Registering a birth or death

Registering a death

Any death which happens in Scotland must be registered within 8 days.

Death Registration will continue to be completed where possible by a 'remote' appointment, you may not need to attend the office in person.

Contact your local registration office or ask your chosen funeral director to make an appointment.

Before a registration can be done, the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11) must have been issued by email to the registration office.

Contact the office should you need an in-person appointment.

Who can register

  • Any relative of the deceased
  • Any person present at the death
  • The deceased's executor or other legal representative
  • The occupier at the time of death of the premises where the death took place, for example, nursing home manager
  • If there is no one as above, anyone who knows the details of the person, for example, a neighbour

Documents to give the registrar

  • The deceased's birth certificate and the marriage or civil partnership certificate if applicable
  • The deceased's medical card (if this is not available, you can get the NHS number from the person's medical practice)

Do not delay registering a death because these documents are unavailable. Contact us for advice.

Tell Us Once

This is a service we use to notify government departments including Department for Work and Pensions and different services in the council. You tell us which departments apply and we send off the notification for you.

To use the service bring along these documents, if you have them:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Blue Badge

Tell Us Once - things to bring

For more information about this service, visit

Documents the registrar will give you

  • Certificate of registration of death (form 14) for the funeral director
  • Form BD8 to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about the death
  • An abbreviated certificate (extract) which is free
  • Full certificates can be purchased at the time or later. They may be needed for business and financial purposes

What to do if someone dies abroad

You should register the death according to local regulations in the country concerned and get 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.

What to do after a death in Scotland - practical advice for times of bereavement