Registering a death

All face to face appointments have been postponed due to the coronavirus issue and advice taken from the National Records of Scotland. As part of our arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to Monday to Fridays we can now carry out death registrations on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. For full details on our temporary changes to registration services see our Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice page.

Our registrars will help you register a death as simply and easily as possible. Please read all of this page, as well as the Death Certification Review Service and the Tell Us Once pages before you book an appointment.

Where and when to register a death

We are now carrying out death registrations remotely which means we can complete the registration over the phone. No face-to-face appointments will take place. For more info see our Coronavirus advice page.

By law, a death must be registered within eight days. A death which takes place in Scotland can be registered at any registration office in Scotland. We cannot register a death which did not take place in Scotland.

If you need to contact the registrars in an emergency outwith office hours, for example over a holiday weekend, phone the emergency out of hours number 0800 242024.

What documents do you need?

A death is normally registered by a relative or close friend of the deceased but anyone can register a death as long as they know details about the death and have the necessary documents. You will need to bring along the death certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate (where applicable) and, if possible, the deceased person's medical card.

The registrar keeps the death certificate from the doctor.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for registering a death. As part of the process the registrar will provide three certificates free of charge:

  • a white form (Form 14) for the undertaker
  • a form for social security purposes
  • an abbreviated death certificate which shows the deceased’s name, sex, date of birth, date and place of death

If you want a full death certificate which also shows the cause of death, parent and partner’s details, this costs £10 at the time of registration. Any request for a full or abbreviated death certificate made after one month of the date of registration will cost £15 (a £5 search fee is included in this).  

If you have the abbreviated certificate, a full death certificate will cost £10, however, this can only be requested in person at our offices as the certificate requires to be seen and a form needs to be completed.

Related content

  1. Registering a death
  2. Death certification review service
  3. Tell us once

Licensing Services

(select option 7)

Phone: 0303 123 1015
Email: Licensing Services