Registering a death

When should I register a death?

A death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within eight days.  The law allows a death to be registered in any registration district in Scotland.

How do I make an appointment?

Call our Customer Services on 0300 123 4510 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or call into any of our community hubs to arrange your appointment. If you need to change or cancel your appointment please contact us as soon as possible.

Who can register a death?

A death may be registered by any relative, any person present at the death, the deceased's executor or other legal representative, the occupier of the premises where the death took place or, finally, any other person possessing the information needed for registration.

What documents should I take to the Registrar?

You should take with you:

  • the medical certificate of cause of death (Form 11)
  • the deceased's birth and marriage certificate
  • the deceased's NHS medical card
  • Any documents relating to the receipt of a pension or allowance from government funds.

If the documents above are available, the death should be registered without any problem. If any of these documents are not available, do not worry as the Registrar can still proceed to register the death. The following information about the deceased is required:

  • full name
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation
  • address
  • the full names of all spouses and their occupations
  • father's full name and usual occupation
  • mother's full name and usual occupation

What documents will you receive?

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

  • a certificate of registration of death (Form 14), for production to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium
  • a Social Security registration or notification of death certificate (Form 334 S1), for use in obtaining or adjusting Social Security benefits and for National Insurance purposes
  • an abbreviated extract of the death entry (i.e. excluding cause of death and parentage details)
  • a full extract or certificate of the death on payment of the current statutory fee.

Other useful information

The Scottish Government booklet  What to do after a death in Scotland  gives practical advice for bereaved people and is widely available in registration offices. You can also obtain a copy by telephoning 0131 244 2193.

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 obtain a copy from the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS).

We offer a Tell Us Once Service, which allows the Registrar to contact local council services and government agencies on your behalf to advise of the bereavement on your behalf.

Tell us Once

  • Tell Us Once - bereavement leaflet
  • Further advice or to make an appointment please contact any of our Registration Offices.