Registering a death

When should I register a death?

A death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within eight days of the date of death.  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, call into any of our community hubs  to arrange your appointment. We will ask you to confirm the serial number from the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death before an appointment can be made. If you need to change or cancel your appointment please contact us as soon as possible.

New arrangements for the certification and registration of deaths in Scotland were introduced on 13 May 2015. This included the establishment of an independent review service run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Information on all aspects of the Death Certification Review Service is available on the Healthcare Improvement Scotland website.

If you wish to make an application for an advanced registration, please inform the registrar when you attend to register the death. An application form is attached but it is not essential to complete this prior to attending the registration office.

Who can register a death?

The death can be registered by:

  • 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?

You should take with you:

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

Provided you have the medical certificate of cause of death, do not worry if any other documents are not available 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/civil partners and their occupations
  • father's full name and usual occupation
  • mother's full name, including maiden surname 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)
  • full extract(s) of the death may be obtained on payment of the current statutory fee.

Other useful information

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

What if the death occurs abroad?

You should register the death according to the regulations in the country where the person died. You will be given a local death certificate. This local death certificate will be accepted in the United Kingdom. It may need to be a certified translation of the document if it is not in English.

You can also apply to register the death with the UK authorities. You don’t have to do this, but it means that a record of the death will be sent to the National Records of Scotland and you can order a consular death registration certificate from New Register House.

More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death/y/overseas

We offer a Tell Us Once Service, which allows the Registrar to contact local council services and government agencies 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.