • The occupier of the property where the person died, or if there is no such person,
  • Anyone else who knows the information to be registered.

What documents should I take to the Registrar?

  • The certificate of death from the hospital or doctor;
  • Birth, marriage or civil partnership certificates of the deceased, if available;
  • NHS medical card of the deceased (if available);

Registering the death cannot be done without the death certificate.

When the registration is complete the registrar will give you the following, free of charge :

  • A death registration certificate for production to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium;
  • A Social Security registration or notification of death certificate.  This can be used to obtain or adjust Social Security benefits. 
  • An abbreviated extract of the death entry.
  • You can obtain a full extract of the death entry for a fee of £10.00

Other Useful Information

The Scottish Government website has helpful information about what to do when someone dies, with practical help and advice on registering a death, planning a funeral, bereavement support organisations and financial support.

Funeral support payments are available to people in Scotland who are on certain benefits or tax credits to help meet the cost of a funeral.

What if the death occurs abroad?

You should register the death according to local regulations in the country concerned and obtain a certificate of death. You may also be able to register the death with the British Consul in that country for a fee. However, there is no obligation to do so. A record of the death will be sent to Scotland and you will thereafter be able to get a copy from New Register House.