Coronavirus: Registration services

UPDATE TO REGISTRATION SERVICES FROM 15th JULY – PHASE 3

Our offices currently remain closed to the public. Please be assured that staff are still working and are available to deal with registration enquiries by telephone and by email during office hours.

Death registration

Death Registration will continue to be completed by a 'remote' appointment.

Contact your local registration office or ask your chosen funeral director to make an appointment. Details of registration offices can be found on our website.

Registration offices

Before a registration can be done, the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11) must have been issued. Where possible, have available birth certificates, marriage certificates and NHS number (from the Medical Card) for the deceased.

The Tell Us Once service will also still be available. Tell Us Once can help you notify a number of other government departments and services.

tell-us-once

The remote registration appointment will be conducted by telephone and email where appropriate.

Birth registration

From 29th June Highland Council Registration Offices resumed birth registration.

As birth registrations have been suspended since late March, we have a backlog to work through and it is important that we register these events in date order wherever possible.

If you have had a baby during March, April or May and you have not yet made arrangements to register the birth of your child it is important that you make contact with your local registration office urgently.

If you have had a baby during June or onwards, please contact your local registration office who will make arrangements for an appointment for you.

Your appointment will mainly be conducted by telephone, however you will be required to attend the office to sign the register page. The Registrar will arrange a time for you to do this, and will explain the protocols in place for your appointment.

Important Notes :

If mother and father of the child are married to one another, only one of them is required to carry out the registration and attend the office.

If mother and father are not married to one another, and father’s details are to appear on the birth certificate, both parties must be available for a telephone appointment together, and must attend the office together to sign.

Please take the confirmation of birth sheet issued by the hospital with you to your appointment.

You may be asked to email in supporting documents (eg marriage certificate) to the office you are dealing with.

Payment for full birth certificates must be made by card over the telephone, in advance, or can be ordered online at a later date on the birth, death and marriage certificates page.

Contact information for our Registration Offices is available on our visit an office page.

We ask that you adhere to the social distancing measures in place when you attend our offices. Face coverings may be worn as a precautionary measure, and hand sanitiser will be available for your use.

Increased cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place for your visit.

If you or anyone in your household, are displaying any symptoms, please re-arrange your appointment.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Marriage

As we enter Phase 3 of the route-map to recovery, there are a number of changes to Marriage and Civil Partnership.

Please find below answers to questions you may have.  Please contact your local Registration Office if you have any other enquiries about your planned ceremony.

Marriage and civil partnership Q&A

Are registration offices now permitted to accept notice forms?

Yes, offices may now process marriage and civil partnership notice forms if they have capacity to do so.

By law both parties to a proposed civil, religious or belief marriage or civil partnership are required to submit notice forms to the Registrar of the district in which the marriage or civil partnership is to take place, please send your notice forms and supporting documents by post as registration offices are not yet open to the public.

Are all couples required to wait the minimum 29 day notice period?

Yes, 29 days notice must be given. The date that notices are processed by the Registration Office will begin the 29 day minimum notice period

Can we now book a Highland Registrar to conduct our ceremony?

Our online booking form is now available for “new” bookings. Please see the link to the booking form.

Can couples who lodge notice now extend their notice period if required?

Yes, if notices are lodged over the next few weeks and the date of the ceremony has to be changed due to coronavirus, the notice period can be extended up to 31 December, 2020 (if required).

Where a couple have already lodged notice to be married and cannot re-arrange their ceremony to take place by 31 December, 2020, they will be required to submit new notice forms. However, fees already paid will be carried forward.

What will a marriage or civil partnership ceremony look like, given physical distancing will still be in place?

During Phase 3, as further public gatherings are permitted, marriage ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can now take place both indoors and outdoors.

The celebrant or Registrar solemnising the marriage or registering the civil partnership will ensure physical distancing measures take place and that the maximum number of attendees is enforced.

Phase 3 restrictions

The maximum number of people allowed to attend a marriage or civil partnership will be 20, with physical distancing in place, and only where venues are able to allow that number to attend safely.

Please be aware that the maximum number permitted at your ceremony may differ from those allowed at any celebration to follow (where household and number restrictions remain).

The maximum number of 20 does not include any limitation on number of households, but encompasses all in attendance, including the registrar or celebrant, any interpreter, children, carers, photographer, musician and so on. This figures applies to both outdoor and indoor ceremonies (where venue capacity allows).

If a couple are concerned that the number restrictions, the requirement to maintain social distancing, or any other aspect of phase 3 restrictions could negatively impact the ceremony they had envisaged, it may be appropriate to postpone their ceremony to a later Phase of the Route Map.  Our staff will be happy to help secure another date.

Ordering copy certificates

Certificates for events registered in Scotland can be ordered online, please use the order form.

Certificates for events registered in the last month will cost £11.00.

Certificates for events registered more than one month ago will cost £16.00.

If the event was registered outside Highland within the last year, you should apply to the office in which the event was registered.

Certificates will be sent out by standard second class post.

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